Natura 2000 benefits society and the economy, providing us with a significant number of services and advantages. The estimated expenditure of visitors to Natura 2000 sites was €50–85 billion per year in 2006. This supports between 4.5 and 8 million full-time jobs. Protected areas provide additional benefits to the regional and local economy, by attracting inward investment and enhancing local quality of life. Natura 2000 has also considerable effects on food security.
The creation of Marine Protected Areas prevents over-fishing and ensures healthy fish production for millions of Europeans, providing over €1.4 billion annually. In addition, the preservation of wetlands, grasslands or forests contributes to climate change mitigation. 9.6 billion tonnes of carbon are currently stored by Natura 2000 sites, providing between €600 and €1,130 billion (2010 stock value). Check out more in our socio-economic benefits of Natura 2000 factsheet just published!
We would also like to share that CEEweb made an informal group of Natura 2000 supporters of various sectors, Friends of Natura 2000 of 44 individuals from 12 countries and still growing, which some of the messages you can read on the website We Love Natura 2000.