Natura 2000 Network
A network of nature protection areas...
Natura 2000 is an EUwide network of nature protection areas established under the 1992 Habitats Directive. The aim of the network is to assure the long-term survival of Europe's most valuable and threatened species and habitats.
As a response to the increasing concern about the declining populations of European wild birds, the European Community, as it was called then, adopted its oldest piece of nature legislation in 1979: the Birds Directive. According to this directive, all Member States should designate the most suitable areas for those bird species which are listed under Annex I, and for other regularly occurring migratory species, with an emphasis on waterbirds. The species listed in this Annex are subject to special conservation measures because they are rare, vulnerable, threatened or migratory. These sites are named Special Protection Areas, the well known SPAs.
In 1992, the EU nature legislation was enriched with the Habitats Directive. Together these two Directives form the backbone of nature protection legislation in the EU. Under the Habitats Directive, the concept of the EU-wide network of nature protection areas called Natura 2000 was introduced. SPAs form part of this network and thus, together with the Special Areas of Conservation (SACs: areas designated for the protection of specific habitats and non-bird species under the Habitats Directive), they form the centerpiece of EU nature and biodiversity policy.
Cyprus has transposed these European Directives onto its national law and designated 42 SACs and 29 SPAs (some of which are overlapping) since it became an EU member in 2004.
Oroklini Lake was designated as an SPA in 2009 under the name “Special Protection Area Oroklini Lake – CY6000010” for the Black Winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus and the Spur Winged Lapwing Vanellus spinosus. In the same year, Oroklini Lake was designated as an Site of Community Importance, SCI (CY6000011) for its halophytic vegetation. SCIs are sites which are proposed to the Commission by the Member State and once approved, they can be designated as SACs.