next
previous
items

Indicator Specification

Nationally designated terrestrial protected areas in Europe

Indicator Specification
  Indicator codes: CSI 008 , SEBI 007
Published 18 Dec 2020 Last modified 18 Dec 2020
7 min read
The indicator illustrates the rate of growth in the number and cumulative area of nationally designated terrestrial protected areas over time. It also shows the overlap between the international protected areas networks such as Natura 2000 or the Emerald Network and national designations. A 'nationally designated protected area' is an area protected by a national legislation. If a country has included sites designated under international agreements, such as the EU Birds and Habitats Directives, or the Bern or Ramsar Convention in its legislation, the corresponding protected sites, such as the Natura 2000, Emerald or Ramsar sites, of this country are included in the indicator.

Assessment versions

Published (reviewed and quality assured)
 

Rationale

Justification for indicator selection

The establishment of protected areas is a direct response to concerns over biodiversity loss, so an indicator that measures protected area coverage is a valuable indication of commitment to conserving biodiversity and reducing biodiversity loss at a range of levels.

Comprehensive data on officially designated protected areas are regularly compiled and there is international acceptance of the use of the indicator at the global, regional and national scales.

Scientific references

  • No rationale references available

Indicator definition

The indicator illustrates the rate of growth in the number and cumulative area of nationally designated terrestrial protected areas over time. It also shows the overlap between the international protected areas networks such as Natura 2000 or the Emerald Network and national designations.

A 'nationally designated protected area' is an area protected by a national legislation. If a country has included sites designated under international agreements, such as the EU Birds and Habitats Directives, or the Bern or Ramsar Convention in its legislation, the corresponding protected sites, such as the Natura 2000, Emerald or Ramsar sites, of this country are included in the indicator.

Units

Surface area (km2) and number of nationally designated protected areas.

 

 

 

 

Policy context and targets

Context description

The new EU biodiversity strategy for 2030 contains specific commitments and actions to be delivered by 2030, including establishing a larger EU-wide network of protected areas on land and at sea, building upon existing Natura 2000 areas, with strict protection for areas of very high biodiversity and climate value.

The key commitments for nature protection in the EU biodiversity strategy for 2030 are:

1. Legally protect a minimum of 30 % of the EU’s land area and 30 % of the EU’s sea area and integrate ecological corridors, as part of a true Trans-European Nature Network.

2. Strictly protect at least a third of the EU’s protected areas, including all remaining EU primary and old-growth forests.

3. Effectively manage all protected areas, defining clear conservation objectives and measures, and monitoring them appropriately. 

At global level, conservation of protected areas has been a part of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, including Aichi Biodiversity Target 11.

Targets

The aim of Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 is 'that, by 2020, at least 17 per cent of terrestrial and inland water, and 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services, are conserved through effectively and equitably managed, ecologically representative and well connected systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures, and integrated into the wider landscapes and seascapes'.

Related policy documents

  • EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030
    The European Commission has adopted the new  EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 and an associated Action Plan (annex)  - a comprehensive, ambitious, long-term plan for protecting nature and reversing the degradation of ecosystems. It aims to put Europe's biodiversity on a path to recovery by 2030 with benefits for people, the climate and the planet. It aims to build our societies’ resilience to future threats such as climate change impacts, forest fires, food insecurity or disease outbreaks, including by protecting wildlife and fighting illegal wildlife trade. A core part of the  European Green Deal , the Biodiversity Strategy will also support a green recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, including Aichi Biodiversity Targets
    In decision X/2, the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties, held from 18 to 29 October 2010, in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan, adopted a revised and updated Strategic Plan for Biodiversity, including the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, for the 2011-2020 period. This Plan provides an overarching framework on biodiversity, not only for the biodiversity-related conventions, but for the entire United Nations system and all other partners engaged in biodiversity management and policy development.

Key policy question

Section A

Specific policy question

Section B

 

Methodology

Methodology for indicator calculation

The data for the nationally designated protected areas inventory (CDDA) are delivered by the Eionet partnership countries as spatial and tabular information. The inventory began in 1995 under the CORINE programme of the European Commission. The CDDA is now an agreed annual Eionet core data flow maintained by the European Environment Agency (EEA) with support from the European Topic Centre on Biological Diversity (ETC/BD). The dataset is used by the EEA and, among others, the UNEP-WCMC for their main European and global assessments, products and services.

In 2018, the CDDA data model and reporting mechanism was changed. The spatial data component of the reporting (referred to as Type 1 data) was aligned to the INSPIRE Protected Sites to avoid double reporting in EU Member States. The tabular data component of the reporting (referred to as Type 2) was simplified and redundant information removed following consultation with the Eionet National Reference Centre for Biodiversity.

The Reporting guidelines with full details on the methodology are available from the CDDA reference page.

    Methodology for gap filling

    No methodology for gap filling has been specified.

    Methodology references

     

    Data specifications

    EEA data references

    Data sources in latest figures

     

    Uncertainties

    Methodology uncertainty

    No uncertainty has been specified.

    Data sets uncertainty

    No uncertainty has been specified.

    Rationale uncertainty

    Main disadvantages of the indicator

    The indicator does not describe the quality of management or whether or not the areas are protected from incompatible uses. The indicator needs to be complemented by information on management effectiveness or other elements that would indicate the potential of the designated area to protect biodiversity.

     

    Further work

    Short term work

    Work specified here requires to be completed within 1 year from now.

    Long term work

    Work specified here will require more than 1 year (from now) to be completed.

    General metadata

    Responsibility and ownership

    EEA Contact Info

    Katarzyna Biala

    Ownership

    European Environment Agency (EEA)

    Identification

    Indicator code
    CSI 008
    SEBI 007
    Specification
    Version id: 4

    Frequency of updates

    Updates are scheduled once per year

    Classification

    DPSIR: Response
    Typology: Descriptive indicator (Type A - What is happening to the environment and to humans?)
    Document Actions