Court of Auditors Report 01/2017 More efforts needed to implement the Natura 2000 Natura 2000 to its full potential
1. The report summarises the findings of an audit undertaken by the European Court of Auditors (ECA) on the management of the EU-wide network of European sites designated under the EU Habitats and Wild Birds Directives, known as Natura 2000. The key purpose of the audit is to assess the contribution of the Natura 2000 network in halting the loss of biodiversity (the key objective of the Habitats Directive is to maintain or restore, at a favourable conservation status, natural habitats and species of European importance: Natura 2000 is designed to aid in this objective). It is important to note that the above EU Directives do not set a deadline in which to achieve favourable conservation status. Halting the loss of biodiversity is instead driven by policy objectives, currently the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020.