Baltic States’ Regional Co-operation Programme for Natura 2000 (BANAT)

The Baltic States’ Regional Co-operation Programme for Natura 2000 (BANAT) was formed in 1999 to assist Baltic Ministries of Environment in the implementation of the EU requirements of the Birds and Habitats Directives and with establishment of the Natura 2000 network as well as to support the countries in the negotiation process with the European Commission on the Annexes of the Birds and Habitats Directives. This role was fulfilled by facilitating a continuous dialogue among the Baltic States, by compiling and disseminating relevant information and by creating multi-stakeholder networks.

The main goals of BANAT 3 were to provide information and to facilitate experience exchange on EU nature conservation policy, as well as to foster cooperation among the Baltic States.

More detailed objectives were:
• To support the presentations/revisions of designated sites at forthcoming Habitat & Ornis Committees of the European Community;
• To facilitate protection of potential transboundary Natura 2000 sites;
• To facilitate discussion about good management and setting up monitoring of sites;
• To support capacity building in the nature conservation administration;
• To widen the circle of stakeholders of NATURA 2000 network;
• To support the integration of Nature Conservation Requirements into other economy sectors (e.g. agriculture, forestry, transport, territorial planning);
• To strengthen the capacity of nature conservation administration in communication with stakeholders from other sectors;
• To rise public awareness about EC Nature Conservation Requirements. Identification and clarification of the BANAT 3 objectives has been a collaborative effort between the key project stakeholders, the BANAT management team and the Steering group.

 Based on the established objectives the expected outcomes :
• Co-operation between the Baltic States in selection, designation and management of the NATURA 2000 sites and strategies for their management;
• Close co-operation with Nordic neighbours (e.g. on Boreal region issues);
• Prepared and reflected Habitat/Ornis Committee meetings and strategies for the Baltic States joining their territories to the European Community’s Boreal sites;
• Management Plans for 2 transboundary protected Natura 2000 sites facilitated;
• First steps towards establishment of the monitoring system of NATURA 2000 sites and harmonization of data;
• Cross-sectoral contacts and awareness raising among potentially conflicting stakeholders;
• Publications/brochures on EU nature conservation requirements and their implementation in the Baltic States;
• Increased management and communication capacity of the Baltic nature conservation administrations. 



Project donors

Ministry of the Environment of Finland
Swedish Environmental Protection Fund
Federal Ministry of Environment of Germany
Nordic Council of Ministers
Ministry of Environment of Lithuania

Project implemented by

Baltic Environmental Forum-Latvia
Baltic Environmental Forum-Lithuania 
Baltic Environmental Forum-Estonia