Cooperation in Natura 2000 area benefiting biodiversity (Measure 16.5)

The measure incentives the local coordination and collaboration of public and private actorsin projects aimed at the conservation of biodiversity


This operation targets effective interventions for biodiversity protection in areas with Natura 2000. These environmental efforts require synergic and coordinated actions to protect biodiversity, primarily removing any critical issues that may exist in the Natura 2000 areas (coming from the implementation of measures by the Habitats and Birds directives). The cooperative approach allows to reach specific objectives not effectively achieved with individual interventions. This method starts with a “mutual agreement” phase, where the involvement of the largest number of beneficiaries is required. It evolves in the creation of a “local cooperation agreement”, approved by the local competent authority for biodiversity.


• Safeguarding, restoring and improving biodiversity in Natura 2000 areas.

Data and Facts - Contract

Participation: The cooperation activity is be carried out by the public body that proposes the local cooperation agreement, in order to reach the involvement of the largest number of beneficiaries. Involved parties: The following types of beneficiaries can take advantage of the aid provided: 
• single and associated agricultural enterprises; 
• other land managers including environmental NGOs, public bodies, collective properties. 
The benefits for the farmers and for the organization: Farmers receive a financial support for covering some of the costs that are due to the implementation of Natura 2000 constraints. The advantage of the financial body is a maintenance in biodiversity levels of the area and on the other hand the solution of the critical issues coming from the conservation rules. 
Management requirements for farmers: It depends on the specific objectives described in the RDPs.
Funding/Payments: In Natura 2000 areas funding can be provided for: 
• cooperation activities, 
• non-productive investments 
• area management activities etc. 
• The EU contribution can be up to 100% of the eligible expenditure. The cost of the cooperation project is set at a minimum of 20,000 euros and a maximum of 200,000 euros: up to 5% for cooperation costs and the remaining for project implementation

Problem description

The driving force of this measure is "Safeguarding, restoring and improving biodiversity, in Natura 2000 areas and in areas subject to natural or specific obligations ". The RDP and therefore the political region has supported during the last three Rural Development Programs (from 2000 to 2019) measures that push towards a more careful approach toward protected area.
It is important, for the purpose of maintaining a sustainable management and moreover for the restoration of forest, agricultural ecosystems and natural/seminatural habitats, to financially support farmers who actually have a low-income due to the protection of natural areas.

Success or Failure?

Failure. Only two applications, and both of them were rejected as
they were not in compliance with the call requirements.

Reasons for failure :

The measure was highly complex and set a number of constraints and rules that made the realization of the project extremely difficult. Eligible projects should have indicated a target in terms of biodiversity. The same target was aimed to resolve the critical issues for farmers, coming from the restrictions on agricultural practices, imposed by the regulations for the protection of biodiversity in the area where the applicants are located

SWOT analysis

Main Strengths
1. A collaborative/collective implementation of biodiversity conservation strategies was foreseen
2. It would have covered all the cost for implementation of the measure
Main Weaknesses
1. It was too complex from the planning point of view
2. NATURA 2000 regulation imposing constraints
Main Opportunities
1. It would have provided additional support for areas in Natura 2000 sites
Main Threats
1. Low response rate

local cooperation – public body - Natura 2000 areas


Biodiversity / (Farmland) biodiversity


Landscape and scenery



Emilia-Romagna region


Contract conclusion:

Written agreement

Payment mechanism:

incentive payments

Start of the program:




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