The need for management of nature conservation sites designated under Natura 2000.
The Natura 2000 Network will consist of sites designated by the Member States of the European Union, under the Habitats and Birds Directives. Many of these sites need an appropriate management to maintain a favourable conservation status; this will often be based on low-intensity agricultural practices. Out of the 198 listed habitat types of the Habitats Directive, 28 (14%) could be threatened by the abandonment of low-intensity agricultural practices. The paper gives a comparative outlook over some situations in Europe, after an introduction to the framework set by the European Commission and the Council of Europe.