LIFE project Natura 2000 + Bear

LIFE Natura 2000 + Bear

Living in Natura 2000 and living with bears in two small and endangered subpopulations.

This LIFE project is been developed between July 2017 to June 2020 by Brown Bear Foundation (Fundación Oso Pardo, FOP) as coordinating beneficiary and Natural Heritage Foundation (Fundación Patrimonio Natural) of the Regional Government of Castilla y León  as associate beneficiary. The project also counts with the financial support of Biodiversity Foundation (Fundación Biodiversidad, Ministerio para la Transición Ecologica).



The global objective of the project LIFE Natura2000+Bear is to improve information and awareness about Natura 2000 and Brown bear between inhabitants of the bear areas of the two most small and endangered subpopulations in Spain, favour behavioural changes and promote gobernance structures for a better conservation of Natura 2000 sites and endangered bear subpopulations. The project is established around a double strategy: Natura 2000 and brown bear, considering that information and governance are part of the process to avoid the deterioration of natural habitats of species in Natura 2000 and to improve conservation status of brown bear, currently unfavorable.

Specific objectives:

1.- Involve diferent population groups, promoting knowledge and awareness about Natura 200 and brown bear, their values and opportunities for sustainable development, disseminating information at different levels and involving stakeholders leaders so they could act as multipliers. Impact indicators: results of the pre and post-project social surveys developed in the local population and number of multipliers involved and their involvement degree, measured with surveys at the beginning and the end.

2.- Contribute to avoid deterioration of natural habitats in Natura 2000 and to improve the unfavourable conservation status of brown bear increasing information of public and private local actors, potential promoters of plans and projects under Habitat Directive article 6. Impact indicator: changes in perception from plan and project promotors based in surveys at the begining and the end.

3.- Offer the inhabitants, specific population groups and NGO enough opportunities for active participation in relevant aspects of the Natura 2000 network in bear areas, facilitating sharing of solutions and best practices, creating governance structures and generating lasting favourable public opinion. Impact indicator: percentage of people involved in social participation activities related with Natura 2000 and bear and their level of involvement, based in surveys.

4.- Generate media interest and involve local and regional media and social networks in the dissemination of information. Impact indicator: increase in the number of local and regional media news or references about Natura 2000 and bears, taking as a baseline the number in a six months period before the project.


Expected longer term results:

 The main expected result is the increase in the degree of knowledge and awareness about the Natura 2000 network in the eastern cantabrian and western pireneean most endangered bear subpopulations. The aim is to reach all inhabitants of this bear areas, at least doubling the current level of knowledge on Natura 2000 among the local population (14.5% according to a SEO/BirdLife study of 2010, but reference data will be evaluated at the beginning of the project).

The most significant specific results will be the following:

– 150 local multipliers, involved through 15 meetings in different localities in the bear areas, who will disseminate in many directions the relevance and opportunities of living in Natura 2000 and in the range area of the most small and endangered bear subpopulations in Spain.

– Specific information on 400 stakeholders (local actors, professionals and project promotors) through 40 thematic workshops held, in wich solutions and best practices for cohabitation will be disseminated.

– 280 dynamization activities in all the project municipalities, for about 12.000 participants (school children, sectorial groups and the general public), under the framework of an itinerant exhibition about bears and Natura 2000.

– 100 local and regional media (press, radio and television) and digital media involved in the informative campaign (180 news and press releases distributed, 10 audiovisual pieces, one documentary, 30  advertisings and 450 entries in social networks) about Natura 200 and conservation needs of the two small and endangered bear subpopulations.

– Establishment of gobernance structures configured as 5 working groups (one in each autonomous community) for debate and proposal of solutions, with aim of permanence, with the participation of representatives of the local and regional administration, NGO, stakeholders and other involved sectors.

– Other results of the project will be an online consulting, a document of best practices, presence in fairs and events, the distribution of abundant promotional material for collectives and the general public and networking with other projects, monitoring and dissemination activities for exchange and replicability.

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