An innovative tool that “changes” the management of Natura areas

June 20, 2023
Categories: Announcements

The first Decision Support System (DSS) for the management of Natura 2000 areas is now a fact.

In the framework of the LIFE-IP 4 NATURA project, an innovative tool was created, with the aim to support public authorities and agencies in the protection and management of Natura 2000 sites. More specifically, the DSS LIFE-IP 4 NATURA enables public service executives to exercise more effectively their responsibilities regarding project permits in protected areas.

The tool was developed by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, while the responsibility for its operation and maintenance has been taken by the Natural Environment and Climate Change Agency (NECCA).

Data concerning the state of the Natura 2000 sites in Greece have for the first time been collected on a single platform, enabling those in charge to systematically monitor human activities and the possible effects they bring to the conservation of flora and fauna in the Natura 2000 network. At the same time, it is expected to reduce the demands on financial, human and time resources to manage licensing requests in these areas.

Information is gathered in a homogenized and updated digital base, which includes spatial and descriptive data that allow, via the algorithms and functions developed in the tool, the extraction of information through complex spatial or descriptive queries. The answers to these questions can facilitate the process and analysis requests related to the environmental licensing of projects and activities within Natura 2000 areas as well as the final decision-making.


  • accelerates and reliably supports the assessment and environmental licensing procedures for projects and activities in the Natura 2000 network based on the provisions of Article 6.3 of Directive 92/43/EEC and Article 10 of Law 4014/2011,
  • facilitates nature managers and public services staff at national, regional and local level to better monitor the status of Natura 2000 sites in Greece,
  • provides guidance and up-to-date information on the protected species and habitats of the Natura 2000 network and
  • facilitates the process of monitoring and processing requests and collecting relevant statistics.

The DSS LIFE-IP 4 NATURA is an interactive tool designed to be user-friendly, without requiring special knowledge of IT and GIS technologies for its use. Its structure is very specific and especially with the manual given to the user as well as the informative videos, its various functions can be easily exploited, facilitating the environmental permitting and the carrying out of the proper assessment of the impacts of the proposed projects and/or activities that fall within -or may affect- the sites of the European ecological network Natura 2000.