Societal engagement in Natura 2000 sites. A comparative analysis of the policies in three areas in England, Denmark and Germany

D.A. Kamphorst*, I.M. Bouwma, T.A. Selnes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Several governments in Europe have explicit ambitions to increase societal engagement in the management of Natura 2000 areas. However, implementing this ambition in practice remains a challenge. This article reviews experiences in three Natura 2000 sites in countries in which local level policies exist to improve societal engagement. By defining the elements of the different policies employed in terms of storylines, instruments, organizational structure and style of interaction, and evaluating to what extent these address societal and governmental arguments for societal involvement, wider lessons are drawn on how governments might tackle this complex issue. The area cases show that a hierarchical governance mode is combined with governance modes that are based more on cooperation, market mechanisms or responsiveness to societal energy in order to achieve societal engagement that goes further than acceptance of nature designations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-388
JournalLand Use Policy
Publication statusPublished - 2017



  • Governance
  • Natura 2000
  • Protected areas
  • Public participation
  • Societal engagement

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