Earlier versions of this training module have been developed within the context of Nature-SDIplus Project “Best Practice Network for SDI in nature conservation” ( in 2009 and 2010, and updated with the LINKVIT project (
This training module has been produced by GISIG ( The training material is available through an Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-SA).

The objective of the module is to give an overview of the policies relevant to protected site management and biodiversity conservation, at the International and European level. To place policies within their environmental and scientific context, the basic principles and definitions contained in these policies are here reviewed because they are considered to be relevant knowledge necessary in order to access and share geographic data for nature conservation (existing classifications, networks, data services, etc.). Particular attention will be paid to the EU most significant nature conservation policy: the NATURA 2000 Network. However other additional lectures are included, related to other EU and International Policies on Nature Conservation (RAMSAR, IUCN and OSPAR). The module is a self-learning module.

  1. International and EU Policies for Nature Conservation:
  2. An overview of the most significant policies relevant to (and effective on) nature conservation at the International and European level is provided. Particularly, the European policies and programmes (related to protected area management and biodiversity conservation) which are relevant for the implementation of the INSPIRE Directive and the specifications of the nature conservation data themes

  1. Natura 2000 Network:
  2. This chapter provides an overview of principles, contents and implementation of EU most significant nature conservation policy: the NATURA 2000 Network. Particularly, aspects related to the identification and management of NATURA 2000 Network sites will be addressed, as well as the procedures adopted for data acquisition and management at the EU level.

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of the module, the learner will know the basic lexicon and concepts of nature conservation and will be able to deal with the most important parts of EU policies for the conservation of nature and biodiversity at European and International level. This is particular useful for people who have to cope with the nature conservation data (and metadata) modelling aspects, in the framework of the implementation of the INSPIRE Directive, to better address in their work the scientific needs and expectations of experts and scientists from the nature conservation domain.

Intended Audience

Technological (ICT and specifically GIS/GI) experts with no or limited knowledge on Nature Conservation issues.


No pre-requites.

Power Point presentations and texts. Deepening material composed of lectures and web sites references. The module is a self-learning module.
Expected workload
Approximately 3 hours (additional lectures available).