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NATURA 2000 - ZAC - Special Areas of Conservation - Habitats Directive. Data transformed into INSPIRE data specifications on Protected Sites. Natura 2000 is a European Union-wide network of nature protection areas established under the 1992 Habitats Directive. The aim of the network is to assure the long-term survival of Europe's most valuable and threatened species and habitats. It is comprised of Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) designated by Member States under the Habitats Directive, and also incorporates Special Protection Areas (SPAs) designated under the 1979 Birds Directive. The establishment of this network of protected areas also fulfils a Community obligation under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.