About us‎ > ‎


ENCA members are European Agencies or bodies which work in the field of nature conservation.  The Agencies are represented by the Heads of Nature Conservation.  A representative from the European Commission and the European Environment Agency (EEA) are permantly invited guests. 


Members have major executive or advisory tasts to fulfill for their gornments and are willing to contribute to the promotion of the Networks' aims by playing any active and long-term role within the network.   


German Federal Nature Conservation Agency (BfN)   

The German Federal Nature Conservation Agency (Bundesamt für Naturschutz, BfN) is Germany’s central scientific authority for both national and international nature conservation.


The Agency reports to the German Environment Ministry (BMU) and has key enforcement functions under international species conservation agreements, marine conservation law, the Antarctic Treaty and the German Genetic Engineering Act.



Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN)

The Federal Office for the Environment FOEN is the federal government’s centre of environmental expertise and is part of the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communication. 
The mission is to ensure the sustainable use of natural resources, including soil, water, air and forests. It is responsible for minimising natural hazards, reducing risks to the environment and human health from excessive pollution, conserving biodiversity and representing Switzerland in international environmental policy arenas. 


Environmental policy is resource policy

Natural resources are limited and often already over-exploited. Yet, they continue to be used more and more intensely. The aim of Swiss environmental policy is to develop measures to ensure that natural resources are maintained over the long term and continue to be available to future generations. The Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) contributes to this goal in four key areas. At the national level, the FOEN is responsible for protecting the population against natural hazards. It protects human health by reducing the adverse effects of pollutants, harmful organisms and noise. It works to conserve and promote biodiversity and landscape diversity. Finally, it is also responsible for Switzerland’s international environmental policy.



Natural England (NE)      

 Natural England is here to conserve and enhance the natural environment, for its intrinsic value, the wellbeing and enjoyment of people and the economic prosperity that it brings.


The Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic        


Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic (NCA CR) is a governmental body established by the Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republict. It was established on March 1995 as a successor of the former Czech Institute for Nature Conservation. The main aim of NCA CR is to protect and conserve nature and landscape on the whole territory of the Czech Republic. 


The NAC CR consists of the Headquarters based in Prague and 24 regional branches.


 Natural Resources Wales


Umweltbundesamt - Austria          


The Umweltbundesamt is the expert authority of the federal government in Austria for environmental protection and environmental control.


The Umweltbundesamt provides environmental strategy perspectives and recommendations for decision-makers in politics, business and administration. Its experts develop scenarios for the achievement of environmental policy objectives in Austria and in Europe. Its core tasks include the monitoring, management and evaluation of environmental data. As a consultant the Umweltbundesamt offers strategic advice and develops the tools and instruments which help to create a sound basis of information in all environmental matters.



The State Service for Protected Areas under the Ministry of Environment is the state institution – nature protection (protected areas conservation and management) policy implementing agency. The mission of SSPA is to create conditions for protection of landscape and biodiversity values in PA.

The main functions are as follows:

  • to organize processes of PA establishment, monitoring, planning and management
  • to create PA cadaster
  • to coordinate activities of PA administrations
  • to promote the traditional way of life in PA and show its advantages, etc.



Netherlands Environmental Assessement Agency

The Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) is the national institute for strategic policy analysis in the field of environment, nature and spatial planning.

We contribute to improving the quality of political and administrative decision-making by conducting outlook studies, analyses and evaluations in which an integrated approach is considered paramount. Policy relevance is the prime concern in all our studies. We conduct solicited and unsolicited research that is both independent and always scientifically sound.



Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH)


SNH's purpose is to:

  • secure the conservation and enhancement of nature and landscapes
  • foster their understanding and facilitate their enjoyment and
  • promote their sustainable use and management.

    We are responsible through Ministers to the Scottish Parliament and are funded by the Scottish Government.


    We are a national organisation with a local presence allowing us to deliver a national service locally in Scotland. We promote good practice widely and help to care for local nature and landscapes of national and international significance. Our success depends on working with others.



    Ihobe (Basque Environmental Public Corporation)                                                     


    Ihobe is a public corporation that works in the field of environmental protectiona nd management.  It was created in 1983 by the Basque Country Regional Government.


    Our mission is to support the Department for the Environment, Spatial Planning, Agriculture and Fisheries of the Basque Government in developing its environmental policy and in spreading the culture of environmental sustainability in the Basque Country (Spain).



    State Institute for Nature Protection - Croatia      

    The State Institute for Nature Protection is the central institution carrying out expert tasks of nature protection in Croatia. It was established in 2002 by virtue of a Regulation of the Government of the Republic of Croatia, pursuant to the National Strategy and Action Plan for the Protection of Biological and Landscape Diversity of the Republic of Croatia and the Implementation Plan for the Stabilization and Association Agreement, signed by Croatia and the European Union in 2001.  

    The Institute carries out expert tasks of nature protection for the Republic of Croatia, in particular, tasks pertaining to: inventorying; monitoring and assessing the state of nature; preparing expert base proposals for the protection of natural values; developing the Nature Protection Information System (including all relevant thematic databases); conserving parts of nature; establishing the conditions for nature protection; managing protected areas and the use of natural resources; developing expert base proposals for the assessment of acceptability of interventions in nature; reporting on the state of nature; participation in the implementation of international agreements on nature protection and organizing and implementing educational and promotional activities in nature protection.


    The Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca Ambientale - Italy 

    (ISPRA, or Institute for Environmental Protection and Research)  
    The Institute for Environmental Protection and Research is the governmental institute, established in 2008, resulting from the merging of the Agency for Environmental Protection and Technical Services (APAT), the Central Institute for Scientific and Technological Research Applied to the Sea (ICRAM) and the National Institute for Wildlife (INFS).


    The institute acts under the vigilance and policy guidance of the Italian Ministry for the Environment and the Protection of Land and Sea. ISPRA deals with a wide number of environmental issues of national relevance, including marine and terrestrial nature conservation and the sustainable use of the components of biological diversity.


    The Joint Nature Conservation Committee - UK   

    The Joint Nature Conservation Committee is the public body that advises the UK Government and devolved administrations for Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales on UK-wide and international nature conservation. Our role is to provide evidence, information and advice so that decisions are made that protect natural resources and systems.



    Estonia - The Environmental Board


    The Environmental Board deals with people, plants, animals and their living environments in terms of the four basic elements – on land, in water, in fire and in the air.


    Our goal is to become the agency offering the best public service in Estonia. Our staff are determined to see the board operate efficiently and in a way that allows them to constantly build on their knowledge and experience. By implementing innovation and contemporary solutions we are creating an excellent working environment for our staff and simple, convenient solutions for our clients.


    One of the key concepts for the Environmental Board is balance: we seek to preserve (and where necessary create) a realistic balance between the use and protection of natural resources; we work with Estonia’s residents, state agencies, companies and organisations and those of the European Union in a balanced way; and we are achieving balanced development within our organisation in terms of both competence and regional coverage.


    The Environmental Board cooperates closely with those who are required to coordinate their activities with us and who need professional support for operations in the natural environment. We distribute information about what is happening in the environment and encourage people to take notice of nature.



    The Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Nature Conservation (IRSNC)

    The Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Nature Conservation (IRSNC) is a professional national institution, founded in 1999.  when the Law on nature protection was proclaimed. The beginning of its formal functioning dates back to January 2002, when uniting separate nature conservation units, which had previously worked as Regional Institutes for the Conservation of Natural and Cultural Heritage, and merging them into a uniform organization.


    The Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Nature Conservation cares for the conservation of Slovene nature, with a special attention given to the nature conservationist most valuable areas in the country. The Institute's key activities are:


    • Collection of data on plant and animal species, their habitats and ecosystems, registration and evaluation of separate nature's components;
    • Management of databases concerning natural values and biodiversity components and monitoring of the state of nature preservation, biodiversity   and the state of natural values;
    • Preparation of nature-conservancy guidelines and cooperation in the preparation of plans for the protected areas management;
    • Cooperation in the preparation of nature-conservancy education program, and care for public awareness building as to the significance of nature conservation.
    • IRSCN has a role as a Lead partner or Partner in several EU founded projects and therefore cooperates with many national and international authorities.

    Metsähallitus - Finland                                                                                                                       

    Metsähallitus is a state enterprise that administers more than 12 million hectares of state-owned land and water areas. Metsähallitus has the challenging responsibility of managing and using these areas in a way that benefits Finnish society to the greatest extent possible.

    Metsähallitus is a state-owned enterprise that runs business activities while also fulfilling many public administration duties.


    Institute for Nature conservation of Serbia (INCS)

    Institute for Nature Conservation of Serbia (INCS) is an expert institution established in 1948 performing the work on protection and improvement of the national natural heritage. Drafting the studies on protection of natural areas, work on the conservation of biological and geological diversity, strengthening the public awareness of nature protection and a wide variety of the other activities are conducted in order to preserve the nature of Serbia


    Atelier technique des espaces naturels (ATEN) - France (ENCA Observer) 

    The Atelier technique des espaces naturels, ATEN, is an umbrella organisation created in 1997 by the French Environment Ministry. In 2010 its charter was extended until 2017 and enlarged to admit new members. It brings together 19 bodies responsible for nature management and the protection of biodiversity.

    ATEN is a public-private partnership whose legal structure (Groupement d'intérêt public) is intended, first and foremost, to provide services to its own members, which employ more than 5000 nature protection professionals. In addition, ATEN responds to the needs of other stakeholders and opinion formers who pursue similar objectives, even beyond the confines of protected areas.

    ATEN's priority objective is to safeguard natural areas and the natural heritage by networking and capacity building with the managers and organisations involved in nature protection.

    ATEN works above all in France (mainland and overseas territories), but it also carries out consultancy, exchange and representation activities in Europe (notably for the implementation of Natura 2000 network) and worldwide.

    ATEN's work is based round 4 core sectors of activity:

    • Compiling, structuring and spreading knowledge and methods for the sustainable management of protected areas and the natural heritage, in collaboration with the professional networks.
    • Developing tools for planning, concerted management and evaluation to be used by natural protected area managers (direct managers and authorities responsible).
    • Facilitating technical networks and enhancing exchanges between them.

    Promoting the professional sector of natural area management.


    State Nature Conservancy of the Slovak Republic (SNC SR) is a professional organisation of the Ministry of Environment of the Slovak Republic (MoE SR) with a national competence, through which the MoE SR provides a nature and landscape protection on principles of biological diversity conservation and sustainable development.


    The SNC SR operates especially in a field of territorial protection, including cave management and show caves, the species protection of flora, fauna, minerals and fossils, and the biological and landscape as well as the ecological stability protection. Furthermore, it secures the professional background to state administration duties, coordinates and provides the research and monitoring, secures and provides the environmental education, consultations and public awareness activities, secures the professional expertises and participates on international cooperation through the bilateral as well as multilateral projects and implementation of obligations according to the international conventions acceded by the Slovak Republic.


    To secure and fulfil all the aforementioned tasks SNC SR cooperate with other professional organisations concerned to nature protection, academic institutions and universities, state administration, partners’ foreign institutions as well as non-governmental organisations active in nature protection, environmental management and sustainable way of life. 

    The Nature Conservation Agency of Latvia

    The Nature Conservation Agency of Latvia ensures implementation of unified nature conservation policy in Latvia.


    • Main functions of Nature Conservation Agency include :
    • Management of all protected areas in Latvia;
    • nature protection planning management and promotion of the plans;
    • scientifical research management in protected areas;
    • cooperation with local authorities, tourism entrepreneurs, non-governmental organizations and education institutions in terms of promoting nature conservation;
    • functions of supervision of  The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) including issuing the permission for importing and exporting  protected animal and plant species; and
    • informing and educating society about nature conservation.


    Nature Conservation Agency has 4 structural units:

    • Pieriga Regional Administration
    • Vidzeme Regional Administration
    • Kurzeme Regional Administration
    • Latgale Regional Administration

    The Israel Nature and Parks Authority  (INPA) (ENCA Observer)
    The Israel Nature and Parks Authority (INPA) main goal is national nature conservation at all levels. 

    The agency deals with species, ecosystems and landscapes conservation, management and monitoring, both in and out of protected areas.  It creates policies and is responsible for implementing international biodiversity related treaties.