CDDA data collection 2023

Dear Colleague,

We are writing to inform you of the detailed plans for the nationally designated protected areas (CDDA) annual data collection. The inventory is one of the agreed EIONET core data flows. We hope the information will be useful as you organise a programme of work with your network to validate the existing data published by EEA and to provide any new information available by the deadline for deliveries 15 March 2023.

The reporting takes place in Reportnet 3

There is no change to the reporting format in 2023 and the reporting will take place on Reportnet 3 platform. To get access to Reportnet 3 platform, the reporter needs to acquire an EU login and then register on the platform See how to Login and check this video (30 seconds) for the steps. If you are new to the reporting, your National Focal Point (NFP) will add you as reporter in Eionet and Reportnet 3 or confirm your role to the CDDA Lead reporter. The Lead reporter can add additional reporters to support the dataflow work without involvement of the EEA. Supporting reporters may have either Write or Read permissions. Please note, only the Lead reporters can submit and release the final dataset.

  • Support documents: Please see the dedicated document for CDDA reporting on Reportnet 3 platform, available from the CDDA reference page. In addition, use the support document Reporter to familiarize yourself with the general functionalities of the platform.

Reporting guidelines and other material specific for the nationally designated areas data collection is available from the CDDA reference page.

Data collection coordination with the World Database on Protected Areas

With the new Global Biodiversity Framework just adopted at the CBD COP15 in Montreal, this data collection will help to show the contribution from Eionet members to the 2030 protected area targets.

For this purpose, the 2023 nationally designated protected areas database will as usual be the European contribution, delivered by the EEA on your behalf, to the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA). The WDPA tracks the progress to the global targets. You allow the EEA to share your information at site level as part of the CDDA data collection.

You can see the current global and regional scoreboards at and the most recent Eionet contribution for the terrestrial indicator on nationally designated protected areas is available here. An equivalent marine indicator will become available early 2023.

Other Effective area-based Conservation Measures

Other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs) do not meet the IUCN definition of a protected area but have their own definition adopted by CBD CoP 2018. OECMs are recognized by the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2030 and the newly adopted Global Biodiversity Framework. Please consider if some of the sites reported by your country are OECMs rather than protected areas. Sites that may meet the OECM definition can be reported using the category B designation type. You may also consider if some areas not previously reported to CDDA, do provide benefits for biodiversity according to the definition and should be included as OECMs.

The 2019 guidelines on recognising OECMs from the IUCN World Commission of Protected Areas as well as their 2022 draft site-level methodology are available to support your work on OECMs in the coming years.

We understand that these concepts might still be new and that further guidance might be required and we will be working on ensuring that OECMs can be more consistently reported through the CDDA dataflow in the future. More information on this will be provided in 2023.

For marine sites it is relevant for EU Member States to refer to ‘spatial protection measures’ as identified by article 13.4 of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive. These sites can also be reported using the category B designation type.

Pledges for protected areas target under the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030

The EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 calls on Member States to protect at least 30% of the EU’s land and 30% of the EU’s seas. In 2022, a process was launched for the EU Member States to submit pledges reflecting their commitment to these targets. Those of you representing EU Member States are familiar with the process, but we wanted to briefly mention it here for information of all involved in the data collection on nationally designated areas. In addition to pledging new protected areas, EU MS are also expected to indicate which areas already reported through CDDA should be counted towards the 30% target, as a way for establishing a common baseline.

Revision of the nationally designated areas reporting format to be launched in 2023

In light of some of the changes mentioned above, including the recently adopted Global Biodiversity Framework, the Pledges work and certain alignment with the ongoing revision of the Standard Data Form for Natura 2000 sites, it will be important to ensure that the CDDA data flow remains agile and able to respond to the current policy needs. Therefore, starting in 2023, we would like to share with you what changes might be required to the reporting format. As this is an EIONET core data flow, you will have an opportunity to participate in the revision process and define the future direction for this data flow which would support both these policy needs and reflect the most recent protected areas designation and management approaches in your country.   

Ensure to update your Designation types

The Designation types reporting webform is available for your updates at any time. The webform is simple to use, you can add your changes directly on the screen. Instructions and background information on designation types reporting is available from the Designation type reference page.

The Designation type code list includes designation types as reported by your country by 2017 unless you updated the information via the webform already. The code list is used in the automatic QC of your CDDA delivery (field: national designation type). Please ensure that your country’s designation types are up to date before submitting your CDDA 2022 delivery. The EEA's update of the designation types registry is currently not automated. It may take a few days for a new delivery to be processed and visualised online.

The full table may be downloaded from the CDDA dataset download page.


Key issues for the reporting

The cddaId codes

The site code cddaId is the thematic identifier for the CDDA dataset. It is vital that you give all Type 2 records correct cddaIds. The cddaId is identical to the WDPA ID used as the unique identifier by the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA).

The web service for allocation of cddaId for new sites is available at:

The service has been updated with the information from the last year reporting cycle. We kindly ask you to use this service to reserve new codes for your sites. A detailed user guide is available for download at the site code allocation web service page. Please note that the layout of the web page has been changed, compared to the user guide, but the functionality of the page remains the same.

The localId and PSlocalId codes

All Type 1 features and their corresponding Type 2 records must be assigned correct and identical localId and PSlocalId. The localId and PSlocalId are the principal linking elements, which allows Type 1 and Type 2 data to be properly joined.

Calculating majorEcosystemType

If a spatial analysis is used by your country to determine the major ecosystem type of sites, we recommend that you introduce a threshold to reduce the number of marineAndTerrestrial artifact sites. A spatial analysis, using a coastline likely digitised at a different scale than the designated areas, will introduce false marineAndTerrestrial sites.

We recommended considering sites with less than 1% terrestrial ecosystem as fully marine sites and sites with less than 1% marine ecosystem as fully terrestrial. If your country has a complicated coastline, you may consider to manually investigate all sites below a 5% threshold to determine the appropriate major ecosystem type. If in doubt, please consider the Tabular data. Is a site for example to be considered marine, if no marine features are included in the conservation objectives?

Coordinate reference system (CRS) encoding in GML

If your country creates the GML file from a national service, please ensure that the CRS encoding is using 'http' quotation. The correct CRS encoding is e.g., '

Data delivery

When preparing the data delivery, please revise the QC feedback from ETC/BD available in your 2022 CDDA collection under the Technical feedback button  on Reportnet 3 platform. In addition, ETC/BD prepared a dashboard with more information on your recent submission. Please update and correct, if necessary, your data for the 2023 delivery.

Your quality checked data should be uploaded, after consultation with the National Focal Point, to the Reportnet 3 platform by the deadline of 15 March 2023.

Please follow the instructions in the CDDA reporting on Reportnet 3 platform. The information is also available from the Help button in Reportnet

The delivery should consist of the following parts:

  • Type 1 spatial data (shapefile or GML format) – it is not mandatory to convert spatial files to GML anymore. Shapefile is also an accepted format. Those implementing INSPIRE may consider using INSPIRE download services. A trial is taking place on Reportnet 3 platform, see section 1.4.3 in the above instructions.
  • Type 2 data (XLS or XML format)
    • DesignatedArea - includes records with thematic information of each nationally designated area
    • LinkedDataset – this table is redundant on Reportnet 3.0 platform. There is no need to update or provide it . In case it is part of the output from your national system, it is accepted to provide it.
  • Additional information - any supporting or clarifying information that you think is necessary to explain your delivery. Use any format you think will serve the purpose.

Following automatic QCs and successful release, the envelope enters the Final feedback stage, and the envelope will be locked. In this step, the data processor (ETCDI) will perform additional checks and decide whether the envelope can be "technically accepted" or they will ask for a correction and redelivery from you ("correction requested").

Only technically accepted envelopes will be harvested and processed into the European dataset. If ETCDI asks for a correction of your delivery, the detailed reasons will be provided, and you will be notified.


Scoring criteria

The scoring of the reporting will follow the Eionet core data flows scoring criteria for the Timeliness parameter:

  • Timely delivery 15 March (the deadline)
  • Small delay 14 April (+30 days)
  • Serious delay 15 April (and thereafter)

For the Data Quality parameter, the scoring will be the following:

  • Basic test failed: Generation of "blocker" messages during the QC test.
  • Basic test passed: Only "error", "warning" or "ok" messages have been generated.
  • All tests passed: Only "warning" or "ok" messages have been generated.

Helpdesk and support

  • In the case of login problems or any other technical difficulties with Reportnet 3 web services, please contact Reportnet Helpdesk
  • In the case of questions related to the content of the data requested, please contact CDDA helpdesk. This support is provided by ETCDI staff.

If colleagues working directly on the nationally designated protected areas data delivery in your country are not NRCs or nominated CDDA data reporters, please copy this letter to them so they are aware of the wider context of their work at the European level.

We take the opportunity to thank you for your continued support. We look forward to another successful annual data flow.

Elena Osipova - Biodiversity and Ecosystems Protection
Mette Lund - Biodiversity data and information systems
Marek Staron - Technical support for water and biodiversity data flows