Nationally designated areas data collection 2024

Dear Colleague,

We are writing to inform you of the detailed plans for the nationally designated protected areas annual data collection (formerly known as CDDA – during 2024 the acronym will gradually transition to the more accurate NatDA). 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 2024.

The reporting takes place in Reportnet 3

There is no change to the reporting format in 2024 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 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 Reporting on Reportnet 3 platform, available from the Nationally designated areas 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 Nationally designated areas reference page.

Data collection coordination with the World Database on Protected Areas

This data collection will help to show the contribution from Eionet members to the 2030 protected area targets within the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework of the CBD.

For this purpose, the 2024 nationally designated 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 Nationally designated areas data collection.

You can see the current global and regional scoreboards at

Additionally, this data collection forms the basis for a number of indicators developed by EEA, including terrestrial protected areas coverage in Europe, available here and marine protected areas coverage in Europe, available here. It is also included in the dashboard showing progress towards achieving the protected areas targets under the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030.

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

In light of some of the recent developments of the biodiversity policy landscape, as well as changes to related dataflows, such as the recent adoption of a revised Standard Data Form for Natura 2000 sites, it will be important to ensure that the Nationally designated areas data flow remains agile and able to respond to the current policy needs. On 12 December 2023, we presented to you in a dedicated webinar some initial ideas about what changes might be required to the reporting format. Some of the key areas to develop include possible ways to clearly report Other effective conservation measures (OECMs), integrate information on strictly protected areas or zones and provide information on management aspects.

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. We will be planning more workshops and events in early 2024 to present you with further details and discuss the changes to be implemented.   


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. The work on the pledges continued in 2023 and is expected to continue in 2024 and we will be further discussing possible links and integration with the Nationally designated areas dataflow.

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 Nationally designated areas delivery (field: national designation type). Please ensure that your country’s designation types are up to date before submitting your NatDA 2024 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 Nationally designated areas dataset download page.


Key issues for the reporting

The cddaId codes

The site code cddaId remains the thematic identifier for the Nationally designated areas dataset in 2024. 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 DI available in your 2023 CDDA collection under the Technical feedback button on Reportnet 3 platform. In addition, ETC DI prepare a dashboard with summary statistics on your recent submission compared to your past submissions. Please update and correct, if necessary, your data for the 2024 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 2024.

Please follow the instructions in the 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 Nationally designated areas helpdesk. This support is provided by EEA and ETCDI staff.


If colleagues working directly on the nationally designated areas data delivery in your country are not Eionet NFPs 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