Talk:Birds Directive, Habitats Directive, NATURA 2000

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I think this should be split into three separate pages

  • Birds Directive
  • Habitats Directive
  • NATURA 2000

Tasomerville 16:34, 22 September 2008 (CEST)

REVIEW by Job Dronkers

General remarks

Large parts of the European coastal zones have been designated as nature protection zones, falling under European jurisdiction related to the Birds Directive and/or the Habitats Directive. Coastal zones falling under both Directives are part of the European NATURA 2000 network. These Directives impose stringent rules on management, use and development. Coastal and estuarine areas protected under the Habitats Directive cover a total area of more than 45,000 km² of the EU territory

The article provides a short introduction to the major legal implications of the European nature Directives. The introduction is partially out of date and some important topics are missing.

The following improvements are suggested.

Missing topics

Other EU environmental directives which are also relevant to management, development and projects in the coastal zone

  • The SEA Directive on the evaluation of the effects of planning decisions on the environment, to ensure that the environmental consequences are identified, assessed and taken into account during their preparation and before their adoption.
  • The EIA Directive on the assessment of the effects of individual public and private projects on the environment.
  • The Water Framework Directive - the European legal framework for the protection of groundwater and surface waters, including estuarine and coastal waters, to achieve a good ecological status (or a good ecological potential for heavily modified water bodies) and a good chemical status by 2015.
  • The Marine Strategy Framework Directive for the protection and restoration of marine ecosystems. According to this directive, Member States must take the necessary measures to achieve or maintain a good environmental status (GES) in the marine environment by the year 2020.

These Directives complement the Birds and Habitats Directives in areas where they overlap.

Potential conflicts between nature conservation and economic development

Two important notions are

  1. The designation of areas falling under the Birds and Habitats Directives is based on criteria related to the importance of these areas for a sustainable protection of wildlife and habitats on which wildlife depends. The presence of economic activities is not a criterion for excluding areas from the NATURA 2000 network.
  2. The Habitats and Birds Directives do not, a priori, preclude the possibilities for further development and use of estuaries and coastal zones within or around NATURA 2000 sites. Instead, they lay down stepwise procedures to ensure that any such developments are done in a way that is compatible with the protection of species and habitats of European importance for which the sites have been designated. In the case of projects of overriding public interest, and in the absence of alternative solutions, the Habitats Directive provides a mechanism that can allow damaging developments, provided that compensation and adaptation ensures that the overall coherence of the NATURA 2000 Network is not compromised.

Suggested replacement

The paragraph Climate Change and Birds and Habitats Directives, and Natura 2004 is out of date and should be replaced by:

Climate Change and NATURA 2000

Climate change has the potential, over a period of a few decades, to undermine the NATURA policies for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. Coastal and marine areas will be impacted by changes in water quality and quantity, changes in annual and seasonal precipitation, desertification, erosion and flooding; and this will in turn affect birds, protected habitats and conservation areas included under NATURA 2000. An effectively managed, functionally coherent and well-connected NATURA 2000 Network can play a vital role in helping society adapt to, and mitigate, the impacts of climate change. The European Commission has prepared a guidance document with the latest scientific information on the risks posed by climate change to species and habitat types of EU conservation concern. It provides advice, supported by good practice examples, on how to deal with the impact of climate change when managing NATURA 2000 sites.

External links

The external links indicated in the article are incomplete and out of date and should be replaced by

  1. A map showing the areas in Europe falling under the Birds and Habitats Directives:
  2. The NATURA 2000 website
  3. The EU website on NATURA 2000
  4. The EU website on nature policy
  5. The Birds Directive and its reporting obligations
  6. The Habitats Directive and its reporting obligations
  7. Link to the Topic Centre on Biological Diversity
  8. The application of the Directives for offshore NATURA 2000 areas
  9. The European Commission has issued several guidance documents for implementing the NATURA 2000 Directives in coastal zones:
  • The implementation of the Birds and Habitats Directives in estuaries and coastal zones;
  • Wind Energy Development and Natura 2000;
  • Non Energy Mineral Extraction and Natura 2000;
  • Sustainable tourism and Natura 2000.