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Adapting environmental conservation legislation for an enlarged European Union: experience from the Habitats Directive

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 March 2013

DOUGLAS EVANS*
Affiliation:
European Topic Centre on Biological Diversity, Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, 57 rue Cuvier, FR-75231 Paris, Paris Cedex 05, France
ANDRÁS DEMETER
Affiliation:
Directorate General for the Environment, European Commission, B-1049 Brussels, Belgium
PETER GAJDOŠ
Affiliation:
Institute of Landscape Ecology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Branch Nitra, Akademicka' 2, PO Box 22, 949 10 Nitra, Slovakia
ĽUBOŠ HALADA
Affiliation:
Institute of Landscape Ecology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Branch Nitra, Akademicka' 2, PO Box 22, 949 10 Nitra, Slovakia
*
*Correspondence: Dr Douglas Evans e-mail: evans@mnhn.fr

Summary

The European Union's (EU's) Habitats Directive includes annexes listing the habitats and species requiring protection. As new countries join the EU these lists need to be amended to remain pertinent. In 2004 and 2007, 12 countries, mostly in central Europe, joined the EU and were asked to propose native species or habitats that required protection; this formed an initial base for negotiations with the European Commission in consultation with the existing member states and with scientific support from the European Topic Centre on Biological Diversity. The 12 countries made 831 proposals, resulting in the addition of 191 species and 33 habitats, and geographical exemptions for eight species. Although the Directive provided definitions, these needed to be supplemented with additional criteria to permit assessments of the proposals. The process involved many actors at both European and national level. This illustrates the development of biodiversity governance and provides potential lessons for future activities, including the need for scientific guidance and the importance of involving all relevant actors.

Type
THEMATIC SECTION: Biodiversity Governance in Central and Eastern Europe
Copyright
Copyright © Foundation for Environmental Conservation 2013

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