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Protection of the environment – the driving forces PROTECT WP1 Workshop, Chester, 29 March 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "Protection of the environment – the driving forces PROTECT WP1 Workshop, Chester, 29 March 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 Protection of the environment – the driving forces PROTECT WP1 Workshop, Chester, 29 March 2007

2 Natural England….who are we?.. and what do we do? Natural England is a new organisation which has been established under the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act It is a non-departmental public body. It has been formed by bringing together English Nature and parts of the Rural Development Service and the Countryside Agency. Natural England has been charged with the responsibility to ensure that Englands unique natural environment including its flora and fauna, land and seascapes, geology and soils are protected and improved. Natural Englands purpose as outlined in the Act is to ensure that the natural environment is conserved, enhanced, and managed for the benefit of present and future generations, thereby contributing to sustainable development.

3 Why am I here? Senior specialist – Pesticides and Toxic Substances Remit covers Plant protection products, biocidal products, veterinary medicines, general chemicals, and radioactivity. Advise government, statutory committees, statutory agencies, and others on the risk (and impacts) on wildlife and protected areas.

4 Environmental Drivers International Conventions European Legislation UK Legislation Government Targets (PSA) Environmental assessments are also carried out for chemicals under current European approvals legislation.

5 International Conventions The UK is a contracting party to a number of international conventions. the protection of wetlands of international importance (Ramsar Convention) the protection of sites of international cultural or natural significance (World Heritage Convention) the regulation of wildlife trade (CITES) the protection of species and habitats of European importance (Bern Convention) the protection of migratory species (Bonn Convention) Following the Earth Summit in 1992, two further agreements were concluded: the Convention on Biological Diversity the Climate Change Convention Also in 1992, the OSPAR Convention was concluded to address the protection of the marine environment in the North-east Atlantic.

6 The Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (the Bern Convention) The Bern Convention was adopted in Bern, Switzerland in 1979, and came into force in The principal aims of the Convention are: to ensure conservation and protection of all wild plant and animal species and their natural habitats (listed in Appendices I and II of the Convention), to increase cooperation between contracting parties, and to afford special protection to the most vulnerable or threatened species (including migratory species) (listed in Appendix 3) To this end the Convention imposes legal obligations on contracting parties, protecting over 500 wild plant species and more than 1000 wild animal species. The UK ratified the Bern Convention in The Convention was implemented in UK law by the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981 and as amended).

7 The Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (the Bern Convention) To implement the Bern Convention in Europe, the European Community adopted two Council Directives: Council Directive 79/409/EEC on the Conservation of Wild Birds (the EC Birds Directive) in 1979, and Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Fauna and Flora (the EC Habitats Directive) in Among other things the Directives provide for the establishment of a European network of protected areas (Natura 2000), to tackle the continuing losses of European biodiversity on land, at the coast and in the sea to human activities. Further UK legislation was introduced (Natural Habitats &c.) Regulations (1994), and the Conservation (Natural Habitats, etc.) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1995 to implement those parts of the Habitats Directive not already covered in national legislation.

8 The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (Bonn Convention) The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals was adopted in Bonn, Germany in 1979 and came into force in (The UK ratified the Convention in 1985). Contracting Parties work together to conserve migratory species and their habitats by; providing strict protection for endangered migratory species (listed in Appendix 1 of the Convention), concluding multilateral Agreements for the conservation and management of migratory species which require or would benefit from international cooperation (listed in Appendix 2), and by undertaking co-operative research activities. The legal requirement for the strict protection of Appendix I species is provided by the Wildlife & Countryside Act (1981 and as amended). The UK has currently ratified three legally binding Agreements under the Convention: the Agreement on the Conservation of Populations of European Bats (EUROBATS); the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA); and ASCOBANS. SOURCE: JNCC (www.jncc.gov.uk)

9 The Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) The Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) was concluded in The Hague, the Netherlands in 1995 and entered into force in November The AEWA covers 235 species of birds ecologically dependent on wetlands for at least part of their annual cycle, with a geographic area encompassing 117 countries from Europe, parts of Asia and Canada, the Middle East and Africa. The Agreement provides for coordinated and concerted actions to be taken by the Range States throughout the migration systems of the waterbirds to which it applies. Parties to the Agreement are called upon to engage in a wide range of conservation actions which are described in a comprehensive Action Plan. This detailed plan addresses such key issues as species and habitat conservation, management of human activities, research and monitoring, education and information, and implementation. The UK ratified AEWA in The UK's legal obligations for the protection of endangered migratory waterbird species are implemented through the Wildlife and Countryside Act (WCA) 1981 (as amended) and the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order In England and Wales, the provisions of the WCA have recently been strengthened through the Countryside and Rights of Way Act (2000). this framework also provides for the protection of sites important for waterbird species (including Special Protection Areas classified under the EC Directive on the Conservation of Wild Birds, and UK wetlands designated under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands). The legal status of these internationally important sites is strengthened by the Conservation (Natural Habitats &c.) Regulations 1994, and the Conservation (Natural Habitats etc.) Regulations (Northern Ireland) SOURCE: JNCC (www.jncc.gov.uk)

10 The Agreement on the Conservation of Populations of European Bats (EUROBATS) The Agreement on the Conservation of Populations of European Bats (EUROBATS) was concluded in London, UK in September 1991, and came into force in January The title of the Agreement makes it clear that bio-geographical rather than political boundaries define the Agreement area. The Agreement aims to address threats to all 37 species of bats identified in Europe arising from habitat degradation, disturbance of roosting sites and harmful pesticides. To this end, Parties to the Agreement agree to work through legislation, education, conservation measures and international co-operation with other Agreement members and with those who have not yet joined. In 1995, the First Session of the Meeting of Parties to the Agreement formed an Action Plan, which was to be translated into international action. They established an Advisory Committee to carry forward this Plan between the Meetings of Parties. The Action Plan also places considerable emphasis on monitoring and international protection measures for species which migrate the furthest across Europe, in order to identify and address possible dangers caused by bottle-neck situations in their migratory routes.

11 The Agreement on the Conservation of Populations of European Bats (EUROBATS) The UK ratified EUROBATS in January All bats and their roosts are protected in the UK under the provisions of the Wildlife & Countryside Act (WCA) 1981 and the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order In England and Wales the provisions of the WCA have recently been strengthened through the Countryside and Rights of Way (CroW) Act Certain bat species are also listed on Annex II of the European Habitats Directive, which is implemented in the UK through the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994 (as amended), and the Conservation (Natural Habitats, etc.) Regulations (Northern Ireland) As of July 2003, the UK had recommended 38 maternity and hibernacula areas as candidate Special Areas of Conservation (cSACs) under the Habitats Directive. Implementation of the UK Biodiversity Action Plan also includes action for a number bat species and the habitats which support them.

12 COUNCIL DIRECTIVE OF 2 APRIL 1979 ON THE CONSERVATION OF WILD BIRDS ( 79/409/EEC ) In 1979, the European Community adopted Council Directive 79/409/EEC on the conservation of wild birds (the 'Birds Directive'), in response to the 1979 Bern Convention on the conservation of European habitats and species (the 'Bern Convention'). The Directive provides a framework for the conservation and management of, and human interactions with, wild birds in Europe. It sets broad objectives for a wide range of activities, although the precise legal mechanisms for their achievement are at the discretion of each Member State (in the UK delivery is via several different statutes). The Directive applies to the UK and to its overseas territory of Gibraltar. The main provisions of the Directive include: The maintenance of the favourable conservation status of all wild bird species across their distributional range (Article 2) with the encouragement of various activities to that end (Article 3). The identification and classification of Special Protection Areas for rare or vulnerable species listed in Annex I of the Directive, as well as for all regularly occurring migratory species, paying particular attention to the protection of wetlands of international importance (Article 4). SOURCE: JNCC (www.jncc.gov.uk)

13 COUNCIL DIRECTIVE OF 2 APRIL 1979 ON THE CONSERVATION OF WILD BIRDS ( 79/409/EEC ) Article 4 1. The species mentioned in Annex I shall be the subject of special conservation measures concerning their habitat in order to ensure their survival and reproduction in their area of distribution. 4) in respect of the protection areas referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2 above, member states shall take appropriate steps to avoid pollution or deterioration of habitats or any disturbances affecting the birds, in so far as these would be significant having regard to the objectives of this article. Outside these protection areas, member states shall also strive to avoid pollution or deterioration of habitats. SOURCE: JNCC (www.jncc.gov.uk)

14 European Legislation Environmental Habitats Directive Birds Directive Chemicals Water Framework Directive Thematic Strategies – Pesticides and Soil Approvals legislation e.g. Plant Protection Products; Biocidal Products; Veterinary Medicines; Existing Substances; REACH

15 UK Legislation – Protected areas and species Habitats Regulations – Special Conservation Areas (SAC) Birds Directive – Special Protected Areas (SPA) Wildlife and Countryside Act Sites of Special Scientific Interest UK BAP

16 Habitats Directive The Habitats Directive requires the establishment of a series of high quality Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) across Europe that will make a significant contribution to conserving the 169 habitat types and 623 species identified in Annexes I and II of the Directive. A total of 77 Annex I habitats occur in the UK, of which 22 are priority types. 51 Annex II species have been recorded in the UK in recent times, only one of which is a priority. These include, plants such as the lady slipper orchid, invertebrates, fish, newts, otters, bats, seals and cetaceans. SOURCE: JNCC (www.jncc.gov.uk)

17 Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) SACs are designated under the EC Habitats Directive. The Directive applies to the UK and the overseas territory of Gibraltar. SACs are areas which have been identified as best representing the range and variety within the European Union of habitats and (non-bird) species listed on Annexes I and II to the Directive. SACs in terrestrial areas and territorial marine waters out to 12 nautical miles are designated under the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994 (as amended). In the UK, designation of SACs is devolved to the relevant administration within each country. SOURCE: JNCC (www.jncc.gov.uk)

18 EnglandNumber of SAC229 Sum of SAC area809, England/ScotlandNumber of SAC3 Sum of SAC area112, England/WalesNumber of SAC5 Sum of SAC area5, Northern IrelandNumber of SAC53 Sum of SAC area66, ScotlandNumber of SAC236 Sum of SAC area921, WalesNumber of SAC85 Sum of SAC area589, Overseas TerritoryNumber of SAC2 Sum of SAC area Total Number of SACs613 Total Sum of SAC area (ha)2,510, SOURCE: JNCC (www.jncc.gov.uk)

19 Habitats Directive - Council Directive 92/43/EEC Article 6 1. For special areas of conservation, Member States shall establish the necessary conservation measures involving, if need be, appropriate management plans specifically designed for the sites or integrated into other development plans, and appropriate statutory, administrative or contractual measures which correspond to the ecological requirements of the natural habitat types in Annex I and the species in Annex II present on the sites. 2. Member States shall take appropriate steps to avoid, in the special areas of conservation, the deterioration of natural habitats and the habitats of species as well as disturbance of the species for which the areas have been designated, in so far as such disturbance could be significant in relation to the objectives of this Directive. 3. Any plan or project not directly connected with or necessary to the management of the site but likely to have a significant effect thereon, either individually or in combination with other plans or projects, shall be subject to appropriate assessment of its implications for the site in view of the site's conservation objectives. In the light of the conclusions of the assessment of the implications for the site and subject to the provisions of paragraph 4, the competent national authorities shall agree to the plan or project only after having ascertained that it will not adversely affect the integrity of the site concerned and, if appropriate, after having obtained the opinion of the general public. 4. If, in spite of a negative assessment of the implications for the site and in the absence of alternative solutions, a plan or project must nevertheless be carried out for imperative reasons of overriding public interest, including those of a social or economic nature, the Member State shall take all compensatory measures necessary to ensure that the overall coherence of Natura 2000 is protected. It shall inform the Commission of the compensatory measures adopted. 5. Where the site concerned hosts a priority natural habitat type and/or a priority species, the only considerations which may be raised are those relating to human health or public safety, to beneficial consequences of primary importance for the environment or, further to an opinion from the Commission, to other imperative reasons of overriding public interest. SOURCE: JNCC (www.jncc.gov.uk)

20 Habitats Directive - Council Directive 92/43/EEC Article 10 Member States shall endeavour, where they consider it necessary, in their land-use planning and development policies and, in particular, with a view to improving the ecological coherence of the Natura 2000 network, to encourage the management of features of the landscape which are of major importance for wild fauna and flora. Such features are those which, by virtue of their linear and continuous structure (such as rivers with their banks or the traditional systems for marking field boundaries) or their function as stepping stones (such as ponds or small woods), are essential for the migration, dispersal and genetic exchange of wild species. SOURCE: JNCC (www.jncc.gov.uk)

21 Special Protected Areas (SPA) SPAs are classified by the UK Government under the EC Birds Directive. The Directive applies to the UK and the overseas territory of Gibraltar. SPAs are areas of the most important habitat for rare (listed on Annex I to the Directive) and migratory birds within the European Union. SPAs in terrestrial areas and territorial marine waters out to 12 nautical miles are classified under the Wildlife and Countryside Act New and/or amended Habitats Regulations are shortly to be introduced to provide a mechanism for the designation of SPAs and SACs in UK offshore waters (from nm). SPAs, together with SACs, form the Natura 2000 network. SOURCE: JNCC (www.jncc.gov.uk)

22 CountryDataTotal EnglandNumber of Sites78 Sum of Site area648, England/ScotlandNumber of Sites1 Sum of Site area43, England/WalesNumber of Sites2 Sum of Site area37, Northern IrelandNumber of Sites14 Sum of Site area108, ScotlandNumber of Sites140 Sum of Site area598, WalesNumber of Sites17 Sum of Site area123, Total Number of Sites252 Total Sum of Site area (ha)1,559, SOURCE: JNCC (www.jncc.gov.uk)

23 UK Legislation – Forthcoming changes to the Habitats Regulations affecting the protection given to European Protected Species At the end of April the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c) Regulations will be amended to address gaps and inconsistencies identified by the European Court in the way that the UK transposed the Habitats Directive into domestic legislation in In parallel, the new Offshore Marine Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 2007 will extend the requirements of the Habitats Directive from 12 nautical miles (the point at which our responsibility ends) to 200 nautical miles from the coast. We will be working closely with the Marine Fisheries Agency to ensure a common approach to regulatory activities.

24 Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981(WCA 1981) consolidates and amends existing national legislation to implement the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Bern Convention) and Council Directive 79/409/EEC on the Conservation of Wild Birds (Birds Directive) in Great Britain. It is complimented by the Wildlife and Countryside (Service of Notices) Act 1985, which relates to notices served under the 1981 Act, and the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994 (as amended), which implement Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (EC Habitats Directive). The Act received royal assent on 30 October 1981 and was brought into force in incremental steps. Amendments to the Act have occurred, the most recent being the Countryside and Rights of Way (CRoW) Act 2000 (in England and Wales) and the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 (in Scotland). There is also a statutory five-yearly review of Schedules 5 and 8 (protected wild animals and plant respectively), undertaken by the country agencies and co- ordinated by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee. Containing four Parts and 17 Schedules, the Act covers protection of wildlife (birds, and some animals and plants), the countryside, National Parks, and the designation of protected areas, and public rights of way. SOURCE: JNCC (www.jncc.gov.uk)

25 Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (CRoW Act 2000), which applies to England and Wales only, received Royal Assent on 30 November 2000, with the provisions it contains being brought into force in incremental steps over subsequent years. Containing five Parts and 16 Schedules, the Act provides for public access on foot to certain types of land, amends the law relating to public rights of way, increases protection for Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and strengthens wildlife enforcement legislation, and provides for better management of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The Act is compliant with the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights, requiring consultation where the rights of the individual may be affected by these measures. SOURCE: JNCC (www.jncc.gov.uk)

26 The Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994 The Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994 transpose Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (EC Habitats Directive) into national law. The Regulations came into force on 30 October 1994, and have been subsequently amended in 1997 and (in England only)2000. Containing five Parts and four Schedules, the Regulations provide for the designation and protection of 'European sites', the protection of 'European protected species', and the adaptation of planning and other controls for the protection of European Sites. Under the Regulations, competent authorities i.e. any Minister, government department, public body, or person holding public office, have a general duty, in the exercise of any of their functions, to have regard to the EC Habitats Directive. The Regulations require competent authorities to consider or review planning permission, applied for or granted, affecting a European site, and, subject to certain exceptions, restrict or revoke permission where the integrity of the site would be adversely affected. Equivalent consideration and review provisions are made with respects to highways and roads, electricity, pipe-lines, transport and works, and environmental controls (including discharge consents under water pollution legislation). SOURCE: JNCC (www.jncc.gov.uk)

27 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) (England, Scotland and Wales) and Areas of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI) (Northern Ireland) The SSSI/ASSI series has developed since 1949 as the national suite of sites providing statutory protection for the best examples of the UK's flora, fauna, or geological or physiographical features. These sites are also used to underpin other national and international nature conservation designations. Most SSSIs are privately-owned or managed; others are owned or managed by public bodies or non-government organisations. Originally notified under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949, SSSIs have been renotified under the Wildlife and Countryside Act Improved provisions for the protection and management of SSSIs were introduced by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (in England and Wales) and the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act ASSIs are notified under the Nature Conservation and Amenity Lands (Northern Ireland) Measures to improve ASSI protection and management are contained in the Environment (Northern Ireland) Order SOURCE: JNCC (www.jncc.gov.uk)

28 National Nature Reserves (NNRs) –NNRs contain examples of some of the most important natural and semi- natural terrestrial and coastal ecosystems in Great Britain. They are managed to conserve their habitats or to provide special opportunities for scientific study of the habitats communities and species represented within them. –NNRs are declared by the statutory country conservation agencies under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 and the Wildlife and Countryside Act In Northern Ireland, Nature Reserves are designated under the Amenity Lands Act (Northern Ireland) SOURCE: JNCC (www.jncc.gov.uk)

29 Local Nature Reserves (LNRs) (in England, Scotland and Wales)/ Local Authority Nature Reserves (LANRs) (in Northern Ireland) Under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 LNRs may be declared by local authorities after consultation with the relevant statutory nature conservation agency. LNRs are declared and managed for nature conservation, and provide opportunities for research and education, or simply enjoying and having contact with nature. SOURCE: JNCC (www.jncc.gov.uk)

30 UK Biodiversity Action Plan The UK BAP is the UK Government's response to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) signed in 1992 describes the UK's biological resources commits a detailed plan for the protection of these resources has 391 Species Action Plans, 45 Habitat Action Plans and 162 Local Biodiversity Action Plans with targeted actions


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