Oceana warns: Only 60 days left to avoid massive failure of EU Habitats Directive

In September, the 6-year window during which time the EU Member States in the Mediterranean region must declare Special Areas of Conservation in the Natura 2000 network, will close.

Press Release Date: July 23, 2012

Location: Madrid


Oceana Web | email: webadmin@oceana.org | tel.: 202.000.0000

Oceana is alarmed at the EU Mediterranean Member States’ long delay in submitting management plans for protected areas proposed within the Natura 2000 network. On September 21st, the deadline granted by the European Union will be reached, and thereafter countries may suffer financial penalties for not having covered the conservation of their areas of greatest ecological value.

Europe’s most important piece of environmental legislation, the Habitats Directive, granted a period of six years to Member States to develop management plans for the areas included in the Natura 2000 network, and to proceed with designating as Special Areas of Conservation. In the case of the Mediterranean region, a region that includes the Gulf of Cadiz, the first official list was published on September 21, 2006, thereby setting the deadline for the same date, six years later.

“The administrative neglect of the conservation of the Mediterranean region is unjustifiable and inexcusable. Member States have had six years to develop management plans for marine areas that they themselves have suggested. We seem to be facing a situation of massive non-compliance with the obligations of the Habitats Directive,” said Xavier Pastor, Executive Director Oceana Europe.

The European Commission warned in 2010 that too few areas have been proposed to protect the 18 species and five marine habitats included in the Habitats Directive for European waters – an amount which is already insufficient, given the current biodiversity and the daily significant increases in available information on their status and conservation needs.

For more information: Natura 2000 (New web-section)

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