On 12 November the initial findings of the Fitness Check process by the European Commission on the Birds and Habitats Directives was published. It was feared that these rules, known as the Nature Directives, would be reopened, merged or weakened as part of President Jean Claude Junker and vice-President Timmermans’ move for ‘better regulation.’
However following an evaluation study by a panel of technical experts, it has been concluded that there is no reason to merge the directives as they are coherent with other EU policies and laws.
The evaluation also emphasises the huge benefits provided by the laws, in comparison to their cost. The Natura 2000 network of protected areas, which the laws are responsible for, costs around €5.8 billion a year, but generates benefits in ecosystem services running to €200 – 300 billion a year, and a further €50 – 85 per year for local economies. Overall, the directives are making positive contributions to sustainable development, and allow economic development that is compatible with maintaining biodiversity. The importance of strengthening enforcement, and the need to deal with EU policies that are still driving biodiversity loss, has also been highlighted by the evaluation.
On 20 November, conservationists, politicians and representatives of EU institutions will meet for a conference on the Nature Directives in Brussels.
The European Cement Association has linked up with BirdLife to jointly call for the Nature Directives to be protected.
Adapted from press release by Rebecca Bowden
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/europe-cis/13112015/eu-birds-and-habitat-directives-are-fit-for-purpose-985/