Reporting duties and general monitoring in the Natura 2000 framework

Reporting duties and general monitoring in the Natura 2000 framework
The Flora-Fauna-Habitat Directive protects the otter in the context of Natura 2000 areas. © Templermeister/ pixelio.de

Involved sectors

Agriculture, Forestry, Water management, Hunting, Tourism and leisure, Nature protection

Affected habitats

Forest, Shrubs and wooded areas, Bogs and fens, wetlands, Alpine habitats, Grassland, Arable land, Areas for settlements and transport, Waterbodies

Description

Natura 2000 is an EU-wide network of protected areas intended to preserve the endangered habitats and species in the EU. It comprises the protected areas defined in Council Directive 79/409/EEC on the conservation of wild birds (Birds Directive) and Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (Habitats Directive), and aims to build a coherent ecological network. The designation of Natura 2000 areas creates an obligation to maintain, on a permanent basis, favourable conservation status of the species and habitat types through appropriate protection and development measures (management plan). To this end, member states are required to draw up a report at regular intervals (6 years) on the implementation of the measures taken under the two Directives. The Habitats Directive also requires member states to undertake surveillance of the conservation status of the natural habitats and species of Community interest. The reports should therefore include the key findings of this surveillance. Consideration should also be given to improving the ecological coherence of Natura 2000 outside the designated Natura 2000 areas.

Impact

Impact in particular on Small mammals, Big mammals, Reptiles, Amphibians, Birds, Insects, Fish
Ecological impact  
Improvement or preservation of habitats The reporting duties and monitoring activities relate to the measures laid down to preserve favourable conservation status and their impacts. This is the first comprehensive statutory regulation for monitoring success in nature conservation.
Element of ecological network The coherence of the Natura 2000 network must be safeguarded. Measures should be promoted that protect both the specific network of habitats inside and outside an area and the overall site which has other valuable biotopes (national biotope network).
Time of realisation for measure Long term: Reports have to be produced on the status of the Natura 2000 network components every six years and member states should also undertake general surveillance of the natural habitats and species in question.
Impact scope Regional: General surveillance should also take place outside Natura 2000 areas, as its purpose is to monitor the conservation status of the natural habitats and species with particular regard to priority natural habitat types and priority species, regardless of territorial context.

Implementation

Implementation period Long term: As part of Natura 2000, measures to improve the connectivity situation (conservation status of species) are planned and monitored over the long term.
Frequency Recurring: Ideally, mowing should be managed over a number of years.

Economic and legal aspects

Costs High (100'000-1 Mio EUR): Very variable as they are heavily dependent on the data already available, the reported species and habitats, the conservation status etc.
Socio-economic impacts No direct impact: In the case of Natura 2000, account must be taken of socio-economic interactions with other sectors as well as of the environmental structure and nature conservation concerns.
Sources of financing Public: local, Public: regional, Public: national, Public: European
Legal situation Pursuant to Article 11 of the Habitats Directive, general surveillance of the species and habitats of community interest should be undertaken and the main results of this general surveillance must be included in the report. The reporting duty is carried out pursuant to Article 17 of the Habitats Directive.

Further information

Evaluation The current reporting period runs from 2007 to 2013 and the next reports must be submitted in 2013. For the first time, these must be based on suitable monitoring systems, and can include a comparison with the previous report (2007). This will show the effectiveness of the measures undertaken, also in relation to the connectivity situation.
Information Other: EU information: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/legislation/habitatsdirective/index_en.htm
Contact Other: Further information may be obtained from the national authorities concerned.

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