Capacity building on compliance with environmental legislation - Nature Inspection

Date: 21-23.10.2014
Place: Kopacki Rit, Croatia
Organizer: ECRAN Secretariat with EC TAIEX Unit

The continuation of the deterioration of natural habitats and the threats posed to certain species are one of the main concerns of European Union (EU) environmental policy. The EC Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC, which was adopted in 1992, introduced the range of measures to protect the series of habitats and species listed in Annexes I and II of the Directive. Each Member State was required to prepare and propose a national list of sites which has been evaluated in order to form a European network of Sites of Community Importance (SCI). These will eventually be designated as Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), and along with Special Protection Areas (SPAs), classified under the EC Birds Directive 79/409/EEC, will form a network of protected areas known as Natura 2000. Article 6 is one of the most important articles in the Habitats Directive as it defines how Natura 2000 sites are managed and protected. The Birds Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 November 2009 on the conservation of wild birds (this is the codified version of Directive 79/409/EEC as amended) is the EU’s oldest piece of nature legislation and one of the most important, creating a comprehensive scheme of protection for all wild bird species naturally occurring in the Union. The directive recognizes that habitat loss and degradation are the most serious threats to the conservation of wild birds. It therefore places great emphasis on the protection of habitats for endangered as well as migratory species (listed in Annex I), especially through the establishment of a coherent network of Special Protection Areas (SPAs) comprising all the most suitable territories for these species. Since 1994 all SPAs form an integral part of the NATURA 2000 ecological network.

Related and Cross-cutting issues:
The present workshop will built on the results of the ECENA programme under RENA, with its workshops in Lake Ohrid and Lake Skhodra, and will next to the attention for cross border issues in nature inspection also pay attention to related and cross-cutting issues.
The latter not only refers to for example forestry and nature protection but also to the nature legislation with other pieces of environmental legislation, including the IED and EIA. Trade in illegally harvested timber and trade in endangered species are other elements to receive attention (ref. EU timber regulation, CITES convention, Environmental Crime Directive ).
The present workshop is especially focused on the enforcement aspects. Many issues are relevant in this respect including:
• the need for trans boundary cooperation;
• the need for joint management (for example harmonized monitoring indicators, centralized joint baseline data, and monitoring data);
• legal framework harmonization with integrated roles into national legislation.
The regulatory role is not only confined to nature aspects but also aspects regarding the environment and now also the illegal trade aspects (timber, endangered species). Depending on the area strengthening the regulatory and enforcement capacity might be needed for specific nature aspects but also for fisheries, forestry, and water management ,pollution control and environmental management in general and aforementioned illegal trade aspects.

Objectives of the Workshop:
Wider Objective: increasing the effectiveness of inspection bodies and promoting compliance with environmental requirements
Specific Objective: Increased capacity in the field of planning of Nature Inspection with attention for cross border cooperation and cross-cutting issues.

Expected Results of the workshop:
The following results are expected for this activity
• Improved knowledge base and understanding of the required legal and institutional requirements with compliance, and enforcement aspects in cross border nature protection areas at key staff of the inspection bodies;
• Strengthened regional network of SEE professionals and experts in nature protection areas with its compliance and enforcement aspects.
• Improved knowledge of a number of related and cross-cutting issues