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EU states reminded of their nature protection duties

Only Denmark, can claim to fall in line with EU wide obligations to designate protected habitats under the Natura 2000 network.  DG Environment has sent letters to the member states (excluding Central and Eastern European countries), seeking clarification on whether they have fulfilled their obligations to upgrade around 16,000 sites of community importance (SCIs) to special area of conservation (SAC) status.  Under the habitats directive, EU countries must propose SCIs – areas which can contribute to the conservation of particular habitats and species.  DG Environment then approves lists of SCIs annually. Member states then have six years to upgrade the approved SCIs to SACs, which means the sites become part of the Natura 2000 network and their maintenance or restoration is required by statute. Around 90-95% of SCIs in the EU-15 have passed the six-year deadline but DG Environment does not yet have reliable information on which of these are now SACs. READ MORE


Issue 26