[MARMAM] Announcement: Habitats Directive Workshop, ECS, Galway, 24 Mar 2012

Peter G.H. Evans peter.evans at bangor.ac.uk
Mon Jan 16 13:16:31 PST 2012

Apologies for cross posting

The following workshop, sponsored by the ASCOBANS & ACCOBAMS Regional 
Conservation Agreements, will be held at the forthcoming ECS 

ECS/ASCOBANS/ACCOBAMS Workshop on the "The EU Habitats Directive & 
its implementation in relation to cetaceans" to be held at 
Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Saturday 24 March 2012

Organising Committee: Simon Berrow, Peter Evans, Heidrun Frisch, 
Tilen Genov, Graham Pierce, Eunice Pinn, Meike Scheidat, and Giuseppe 
Notarbartolo di Sciara

For the last twenty years, the EU Habitats Directive has been the 
cornerstone for the conservation of European wildlife and their 
habitats. It is built around two pillars: a strict system for species 
protection and the Natura 2000 network of protected sites. All 
cetaceans occurring in Europe are listed in Annex IV of the 
Directive, requiring strict protection, and two species, the harbour 
porpoise and bottlenose dolphin, are additionally listed in Annex II, 
requiring the development of Special Areas of Conservation, where 
appropriate, as part of the Natura 2000 network. The Habitats 
Directive thus is an important mechanism complementing the 
implementation of specialised treaties for the conservation of 
cetaceans, such as ACCOBAMS and ASCOBANS, and vice versa.

Article 3(1) of the Directive states that a coherent ecological 
network of Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) that should enable 
species' habitats to be maintained or, where appropriate, restored at 
a favourable conservation status. Article 3(2) requires Member States 
to contribute to the creation of Natura 2000 in proportion to the 
representation within their territory of Annex I habitats and Annex 
II species.  Article 4, however, notes that 'for aquatic species 
which range over wide areas, such sites will be proposed only where 
there is a clearly identifiable area representing the physical and 
biological factors essential to their life and reproduction.'

Article 12 (1) requires Member States to establish a system of strict 
protection which includes prohibiting the deliberate capture or 
killing and disturbance of listed species. Additionally Article 12(4) 
requires Member States to monitor incidental capture and killing to 
ensure that this does not have a significant negative impact on the 
species concerned.

Under Article 17, Member States must report on the status of each 
cetacean species in its waters every six years through the 
surveillance developed under Article 11. The first assessment of 
conservation status was undertaken in 2007, with the next report due 
in 2013. In 2007, the conservation status of the majority of cetacean 
species was assigned as 'unknown' or 'not assessed' (the latter 
assigned to species were very little information was available). 
These assessments reflect the difficulties in monitoring marine 
species and also the low encounter rate of many species. 
Internationally, a number of issues and criticisms were identified 
for these reports, the most important of which was the focus on 
national waters for these transboundary species. Since this reporting 
round, both Member States and the European Commission have been 
developing and improving their approaches to the surveillance and 
reporting requirements. For example, the 2013 guidance includes a 
much greater emphasis on the need for transboundary reporting. This 
meshes well with the requirements of the Marine Strategy Framework 
Directive (MSFD).

The purpose of this workshop is to review implementation of the 
Habitats Directive across Europe, and to discuss ways to address some 
of its challenges. Additionally, links with other directives (e.g. 
MSFD) and other intergovernmental treaties, such as ACCOBAMS and 
ASCOBANS, will be explored.

The workshop will run from 9am until 5.30pm, and will have four 
session themes: EU framework - Habitats Directive and its 
relationship to other Directives and Regional Treaties; Assessing 
Favourable Conservation Status; The Implementation of Natura 2000: 
Achievements and Limitations; and The Implementation of Strict 
Protection Measures: Achievements and Limitations, followed by a 
general discussion.

Anyone interested in participating, please contact me at 
<peter.evans at bangor.ac.uk>.

best regards,
Peter Evans

on behalf of Workshop Organising Committee
Dr Peter G.H. Evans

Sea Watch Foundation,
Ewyn y Don,
Bull Bay,
Isle of Anglesey
Wales LL68 9SD

Hon. Senior Lecturer
School of Ocean Sciences,
University of Bangor,
Menai Bridge,
Anglesey, Wales LL59 5AB

Tel: 01407-832892
Mobile: 0776-556-6102
E-mail: peter.evans at bangor.ac.uk>
Rhif Elusen Gofrestredig / Registered Charity No. 1141565

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