13. 07. 2011.

Regional meeting “Natura 2000 & Water Framework Directive ”

Regional meeting about links between ecological network Natura 2000 and Water Framework Directive was held at the beginning of July in Podgorica. The meeting was organised within the project “Strengthening the capacity of governments and civil sector in Serbia and in Montengro to adapt to EU nature protection aquis“ funded by Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Participants from governmental and public authorities responsible for water sector and nature conservation in Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Croatia were present at the meeting, including the most active members from NGOs alliances that are supporting Natura 2000 – Natura 2000 Info Centre form Montenegro and Natura 2000 Resource Centre form Serbia. NGO members have shown respectful understanding and knowledge about recent situation in the region; they were informed about transposition progress of EU directives and challenges in the implementation.
It was a good opportunity for participants to find out more about objectives of Water Framework Directive (WFD) and Birds and Habitat Directive (BHD), while Mr Sergiy Moroz, from WWF European Policy Office was introducing existing synergy and links between WFD and Natura 2000, as well as deadlines when objectives under the three directives should be reached for all water depending Natura 2000 sites. Together with differences and similarities of directives, some concrete examples were presented – conservation measures and common monitoring system.

Mr Fernando Magdaleno from the Spanish Ministry of Environment, Rural and Marine Affairs introduced examples about management and environmental flows in protected areas & Natura 2000 sites in Spain, as one of obligation that comes with EU Membership.How to reconcile environmental protection and socio-economic development is always an issue, and Ms Angela Klauschen, from WWF Mediterranean Programme office, had explained potential use of exemptions under both, WFD and Natura 2000 sites. It was also shown that EU legislation does not prevent new developments if applied correctly (relationship between HD Art. 6.3 & 6.4 and WFD Art. 4.7).

Example of the Schelde Estuary, at the border of Belgium and the Netherlands, demonstrate that the integrated planning and management at the level of ecosystems allows achieving objectives of the three directives. The participants had opportunity for group work and to exchange information on transposition of EU legislation, and (non)existence of implementation mechanisms at national level, also to identify common constrains.
Countries of the WB region have unique opportunity to use EU experience and to avoid mistakes of other EU countries in order to implement directives faster, more effective, and with less related costs.Working groups had difficult task to identify common priorities and to recommend next steps. This task was successful with a little support from Duška Dimović and Andrea Štefan, both from WWF.
Presentations from the meeting could be downloaded here:http://croatia.panda.org/dinarski_luk/natura_2000_u_srbiji_i_u_crnoj_gori/
Andrea Stefan, WWF

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