Nature protection

Halting and reversing the loss of biodiversity by 2020 is a priority within the European Union. The implementation of EU Nature legislation (the Birds and Habitat Directives and regulation concerning invasive alien species) is essential to achieve the EU 2020 biodiversity target as included in the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030.

However, implementation and enforcement need to be improved. As relatively high number of complaints and infringement procedures related to these nature Directives reach the EC every year, there is a need to strengthen the inspection and enforcement on this item and to do so it is necessary to join forces with other Nature networks in Europe. According to the IMPEL strategy, main areas of interest for nature protection will be covered by the work of the Green Expert Team. This approach has been envisaged as more efficient to deal with new perspectives in European Nature Legislation Implementation: it will permit a focalized approach to nature conservation issues and steady and structured dialogue among nature experts between authorities, other important networks like network of prosecutors, network of judges, NGO’s and scientific institutes. The overall objective of the Green Expert Team is to contribute to strengthening the implementation of EU Nature legislation through raise awareness, extend the network of green experts, exchange best practices, strengthen collaboration with EU network from prosecutors and network form judges, strengthen collaboration and share knowledge with NGO’s, improve co-operation between (enforcement) experts and to organise joint inspections. IMPEL is willing to combine the effort of all the networks, NGO’s and use its experience in inspection and enforcement to determine projects and activities that add value in the chain of regulation- permit and inspection- enforcement- prosecution- verdict- evaluation of effectiveness of legislation.


Key areas

  • Combatting the illegal killing of birds
  • Implementation of Habitat Directive and Birds Directive requirements within the Natura 2000 network
  • Implementation of EU Timber Regulation
  • Peer reviews ( ‘green’ Impel Review Initiative) and follow up/assistance with implementation of recommendations
  • Biodiversity

Related projects

  • BIOVAL – Ecosystems Recovery Calculation

    There is still a lack of awareness of the impact of wildlife crime to ecosystems and protected species. The way to calculate this damage in order to become a useful and reliable instrument during prosecution and during court cases is a topic that needs to be further explored. There are already some good examples. For instance, in Finland the prosecutor is obliged to work with a ‘pricelist’ that calculates damage to ecosystems and protected species. This varies from smaller infringements to wildlife crime where heavy endangered species are involved.

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  • IKB exchange of information between Enforcement and other Stakeholders (IMPEL-ESIX)

    Halting and reversing the loss of biodiversity by 2020 is a priority within the European Union. The implementation of EU Nature legislation (the Birds and Habitat Directives) is essential to achieve the EU 2020 biodiversity target. However, implementation and enforcement need to be improved.

    [Read more]
  • Tackling Illegal Activities Connected to Hunting Tourism

    In 2015 it was examined a good example of a ‘closed’ regulatory system under the hunting regulation in Slovenia, by soft and hard control measures which was found useful by several Member States. Therefore, a study inspection was organized in Slovenia in 2017 to see how the system was working in practice. In 2019-2020 an online questionnaire has been sent out to inspectorates from member countries, Birdlife members and Face-members. Based on the analysis of the reply on the questionnaire two countries will be selected for a joint inspection in 2021.

    [Read more]
  • Inspection planning tool of nature protected sites

    The alarming decline in Europe’s biodiversity has driven the adoption, by the European Union (EU) of two key pieces of legislation – the Habitats and Birds Directives – to conserve Europe’s most valuable species and habitats across their entire natural range within the EU.

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  • Good practices in the implementation of the EU Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking

    The implementation of the EU Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking requires broad support, not just from the EU institutions, but also the EU agencies – Europol and Eurojust –, the Member States and their relevant agencies, the EU delegations, Member States Embassies in third countries.

    [Read more]
  • Nature protection expert team meeting and joint inspections

    In 2014 the first green IMPEL Review Initiaive (IRI) was executed in Romania, the second green IRI will be executed in May 2016 in Italy. Best practices and opportunities for improvement were identified. Romania pointed out a focus area where they want to exchange knowledge and expertise; namely on the organisation of environmental and nature protection agencies (separated or merged). During the workshop in Romania in 2015 the working group identified the issue of ‘illegal hunting tourism’ as an opportunity to work together to identify the scope of this activity and to identify legal and illegal aspects. This was based on a presentation from a prosecutor in Romania. This case had deep impact on nature conservation status and it was told that illegal activities still continue. In the management plan for the expert team on nature conservation the ‘backbone structure’ contains a cycle form an IRI activity, followed up with expert team meeting in the year after.

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  • Permitting under Article 6 (3) of the Habitats Directive

    The Birds and Habitats Directives are central to achieving the EU 2020 target of halting and reversing the loss of biodiversity endorsed by Heads of State and Government. The Commission has adopted an ambitious strategy to achieve this objective, comprised of six targets. Target 1 of this Strategy is focused on “Full implementation of EU nature legislation to protect” biodiversity and requires a significant improvement in conservation status.

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  • IMPEL Review Initiative focussing on Nature Conservation (‘Green IRI’)

    Following the general IMPEL Review Initiative (IRI), this projects aims to make a picture of current situation within Member State or in certain area of the Member State in relation to the implementation and enforcement of EU legislation on nature conservation; mainly the Birds and Habitats Directives. The results are identified good practices and opportunities for improvement.

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  • Implementation and Enforcement of the EU Timber Regulation

    The state of play of implementation of the EU Timber Regulation is still unsatisfactory as demonstrated by the latest surveys conducted by the Commission. The outcome of the surveys is supported by parallel analysis of non-governmental organisations (e.g. WWF 2014 barometer, ClientEarth, Greenpeace). Absence of effective and uniform implementation and enforcement of the EU Timber Regulation is worrying as it may jeopardise the instrument and may have negative impact on the entire FLEGT Action Plan.

    [Read more]
  • Nature protection in permitting and inspection of industrial installations – Implementation of Art. 6(3) of the Habitats Directive (phase 1, 2 & 3)

    This project consists of two phases. It started in 2014 with the project “Nature protection in permitting and inspection of industrial installations Implementation of Art. 6(3) of the Habitats Directive”. The main findings of the project 2014 concluded that there is a need for improving knowledge about and use of EU guidance and awareness raising measures, sharing existing national guidance and scientific studies, exchanging knowledge about screening criteria and assessment methodologies, e.g accepted practices: use of Critical Loads (CL), criteria for habitat loss (Fachkonventionen DE), new approaches e.g. for evaluation of Nitrogen-deposition. It also suggested to develop a targeted user-friendly guidance.

    [Read more]
  • Support and follow up to the Romanian Nature Conservation IRI

    In 2014, the first ‘green’ IRI was executed in Romania. Best practice and opportunities for development were identified. During the course of the IRI, the Romanian National Environmental Guard (NEG) pointed out that certain results of the IRI were cogent in their analysis and that further work should be carried out to help them implement the results. The NEG therefore requested an exchange of knowledge and expertise focusing on, for example, the organisation of environmental and nature protection agencies: should they be separated or merged?

    [Read more]
  • Bird Directive at Airports

    Aerodromes cover a significant part of Europe, scattered all over the continent, hosting a wide variety of Europe’s plant and animal species. Some of these animals, especially the heavy and/or flocking species of birds, are one of the major hazards for aviation. When colliding with aircraft (aircraft – wildlife collision), the birds and other animals may jeopardize the safety of aircraft, its crew and passengers (and people living in the vicinity of aerodromes and beyond).

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  • Zajednička mreža za divlje gljive (JoNeF)

    Posljednjih godina raste svijest o nužnosti integracije gljiva (makrofunga) u europske ekološke politike na razini životinja i biljaka, kako bi se zaštitile u njihovim prirodnim staništima. Unatoč tome, trenutno je europsko zakonodavstvo o zaštiti okoliša usmjereno na zaštitu biljaka i životinja isključujući gljive, koje su bitne komponente kopnenih staništa. Štoviše, makrogljive se mogu koristiti kao indikatori za opisivanje ekoloških uvjeta šuma i drugih kopnenih staništa.

    [Read more]
  • ​​Where Have the Wolves Gone​

    Wolf populations have spread all over Europe because of the growth of the population. Countries that have not had wolves for decades or more have lost all experience on dealing with wolves and with wolf related wildlife crime.

    [Read more]
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