Key topics for reaching the EU 2020 Biodiversity Target in Austria
Natura 2000 sites are still not protected enough. IBA monitoring report from the period 2008-2010 indicates that the ‘response’ (reaction to threats) was on the very low level (about 1 in the scale : 0-3).
Generally, specific conservation actions are supposed to be taken after establishing management plans, but in fact only three of them are already finished. Until plans are established, sites are insufficiently protected.
Insufficient implementation of the Aritcle 6(1) of HD, and the Articles: 3(2b), 4(1) and 4(2) of BD makes the site protection more difficult.
Art.3 (2b) - Polish law ensure only that the Natura 2000 sites can’t be destroyed, but this article has a proactive character – saying that the bird’s habitat should be managed according to their (birds) ecological needs.
Art 6(1) HD, 4(1,2) BD – There is lack of provisions which oblige site managers to implement special conservation measures (even when the plan will be finished).
EC started an infringement procedure in relation to Insufficient transposition of Art. 6 (1-2), Art 3 and 4 BD (2011/4125)
Forests excluded from management planning
There is a strong pressure on Natura 2000 sites from forestry sector – about 66% of IBAs are affected (according to the IBA status report 2008-2010). The recently adopted polish Law of Nature Conservation (1.1.2012) makes the problem more serious by saying that there is no need to prepare management plans for Natura 2000 sites which partly or fully coincide with forest district for which the Plan of Forest Management has an EIA. There are no legislation which ensures the realization of the conservation measures according to art. 6(1) and 6(2) of the Habitats Directive and 4(1) and 4(2) of the Birds Directive in forests.
Improper Water Management:
Recently there is an increasing pressure on rivers and wetlands habitats in Poland to canalize and drain them due to the technical flood protection needs and maintenance works as well for developing a new hydropower station (second large dam with hydropower station on Vistula planned). A large part of the planned projects affect Natura 2000 sites.
The EC started infringement procedures against Poland in the following cases:
- Rivers maintenance works without EIA
- Rivers works in Podlasie region without EIA/AA
- Insufficient transposition of Water Framework Directive and Flood Directive into Polish legislation.
After the infringement procedure by EC on Via Baltica expressroad many public authorities and consulting companies started to dead more seriously with legal requirements concerning protection of Natura 2000 sites and assessing the impact of planned projects and programs. The quality of EIA reports improved. Understanding of issues concerning Natura 2000 increased. Many stakeholders started to use opportunities of protected areas for economic benefits (eg. AES, wetland meadows mowing services, production of eco-pellets from wetland biomas).