Sufficiency of the SPA network: IBA – SPA overlap in 2012
Special Protection Areas (SPA) are part of the Natura 2000 network and are designated under the EU Birds Directive (1979) for the protection of 181 bird species, subspecies or populations that are considered the most threatened in Europe, as well as for all other migratory bird species and for all wetlands of international importance (Ramsar Sites). The selection criteria by which BirdLife identifies its network of Important Bird Areas (IBA) have been deliberately aligned with the provisions of the SPA selection criteria. Consequently, the value of the IBA inventory as a ‘shadow list’ of SPAs has been recognised by the European Court of Justice and the European Commission. An analysis of the overlap of the existing SPA network with the BirdLife IBA network is therefore a good indicator of the sufficiency of the legal designation of SPAs in the Member States.
Status of designation of terrestrial SPAs: overlap between marine IBAs and SPAs, 2012.
Flanders has a 94.34% overlap; Wallonia 29.88%. In Wallonia, the IBA polygon limits need to be revised, as IBA sites were never revised since the eighties and are too broad regarding state-of-the-art IBA definition criteria, encompassing very large areas around effective sites. It is very likely that actual overlap would be much higher with a strict and up-to-date IBA criteria application
Excludes two IBAs in north (where EU Acquis does not apply). BL Cyprus will finish new IBA inventory in late 2012.
LNVL revised IBA inventory in 2010. BirdLife approved 18 sites (previously 9) covering almost 4 times the area in IBA2000. Luxembourg has started the procedure to designate new ones as SPAs.
Renotification process ongoing
Ian Burfield, Ian.Burfield(at)birdlife.org