Ministers’ Deputies
CM Documents

CM(2008)11 15 January 20081
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1018 Meeting, 20 February 2008
9 Sustainable development


9.2 European Diploma of Protected Areas

Draft Resolution on the revised regulations of the European Diploma of Protected Areas –
Opinion of the Standing Committee of the Bern Convention

Item to be prepared by the GR-C on 7 February 2008

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At its 1009th meeting on 24 October 2007, the Committee of Ministers examined the possibility to transfer to the Standing Committee of the Bern Convention the supervisory role of the European Diploma of Protected Areas activities and decided to submit this matter to the Standing Committee for advice.

At its 27th meeting from 26 to 29 November 2007, the Standing Committee of the Bern Convention examined the proposal of the Committee of Ministers that the Standing Committee could manage the European Diploma on Protected Areas, and supervise the work of the Group of Specialists on the European Diploma.

The Standing Committee held an exchange of views on the issue and verified that the resources,2 the expertise and the time would be available to the Standing Committee to supervise such new tasks.

The Standing Committee recognised the value of the European Diploma of Protected Areas for meeting the objectives of the Bern Convention. Thus, the Standing Committee would be pleased to incorporate the European Diploma into its portfolio of activities and to forward proposals on the award, renewal and non-renewal to the Committee of Ministers, as stated in the draft Resolution on the revised regulations of the European Diploma of Protected Areas (see Appendix).

The Standing Committee approved the draft resolution and therefore invited the Committee of Ministers to take note of the willingness of the Standing Committee of the Bern Convention to integrate the European Diploma of protected areas in the activities it oversees, and to adopt the draft Resolution on the revised regulations of the European Diploma of Protected Areas (see Appendix).

Appendix

Draft Resolution CM/ResDip(2008)…
on the revised regulations of the European Diploma of Protected Areas

(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on … … 2008
at the … meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies)

The Committee of Ministers,

Having regard to Resolution (65) 6 of 6 March 1965, instituting the European Diploma for certain landscapes, reserves and protected natural features;

Having regard to Resolution (73) 4 of 19 January 1973 on the Regulations for the European Diploma;

Having regard to Resolutions (88) 39 of 5 December 1988 and (89) 12 of 19 June 1989 amending Resolution (73) 4 on the Regulations for the European Diploma;

Having regard to Resolution (91) 16 of 17 June 1991 on the Regulations for the European Diploma;

Taking account of the experience gained since the 1991 regulations were introduced.

Adopts the revised regulations for the award of the European Diploma of Protected Areas, as set out below and the appendices thereto.

Regulations

Article 1 ─ Purpose

1. The European Diploma of Protected Areas (the “Diploma”) may be awarded for adequately protected natural or semi-natural areas of exceptional European interest from the point of view of conservation of biological, geological or landscape diversity and which are managed in an exemplary way. It is awarded to them by virtue of their scientific, cultural or aesthetic interest if they have an appropriate protection system, eventually also in conjunction with programmes of action for sustainable development. The Diploma represents an important contribution to the Pan-European Ecological Network.

2. The Diploma may be awarded to natural areas situated in European states which are not members of the Council of Europe, under the same conditions and in accordance with the same procedures as apply to member states.

3. In the case of transfrontier areas, a sole Diploma shall only be granted with the consent of all the states concerned.

4. The effect of the Diploma shall be to place the area under the supervision of the Council of Europe. The Diploma shall be awarded for a period of five years, and shall be renewable for successive 10-year periods.

5. The Diploma shall take the form of a document certifying that sponsorship. It shall be signed by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, and shall bear the seal of the Council of Europe. It shall be presented to the authorities directly responsible for the management of the national area concerned.

Article 2 ─ Award of the Diploma

The Diploma shall be awarded by the Committee of Ministers on the proposal of the Standing Committee of the Bern Convention (hereinafter the “Committee”), in accordance with the procedure set out in the following articles.

Article 3 ─ Application

1. The government of any European state wishing to apply for the award of the Diploma to an area within its territory shall submit to the Secretariat, in one of the two official languages of the Council of Europe, documents on the area in question, at least three months before the date of the meeting of the competent Council of Europe Group of Specialists (“Group of Specialists”) set up under the terms of Article 4.1 of these regulations. The choice of the applicant area compared with other possible applications in the country must be clearly justified with regard to the interest of the area, it’s representativity in relation to biological and landscape diversity in Europe and the exemplarity of the management.

2. In the case of a transfrontier area for which a sole Diploma is requested, such an application can only be submitted to the Secretariat after approval by all the states concerned.

3. Any government simultaneously submitting several applications shall indicate an order of priority.

4. Any government submitting an application must prove that the area in question is of exceptional European interest. Accordingly, the documents should contain the necessary information to enable the Group of Specialists to ascertain whether the area complies with the relevant criteria established in Appendix 2 to these regulations.

5.a. All applications must meticulously follow the model of the questionnaire reproduced in Appendix 1 to these regulations and must include, in particular, cartographic documents as well as documents describing: the area concerned and its state of conservation; the various human or natural factors liable to have a negative effect on such state of conservation; measures taken to eliminate or minimise the effects of such factors; the system of legal protection applied to the area in question; and any administrative measures implemented.

5.b. Copies of the national laws and regulations and, where appropriate, regional and local acts governing the area for which an application is submitted, and information on supervisory measures actually implemented on the spot must be included with the application. If these documents are drafted in a language other than one of the two official languages of the Council of Europe, a translation in one of the Organisation’s official languages of the essential passages of the laws and regulations governing the area must be provided.

5.c. The protection status of the applicant area must be assessed in a dynamic perspective: as far as the award is concerned, it is necessary to analyse whether the existing protection is sufficient against foreseeable dangers, at least throughout the period of the Diploma’s validity (five years); for its renewal, the reference period is ten years. In both cases, the internal and external threats to the protected area are taken into consideration.

Article 4 ─ Consideration of the application documents

1.a. Applications shall be examined by the Group of Specialists. The latter shall hold annual meetings. It shall examine applications in the order in which full supporting documentation is submitted to at the Secretariat. The Secretariat shall ensure that the documentation is complete before submitting it to the Group of Specialists and may, where appropriate, defer its submission pending receipt of additional information.

1.b. Any government submitting one or more applications shall be invited to send a representative, at its own expense, to the appropriate meetings of the Group of Specialists so that he or she may give members all information required.

2. After examining the documentation and hearing the representative of the state concerned, the Group of Specialists shall first of all state whether it considers that the area in question is of exceptional European interest justifying the award of the Diploma. If the European interest has been sufficiently well established, the Group of Specialists shall declare the application admissible and undertake an on-the-spot expert appraisal (subject to the approval of the government concerned) to enable it to confirm the European interest, assess the efficacy of existing conservation measures as well as the aim of the objectives sought, and obtain any additional information it may need to decide whether to award the Diploma.

3. The appraisal shall be assigned to an independent expert directly appointed by the Secretary General. He or she must not be a national of the country in which the assignment is carried out. In order to help the Secretary General choose the expert the national delegations of the Committee shall, if they so wish, send to the Secretariat the names of experts qualified to carry out such appraisals, stating their specific qualifications and knowledge of foreign languages.

4. During his or her visit the expert shall be accompanied by a member of the Secretariat, who shall guarantee, inter alia, continuity in the assessment of the criteria for obtaining the Diploma.

5. Throughout the independent expert’s visit, one or more person(s) responsible for the area shall be placed at his or her disposal in order to facilitate the task. The expert will also meet local councillors interested in the area, officials from associations and, as appropriate, representatives of socio-economic groups and of the media.

6. Broadly speaking, the expert appraisal shall cover the aspects listed in Appendix 3 to these regulations and any other specific item mentioned by the Group of Experts during consideration of the application. The Group of Specialists shall draw up specific terms of reference for each case, with which the expert will be required to comply.

7. Expenses incurred by the expert during his or her visit (travel, subsistence, etc.) shall be met by the Council of Europe so as to ensure that the appraisal is completely objective.

8. On-the-spot appraisals shall generally take two days; if necessary, it may be extended.

9. The expert shall submit his or her written report to the Group of Specialists, drafted in one of the two official languages of the Council of Europe, and shall subsequently present it orally at one of the Group’s meetings.

Article 5 ─ Proposals of the Group of Specialists and conclusions of the Committee or its Bureau

1. The Group of Specialists shall hear the expert, take note of any observations from the representative of the state concerned, and then submit its conclusions, accompanied by the expert’s report, to the Committee or its Bureau. It may propose one of the following decisions:

a. that the Diploma be awarded immediately by the Committee of Ministers with or without conditions or recommendations;

b. that, subject to the approval of the Committee or its Bureau, the award of the Diploma be made conditional upon the adoption of additional measures;

c. that the application be deferred pending receipt of further information;

d. that the application be rejected, with reasons given.

2. Applications will not be re-examined between the meeting of the Group of Specialists and the meeting of the Committee or its Bureau. However, the Group of Specialists may make a favourable recommendation in specific cases, provided the government concerned can provide, before the meeting of the Committee, a favourable written response to a request from the Secretariat on a specific point raised by the Group.

3. In each case, the Committee or its Bureau shall inform the Committee of Ministers and the government concerned of the reasons for its conclusions, having regard to the observations made by the Group of Specialists. If it proposes awarding the Diploma it shall briefly set out the reasons for its decisions, referring notably to the European interest of the area in question and the efficacy of the conservation measures adopted.

4. If the proposal to award the Diploma is conditional on fulfilment of specific conditions or is accompanied by specific recommendations, it can only be granted if the state concerned undertakes during the meeting of the Committee or by any other means in the event of being prevented from attending (written procedure), to comply with such conditions and recommendations.

Article 6 ─ Decision of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, and award of the Diploma

1. Decisions concerning the award of the European Diploma shall be taken by the Committee of Ministers by a two-thirds majority of the votes cast and a majority of the representatives entitled to sit on the Committee.

2. The decision of the Committee of Ministers and the reasons for the award of the Diploma shall be set out in a resolution and recorded in the certificate attesting the award of the Diploma.

3.a. The Diploma shall be presented to the authorities directly responsible for managing the area to which it has been awarded at a ceremony organised either at the Council of Europe or on the site, as soon as possible after the data of the award.

The following persons shall attend:

– the Chair of the Committee of Ministers (or his or her representative);
– the Secretary General (or his or her representative) or the Chair of the Committee (or his or her
representative), who shall present the Diploma;
– the representative of the recipient (governmental or private) body;
– the members of the Committee or its Bureau who are nationals of the state concerned (or their representatives) and for states, which are not members of the Council of Europe, the members of the Council for the Strategy or its Bureau.

3.b. The costs of the ceremony shall be borne by the host state, except those incurred by the representative of the Council of Europe or the Chairman of the Committee (or his or her representative), which shall be met by the Council of Europe.

3.c. A press release shall be issued at the time of the ceremony. The Council of Europe will publish appropriate materials to mark the occasion.

4. The authorities responsible for managing the areas awarded the Diploma use the logo, as it appears in Appendix 4 to these regulations. The logo is used on signposts at the entrances to the areas, in information leaflets on them and in the visitor reception buildings. Regulations on the logo can be found in the graphic design specifications, available from the Secretariat of the Council of Europe. The reasons for the award of the Diploma as recorded in the Diploma itself must also appear on the above-mentioned signposts.

Article 7 ─ Annual reports

1. The authorities directly responsible for managing the area awarded the Diploma shall submit an annual report to the Committee or its Bureau. The report must be based on the model reproduced in Appendix 5 to these regulations. The report must be forwarded to the Secretariat in full by the central authorities of the state concerned, with any comments they may wish to make. It must, inter alia, state what measures have been taken to comply with the conditions and/or recommendations mentioned when the Diploma was awarded or renewed. The first annual report must be submitted in one of the two official languages of the Council of Europe by 30 November of the year following that in which the Committee of Ministers awarded the Diploma. Every annual report reflects the previous period from 1 September to 31 August.

2. The Group of Specialists shall examine the annual reports and may submit an opinion or recommendations to the Committee or its Bureau, which shall be forwarded, through the Committee of Ministers and the central authorities of the state concerned, to the authorities responsible for managing the area awarded the Diploma. The Group may also identify some problems encountered in one Diploma site or common to several Diploma areas and make proposals aimed at remedying them.

3. In the event of failure to comply with the foregoing provisions, the Secretary General may, via the government concerned, invite the persons responsible for managing the Diploma-holding area to provide an adequate explanation.

Article 8 ─ Appraisal in the event of a serious threat or serious damage

1.a. Should there be a serious threat, significant damage to the area or serious difficulties in implementing the conditions attached to the award or renewal of the diploma, the Secretary General may appoint an independent expert to assess whether there is in fact any real danger and to carry out a further appraisal in accordance with the conditions laid down in Article 5 of these regulations. The expert shall be accompanied by a member of the Secretariat.

1.b. The expert’s conclusions shall be examined by the Group of Specialists, which shall submit an opinion to the Committee or its Bureau. The government concerned shall be invited to send a representative to the Group at its own expense.

1.c. Should the danger prove real, the Committee or its Bureau may recommend that the Committee of Ministers request the responsible authorities to take appropriate protective measures within a reasonable time. Where such measures cannot be taken within a reasonable time, or where the damage is irremediable, the Committee or its Bureau shall decide whether or not to recommend to the Committee of Ministers that the Diploma be withdrawn before the end of the period of validity.

2. The decision as to whether to withdraw the Diploma shall be taken by the Committee of Ministers by a two-thirds majority of the votes cast and a majority of the representatives entitled to sit on the Committee. It shall be notified by means of a resolution, and the reasons for such a decision shall be transmitted to the government concerned and the authorities responsible for managing the area.

Article 9 ─ Extension of the period of validity of the Diploma

1. During the fifth year, unless the state concerned decides otherwise, the Committee or its Bureau shall consider extending the validity of the Diploma for a further ten-year period in the light, in particular, of the annual reports.

2. To this end, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe shall appoint an independent expert to carry out a fresh appraisal, particular attention being paid to information provided every year in the annual reports. The new appraisal is aimed at taking stock of the state and development of the area, having regard to the conditions and/or recommendations formulated previously, and proposing, as appropriate, new measures for the coming period. The working conditions for this expert shall be the same as those laid down for the expert who carried out the appraisal for the award of the Diploma. The expert will be accompanied by a member of the Secretariat if renewal raises any particular problems; otherwise the visit shall be made by the expert alone.

3. The independent expert’s terms of reference shall be drawn up by the Group of Specialists. They shall take account, in particular, of the progress of action taken to comply with the conditions and/or recommendations in the resolution awarding the Diploma or the resolution renewing it on the previous occasion, and of the comments by the Group of Specialists and those set out in the annual reports.

4. The government concerned shall be invited to send a representative, at its own expense, to the meeting of the Group of Specialists, when the discussion on the renewal of the Diploma takes place.

5.a. After examining the expert’s report and the findings of the Group of Specialists, the Committee or its Bureau will propose one of the following options to the Committee of Ministers:

– to extend the period of validity of the Diploma;

– not to renew the Diploma before certain conditions are met;

– not to extend the period of validity, which shall be tantamount to withdrawing the Diploma, in which case the Committee of Ministers shall inform the authorities directly responsible for the area concerned of the reasons for its decision, through the government.

5.b. If the Diploma is not renewed or its period of validity extended, the authorities responsible shall be requested to keep the Committee or its Bureau regularly informed of developments in the situation.

6. The decision concerning the renewal of the Diploma shall be taken by the Committee of Ministers by a two-thirds majority of the votes cast and a majority of the representatives entitled to sit on the Committee. It shall be the subject of a resolution.

7. After the first renewal, the Diploma will be automatically renewed every ten years, without any prior appraisal, except where there is an express request from the government of the country concerned or in the case of a recognised threat to the area.

Information form for new application
for the European Diploma of Protected Areas

Logo
European Diploma

Council of Europe

European Diploma

Information form
for Candidate Sites

This form is also available on diskette

Site code (to be given by the Council of Europe)                

1. Site identification

1.1. Site name

 

1.2. Country  
1.3. Date of application                
1.4. Site information compilation date                
  Y Y Y Y M M D D

1.5. Addresses: administrative authorities

National authority Regional authority Local authority
Name:
Address:

Tel.
Fax.
E-mail

Name:
Address:

Tel.
Fax.
E-mail

Name:
Address:

Tel.
Fax.
E-mail

1.6. Addresses: site authorities

Site manager Site information centre Council of Europe contact
Name:
Address:

Tel.
Fax.
E-mail

Name:
Address:

Tel.
Fax.
E-mail

Name:
Address:

Tel.
Fax.
E-mail

1.7. Summary description

Please continue on separate page if necessary.

1.8. European interest justifying the application

Please continue on separate page if necessary.

1.9. Selection methodology

Please continue on separate page if necessary.

1.10. Main aim or motivation

Please continue on separate page if necessary.

1.11. Dates (to be filled in by the Council of Europe)

Date of first examination Date of expert visit

                                 
Y Y Y Y M M D D   Y Y Y Y M M D D

Date of second examination Date of award

                                 
Y Y Y Y M M D D   Y Y Y Y M M D D

2. Site location

2.1. Site centre location

Longitude Latitude

        °         N     °        

W/E (Greenwich)

2.2. Area (ha) 2.3. Site length (km)

Total Area           ,             ,      
Core           ,        
Buffer           ,        
Transition           ,        

2.4. Altitude (m)

Minimum Maximum Mean

                           

2.5. Administrative region

Region name % cover

         
         
         
         
         
         
Marine area not covered by the terrestrial part        

3. Natural heritage

3.1. General abiotic description (Geomorphology, geology and hydrogeology)

Please continue on separate page if necessary.

3.2. Habitats

Please continue on separate page if necessary.

3.3. Flora

Please continue on separate page if necessary.

3.4. Fauna

Please continue on separate page if necessary.

3.5. Landscape

Please continue on separate page if necessary.

4. Cultural heritage and socio-economic context

4.1 Cultural heritage

Please continue on separate page if necessary.

4.2 Socio-economic context

Please continue on separate page if necessary.

5. Educational and scientific interest

Please continue on separate page if necessary.

6. Site description

6.1. Vulnerability

Please continue on separate page if necessary.

6.2. Protection status

Please continue on separate page if necessary.

6.3. Ownership

Please continue on separate page if necessary.

6.4. Documentation

Please continue on separate page if necessary.

7. Site management

7.1. Management plans

Please continue on separate page if necessary.

7.2. Budget and personnel

Please continue on separate page if necessary.

8. Map of the site

8.1. Physical map:

National map number scale projection

         
         
         
         

Reference to availability of boundaries in digitised form

 

8.2. Map of designated sites described in 6.2

Provide this information on a map with the same characteristics as above.

8.3. Aerial photograph(s) included:

       
  Yes   No

Number Area Subject Copyright Date

                 
                 
                 
                 
                 

9. Slides

Number Place Subject Copyright Date

                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 

Please continue on separate page if necessary.

Explanatory Notes

Table of contents

1. Site identification
1.1. Site name
1.2. Country
1.3. Date of application
1.4. Site information compilation date
1.5. Addresses: administrative authorities
1.6. Addresses: site authorities
1.7. Summary description
1.8. European interest justifying the application
1.9. Selection methodology
1.10. Main aim or motivation
1.11. Dates

2. Site location
2.1. Site-centre location
2.2. Area
2.3. Site length
2.4. Altitude
2.5. Administrative region

3. Natural Heritage
3.1. General abiotic description (geomorphology, geology and hydrogeology)
3.2. Habitats
3.3. Flora
3.4. Fauna
3.5. Landscape

4. Cultural heritage and socio-economic context
4.1. Cultural heritage
4.2. Socio-economic context

5. Educational and scientific interest

6. Site description
6.1. Vulnerability
6.2. Protection status
6.3. Ownership
6.4. Documentation

7. Site Management
7.1. Management plans
7.2. Budget and personnel

8. Map of the site

9. Slides

1. Site identification

1.1. Site name

Sites names are entered in their local language. In this way, the difficulties of translation are avoided and the integration of existing data at national or local level is straightforward. In the case of different character sets (for example, Greek), names are transliterated. In the case of the local name “speaking for itself”, a translation into the official language(s) of the document should be added.

1.2. Country

The name of the country is entered in the original language.

1.3. Date of the application

The date that the application is officially transmitted to the Council of Europe must to be filled in according to the following format: year (four digits) followed by the month (two digits) and the day (two digits), as numbers.

Example: 1997.05.14: site officially proposed on the 14th of May 1997.

1.4. Site information compilation date

Enter the date you wish to see as the “compilation date” for the information recorded. The data field takes the same format as shown in 1.3.

1.5. Addresses: administrative authorities

Enter the full reference including name, address and telephone/fax/e-mail, if appropriate, of 1. the national, 2. the regional and 3. the local administration which have responsibility for the site.

1.6. Addresses: site authorities

Enter the full reference including name, address and telephone/fax/e-mail, if appropriate, of:

a. the authority and/or individual responsible for the management of the site;
b. the information centre related to the site if it exists; and
c. the authority and/or individual which guarantees contact with the Council of Europe.

1.7. Summary description

Enter a short paragraph summarising the main characteristics of the area, described more in detail in the sections below.

1.8. European interest justifying the application

Enter the characteristics and elements which identify clearly the European interest of the area.

1.9. Selection methodology

This section should explain the methodology and/or information which was used to declare the European interest explained in the above section.

1.10. Main aim or motivation

An indication should be given of the main aim or motivation for which the site has been given its designation and protection status. This may be different from the European interest for which the Diploma is requested.

1.11. Dates

Once an application has been accepted, it will follow a certain procedure. The dates of subsequent procedural steps are filled in by the Council of Europe: date of a first examination by the expert group, date of the on the spot appraisal, date of the second examination by the expert group and finally the date of the award.

2. Site location

2.1. Site-centre location

The geographical co-ordinates (longitude and latitude) of the site centre must be entered in degrees, minutes and seconds of arc. Degrees, minutes and seconds of longitude west of the meridian of Greenwich are conventionally given a “W”, and degrees east a “E”. This avoids co-ordinate problems if data are subsequently transferred to a Geographical Information System (GIS).

For sites composed of several distinct areas, the co-ordinates of the most important sub-area are entered.

2.2. Area

The site’s surface area is entered in hectares. If the site has a zonation the relative area in each zone is also entered in hectares, accurate to two places past the decimal point.

If a site has no zonation, only the total area field is filled in.

2.3. Site length

This field is only necessary when area measurements are not relevant (for example, caves, cliffs). Site length is entered in kilometres, accurate to three places past the decimal point (metres).

2.4. Altitude

Enter the minimum, maximum and mean altitude of the site above sea level. The mean value should be calculated as the weighted average of the altitude classes within the site.

2.5. Administrative region

The name of the administrative region(s) in original language together with the percentage of the site within each region must be entered here.

Where sites include a marine component that is not covered by the terrestrial part, the percentage of the site within this component should be noted as well.

3. Natural heritage

3.1. General abiotic description (geomorphology, geology and hydrogeology)

A short description of the geomorphology of the site should be entered here, in particular the kind of substrate together with the present relief patterns. The history and the kind of land forming processes can be useful data, as well.

3.2. Habitats

A detailed description of the vegetation type(s) of the site must be given, stressing the most important characteristics. If possible, the scientific name(s) of the phytosociological class(es) should also be given.

3.3. Flora

An overview of the most important elements of flora and their characteristics within the site must be given. Also, the total number of vascular plants, bryophytes, fungi and lichens together with the indication of rare, threatened, dominant or endemic species can be of interest.

3.4. Fauna

An overview of the most important elements of fauna and their characteristics within the site must be given. Also, the total number of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates together with the indication of rare, threatened, dominant or endemic species can be of interest.

3.5. Landscape

A description of the landscape aspects.

4. Cultural heritage and socio-economic context

4.1. Cultural heritage

This field contains an indication of the historical features, such as remnants or existing elements of human settlements or historical or human activities influencing the present status of the site. This may also include archaeological findings or ethnographical values present in the area.

4.2. Socio-economic context

An overview of the socio-economic context of the area.

5. Educational and scientific interest

A description of the most important educational aspects of the area should be given, such as the presence of a visitor’s centre and its work programme, exhibitions, etc. Also, the regular occurrence of guided tours or the inclusion of aspects of the area within local educational programs may be explained.

6. Site description

6.1. Vulnerability

Indicate the nature and extent of pressures upon the site from human and other influences and the fragility of flora, fauna, habitats and abiotic ecosystems or landscape elements described above.

6.2. Protection status

Describe the site protection status (title, date designation received and the percentage cover of the area). An area may have received several different designation types over time. These should be describe in detail.

6.3. Ownership

Enter a general description of the site ownership (for example, “private”; “state”, “conservation NGO”, etc.), together with the proportion of the site area in each ownership class.

6.4. Documentation

Reference must be made to relevant publications and/or scientific data concerning the site. Information should be entered according to standard conventions for scientific references. Unpublished works or communications, referring to the information given in the recording form, should be included wherever useful. This field may also include reference to ongoing research programs related to the site.

7. Site management

7.1. Management plans

This section contains a concise overview of the management plans undertaken or under preparation, with an agenda of actions. These should take into account the threats that human activities represent for the site, in association with the vulnerability field (6.1.).

Please cite any plans established.

7.2. Budget and Personnel

Describe briefly the financial and human resources and the technical means which are available for the site mana

8. Map of the site

The site boundaries must be drawn on map(s) of the same detail and quality as the officially published topographical maps and meet all the standards of the competent topographical institute, with a scale of 1:100 000 or of greater detail.

If site boundaries are also available from a geographical information system, with reference to map series used for digitisation, scale, projection and parameters, these digital data should be accessible and information related hereto included in the form.

The areas corresponding to the main categories of designation having the highest degree of conservation must be drawn on this map, including the zonation if appropriate.

In addition, an aerial photograph of the site is considered to be very useful to better understand the nature of the site.

9. Slides

A list of slides and other photographic material should be drawn up and provided with the form, with reference to subject, place and date. Although optional, it is very useful to have photographic material to understand the general form of the site concerned, especially when problems or complaints arise for the site. In addition, these slides can be used by the Council of Europe for information or educational purposes concerning the Diploma.

The number of each slide indicated in the form must also figure on a the corresponding slide. With regard to all slides and photographs, the author and copyright should also be provided.

* * * * * *

Criteria for the award of the European Diploma of Protected Areas

The criteria are in keeping with the various conservation objectives to be met by any protected area eligible for the European Diploma of Protected Areas, together with the protective measures needed for their achievement.

Having regard to the differing protection status of protected areas in Europe, it is necessary to refer to general criteria and specific criteria.

General criteria

The following general criteria should be taken into consideration for every area for which an application is submitted.

A. European interest

The applicant area must comprise representative elements of the biological, geological and/or landscape heritage which are of exceptional European importance (protection of the biological and/or landscape heritage – scientific, cultural, aesthetic and/or recreational qualities).

These should be, according to the area:

1. areas of particular importance for the conservation of biological diversity in Europe. They may comprise:

– remarkable or threatened examples of plant or animal communities, as well as areas inhabited by a large number of species;

– highly representative samples of types of habitats and plant or animal communities constituting typical examples of the various kinds of ecosystem in Europe;

– habitats in a an unfavourable state of conservation;

– habitats of endemic species or species in an unfavourable state of conservation, particularly endangered species;

– breeding grounds of animals protected under the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (ETS No. 104) and resting and feeding areas for migratory species.

2. areas aimed at conserving remarkable natural phenomena or geological or physiographic formations characteristic of the Earth’s history. These may include:

– sites or complexes of major importance for the conservation of significant evidence of the Earth’s history;

– noteworthy palaeontological sites;

– outstanding examples of geological, geomorphological, volcanic, hydrographic, physiographic or biogeographical phenomena;

– particularly grandiose or spectacular examples of protected natural features such as waterfalls, caves, rock formations, glacial cirques, glaciers.

3. areas of particular importance for the conservation of landscape diversity in Europe. Thesemay comprise:

– sites or landscapes of outstanding aesthetic or cultural value or of a spectacular nature;

– complexes conserved as evidence of the history of the countryside or woodlands in Europe;

– country or wooded areas which are cultivated using extensive methods and constitute typicalexamples of European landscapes.

B. Protection measures

The area for which and application is submitted must:

1. have a legal protection status, by means of an act or decree of the competent authorities certifying that the area is adequately protected;

2. be taken into account in regional planning in order to prevent the approval of projects which run counter to the objectives of the area;

3. be the subject, if possible, of a zoning, which must indicate the objectives of each sub-division described; the boundaries between the area for which an application is submitted and the surrounding area must be clearly marked on a plan or a geographical map, particularly where there are nearby protected areas with different objectives (as is often the case in a biosphere reserve); failing that, the uses of the land which are authorised should be clearly indicated;

4. be the subject of a development and management plan (finalised or in preparation). As management constitutes an important point in judging the application, the various aspects of management will need to be presented in detail and objectively assessed, principally with regard to those entailing more extensive subsequent development;

5. be assessed taking into account the impact that the surrounding area has or is likely to have on it;

6. have an organisation which provides guarantees concerning staff and financial resources. The latter must be sufficient to ensure management that meets the objectives of the protection area. A staff organisation chart applicable at the time of lodging the application, and a presentation of the budget for the two previous years, will constitute useful information for evaluating the form of management of the applicant area.

Specific criteria

The specific criteria serve to explain why the area concerned has been given protected status.

One of the two groups of specific criteria should be taken into consideration, as the case may be.

A. The essential goal of the protected area is to preserve biological and landscape diversity and ecosystems.

The applicant area which meets this goal must also meet the following specific criteria:

1. existence of strict regulations on any artificial change in the environment or any biological and geological depredation (no hunting, fishing, picking, cutting or uprooting), with certain possible exceptions for justifiable scientific purposes aimed at controlling or maintaining certain species and/or environments;

2. absence of permanent human occupation and of economic activities such as agriculture, forestry, mining, industry and tourism (no development). Certain traditional activities may be authorised for the sole purpose of maintaining the environment. Certain obligations, previous to the award of the Diploma, can be allowed to continue, provided they are localised and controlled and do not interfere with maintaining the biological and landscape diversity of the area. An attempt should be made to minimise or even eliminate them;

3. guarantees that the existing human activities and installations in the surrounding area cannot damage the physical and biological integrity of the protected area;

4. supervision, arrangements for patrolling by wardens or any other means with the possibility of enforcement, such as the power to report offenders;

5. no access for the public unless specially authorised and in any case regulated and/or channelled in a manner appropriate to the habitats;

6. presentation, in keeping with the ecological interest of the area, of research and monitoring programmes.

B. The objective of the protected area is to preserve biological and landscape diversity, together with harmonious and sustainable development of socio-economic and educational functions.

The applicant area which meets this objective must also meet the following specific criteria:

1. the type of use of the land must be clearly indicated, especially where agriculture, forestry, tourism, leisure activities, buildings and infrastructures are concerned, as well as the respective owners;

2. permanent human occupation and socio-economic activities must be conceived in such a way as to uphold the principles of sustainable development; they must not damage the integrity of the natural and cultural values of the protected area;

3. hunting and fishing may be tolerated providing that it is subject to a strict regulation to avoid weakening the animal population;

4. there must be adequate supervision, including the possibility of enforcement, in order to prevent damage those aspects specifically protected;

5. public access must be authorised and regulated; in certain cases it may be unrestricted. Provision must always be made for reception centres and educational facilities in order to channel the public and thereby avoid damage.

Terms of reference of experts carrying out on-the-spot appraisals

Experts mandated to carry out on-the-spot appraisals of applicant areas shall, in particular, examine the following matters:

I. European interest (to be confirmed)

II. Merits and protection system

1. The body responsible for administration and management of the area, particularly its attributions, powers, budget and human resources.

2. The state of conservation and the effectiveness of existing protective regulations vis-à-vis internal and external threats, particularly those originating in surrounding areas; effects of agriculture, industry, tourism, leisure activities, hunting, fishing, urban development, road building, air traffic, military manoeuvres, etc.; possible need for supplementary protective measures. The existence of appropriate tools to address the new challenges (climatic changes, invasive exotic species, return of large carnivores).

3. Zoning.

4. Ownership title (effects of possible expropriation).

5. Land-use plans, in so far as these affect the area in question.

6. Development work launched, under way, or to be launched.

7. The management plan for the area.

8. Awareness/information/education

9. The manner of public access and reception facilities and infrastructures, if any, especially for disabled people.

10. Waste management.

11. Use of renewable energy systems.

12. Any scientific studies needed and activities of research bodies.

13. Ecological connectivity with other areas.

14. Co-ordination with the other forms of recognition awarded to the area or certification of protected areas.

15. Possible membership of other international networks.

16. Relationship between the body responsible for the area, local elected representatives, officials in the socio-economic sphere and associations.

17. Partnership with public and private parties.

Logo for the European Diploma of Protected Areas3

Model plan for annual reports

Annual report for ...

Annual reports should describe the changes that have taken place since the previous year in dynamic terms of management and function and not be limited to basic data. They should not, without justification, exceed six pages. The report of the year preceding the one in which the validity of the European Diploma of Protected Areas is to be renewed should be more detailed. Any new text or map introducing a change in the situation of the area should be attached to the annual report.

State
Name of the area

Central authority concerned:
Name and address

Tel./Fax
E-mail

Authority responsible for its management:
Name and address

Tel./Fax
E-mail

I. General information

1. Natural heritage (general abiotic description: geomorphology, geology and hydrogeology, habitats, flora, fauna, landscape) ─ State of conservation

1.1. Environment: changes or deterioration in the environment, of natural or anthropic origin, accidental or permanent, actual or anticipated
1.2. Flora and vegetation: changes in the plant population and in the vegetational cover; presumed causes
1.3. Fauna: changes in the sedentary or migratory populations; congregating, egg-laying and breeding grounds

2. Cultural heritage and socio-economic context

2.1. Cultural heritage
2.1.1. Changes concerning cultural heritage

2.2. Socio-economic context
2.2.1. Changes concerning the socio-economic context

3. Education and scientific interest

3.1. Visitors ─ Information policy
3.1.1. Arrangements for receiving and informing the public (building, booklets, maps, cards, etc.)
3.1.2. Frequentation by visitors and behaviour (number, distribution in time and space)
3.1.3. Special visits (distinguished persons, groups, etc.)

3.2. Scientific research
3.2.1. Current or completed research (observation, experimentation, etc.; identification or inventory of the species listed in the appendices to the Bern Convention, etc.)
3.2.2. Scientific publications

4. Site description (vulnerability, protection status, ownership, documentation)

4.1. Changes in legislation or regulations
4.2. Changes in ownership title (conversion to public property, rentals, etc.)
4.3. Extension or transfer, new uses (for example, conversion into total reserve)

5. Site management (management plans, budget and personnel)

5.1. Improvements made
5.1.1. Ecological action affecting the flora and biotopes; controls of fauna
5.1.2. Protection against the elements (fire, water regime)
5.1.3. Approaches and thoroughfares (paths, roads, car parks, signposting, fencing, etc.)
5.1.4. Field equipment (hides and study facilities)
5.1.5. Waste management
5.1.6. Use of renewable energy systems

5.2. Management
5.2.1. Administrative department: changes made
5.2.2. Wardens’ department: changes made
5.2.3. Internal policing measures
5.2.4. Infringement of regulations and damage; legal action

II. Influence of the award of the European Diploma of Protected Areas

III. Conditions and/or recommendations for award or renewal

Progress with measures taken in order to meet the conditions and/or recommendations defined during the award or renewal of the European Diploma of Protected Areas.

Note 1 This document has been classified restricted until examination by the Committee of Ministers.
Note 2 The financial implications linked to this task are included in the 2008 Programme of Activities.
Note 3 Included in the graphic design specifications available from the Secretariat.


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