Convention on the Conservation
of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats
Resolution No. 8 (2012) of the Standing Committee, adopted on 30 November 2012 on the national designation of adopted Emerald sites and the implementation of management, monitoring and reporting measures
The Standing Committee to the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats, acting under the terms of Article 14 of the Convention,
Considering Articles 3 and 4 of the Convention;
Having regard to its Resolution No. 1 (1989) on the provisions relating to the conservation of habitats;
Having regard to its Recommendation No. 16 (1989) on Areas of Special Conservation Interest (ASCI);
Having regard to its Resolution No. 3 (1996) on the setting-up of a pan-European Ecological Network;
Recalling its Resolution No. 5 (1998) concerning the rules for the Network of Areas of Special Conservation Interest (Emerald Network);
Bearing in mind the CBD Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, including the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, in particular Target 11 establishing a conservation target of 17% of terrestrial and inland water areas and 10% of marine and coastal areas and Target 12 aiming to prevent the extinction of known threatened species and to improve and sustain their conservation status, particularly of those most in decline;
Bearing in mind the CBD Conference of the Parties Decision XI/24 on protected areas and noting IUCN Resolution 5.40 on Endorsement and uniform application of protected area management guidelines;
Recalling the Calendar for the implementation of the Emerald Network of Areas of Special Conservation Interest (2011-2020) [document T-PVS/PA(2010)8], committing Contracting Parties and Observer states to the Bern Convention to the completion of the Emerald Network constitution process by 2020;
Expressing its appreciation for the considerable efforts and on-going work of Contracting Parties and Observer states on the constitution of the Emerald Network on their territories;
Recognising the work of the European Union and its Member States on the development of the Natura 2000 Network and their current efforts on improving the management of the Network and achieving a favourable conservation status for threatened species and habitats;
Recalling Article 2c of Resolution No. 1 (1989), which interprets the term “conservation” as the “maintenance and, where appropriate, the restoration or improvement of the abiotic and biotic features which form the habitat of a species or a natural habitat (…), and includes, where appropriate, the control of activities which may indirectly result in the deterioration of such habitats (…)”;
Considering that paragraphs 3a and 4a of Recommendation No. 16 (1989) on Areas of Special Conservation Interest recommend that steps are taken by Contracting Parties either by legislation or otherwise, to ensure that the areas “are the subject of an appropriate regime, designed to achieve the conservation of the areas” as well as to “draw up and implement management plans which will identify both short- and long-term objectives”;
Considering that Recommendation No. 16 (1989) further recommends Contracting Parties to “review regularly or continually in a systematic fashion their performance in the implementation of (…)” the Emerald Network as well as that “appropriate ecological and other research is conducted, in a properly co-ordinated fashion, with a view to furthering the understanding of the critical elements in the management of such areas and to monitoring the status of the factors giving rise to their designation and conservation”;
Considering that Resolution No. 5 (1998) concerning the rules for the Network of Areas of Special Conservation Interest requests the Governments to “undertake surveillance of the conservation status of species and natural habitats in designated ASCIs” and “to inform the Secretariat of any important changes likely to affect negatively in a substantial way the ecological character of the designated ASCIs or the conditions having justified their designation”;
Conscious that monitoring and reporting of the management of the Emerald sites is essential for ensuring the efficiency of the Emerald Network in the long-term for achieving its objectives and that its features should be decided upon as soon as the national designation of the Emerald site as Area of Special Conservation Interest takes place;
Bearing in mind that for Contracting Parties which are Member States of the European Union, the Emerald Network sites are those of the Natura 2000 Network and that the procedures established under the European Union Directives 2009/147/EC (codified version of the amended Directive 79/409/EEC) and 92/43/EEC are those to apply for them;
Resolves to adopt the following rules for the national designation of Emerald sites:
1. National designation
1.1 Parties will designate, by national legislation or otherwise, the sites on their territory adopted as Emerald sites by the Standing Committee to the Bern Convention, as foreseen in the Calendar for the implementation of the Emerald Network of Areas of Special Conservation Interest (2011-2020).
2.1 The national designation of the adopted Emerald sites will ensure that they are protected from external threats and subject to an appropriate regime for achieving a satisfactory conservation status of the species and natural habitats listed in Resolutions no. 4 (1996) and no. 6 (1998) present on the site, involving, if and where appropriate, management plans, administrative measures and contractual measures;
2.2 The authorities responsible for the implementation of the management measures and their monitoring will be clearly identified;
2.3 Specific short and long-term site objectives will be drawn up for the management of Emerald sites, in compliance with the national/regional conservation objectives of the country, in order to facilitate the monitoring of their implementation and the regular assessment of their achievement;
2.4 National, regional and local stakeholders will be involved, if and where appropriate, in the planning of the management of the sites, as well as in the implementation of the conservation and protection measures foreseen, and in the monitoring of the sites’ management.
3.1 Parties will ensure that a monitoring framework forms an integral part of the management plans and/or other administrative measures taken for the designation of Emerald sites;
3.2 The monitoring of the site’s management will comprise regular surveillance of the implementation of the conservation regime and of the conservation status of the species populations and natural habitats -in particular those listed in the Standing Committee’s resolutions no. 4 (1996) and no. 6 (1998)- and/or of other factors giving rise to the designation of the area as specified in paragraph 1 of Recommendation 16 (1989);
3.3 The regular surveillance of the conservation status of species and natural habitats for which the sites has been designated will comprise appropriate scientific and ecological research, aiming at identifying whether it contributes to the long term survival of the species and habitats.
4.1 Parties will report to the Secretariat of the Bern Convention on the conservation status of species and habitats listed in Resolutions No. 6 (1998) and No. 4 (1996) of the Standing Committee to the Bern Convention;
4.2 The report will be submitted in English, every six years from the date of the adoption of this Resolution and shall reflect the previous period of six years;
4.3 The Group of Experts on Protected Areas and Ecological Networks will prepare a reporting format to be used for the purposes of this reporting.