EU nature laws should stay, UK says

17th December 2015

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Management ,
  • Auditing ,
  • Natural resources ,
  • Biodiversity



The government does not support renegotiation of the EU birds and habitat directives, environment minister Rory Stewart revealed yesterday.

Speaking at a debate about the future of nature protection at a EU environment council meeting, Stewart said that the directives needed better implementation rather than review. Campaign groups had previously feared that the government was in favour of watering the laws down. The statement at yesterday's meeting was the first time the government had publically supported the directives amid a review by the European commission.

Stewart told the council meeting: "Biodiversity is absolutely at the core of our society, our economy and of course is valuable in and of itself."

The consensus from a debate in the council on the laws is that most member states did not support opening the directives up for renegotiation and recognised that problems with them usually came from how they were implemented, according to Sandra Bell, nature campaigner at Friends of the Earth.

This supports the findings of a report analysing responses to the commission's consultation, published in November. It revealed that both businesses and environmental groups shared the view that any "burdens" caused by the directives are due by inefficient implementation at national, regional and local level.

The EU's biodiversity strategy aims to halt any loss by 2020, and includes a target to fully implement the birds and habitats directives. The mid-term review of the strategy concluded that there had been "no overall progress" in halting biodiversity loss, and urged "considerably bolder and more ambitious" enforcement efforts.

The final decision on whether the directives will be changed will be made in 2016.


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

New guidance maps out journey to digital environmental assessment

IEMA’s Impact Assessment Network is delighted to have published A Roadmap to Digital Environmental Assessment.

2nd April 2024

Read more

Lisa Pool on how IEMA is shaping a sustainable future with impact assessment

27th November 2023

Read more

IEMA responded in September to the UK government’s consultation on the details of the operational reforms it is looking to make to the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIP) consenting process as put forward in the NSIP reform action plan (February 2023).

24th November 2023

Read more

Members of IEMA’s Impact Assessment Network Steering Group have published the 17th edition of the Impact Assessment Outlook Journal, which provides a series of thought pieces on the policy and practice of habitats regulations assessment (HRA).

26th September 2023

Read more

In July, we published the long-awaited update and replacement of one of IEMA’s first published impact assessment guidance documents from 1993, Guidelines for the Environmental Assessment of Road Traffic.

1st August 2023

Read more

Are we losing sight of its intended purpose and what does the future hold for EIA? Jo Beech, Tiziana Bartolini and Jessamy Funnell report.

15th June 2023

Read more

Luke Barrows and Alfie Byron-Grange look at the barriers to adoption of digital environmental impacts assessments

1st June 2023

Read more

Susan Evans and Helen North consider how Environmental Statements can be more accessible and understandable

1st June 2023

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close