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NI Water Framework Directive Lake Quality Update 2020 statistics released

Northern Ireland Water Framework Directive Lake Quality Update statistics for 2020 have been published by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs. This statistical report contains summary information on the status of lakes for the three River Basin Districts in Northern Ireland based on data collected up to the end of 2019. Download the report. The key points include:...
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Minister signals resolve to safeguard habitats under EU directive

Minister of State for Heritage Malcolm Noonan has said he is determined to address a persistent failure by Ireland to protect habitats under the European Union habitats directive.  It has resulted in the European Commission bringing the State to the European Court of Justice for failure to designate special areas of conservation (Sacs) since the directive came into force in 2014. The action initi...
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Alien species and the EU Water Framework Directive: a comparative assessment of European approaches

Although the European Water Framework Directive (WFD) does not refer explicitly to alien species (AS), it is clear that invasive AS (IAS) are considered a pressure on WFD water bodies. This article discusses the results of a questionnaire sent to all EU Member States, demonstrating considerable variability in the way that AS data are used in implementing the WFD. Responses were received from 18 co...
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Water Framework Directive fit for purpose – evaluation

A fitness check of the Water Framework Directive, its associated Directives, and the Floods Directive concludes that they are overall fit for purpose, with some room for enhanced effectiveness. Despite improvements in the protection of water bodies and flood risk management, the evaluation points to insufficient level of implementation by Member States and by sectors with a heavy impact on wate...
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EU Commission pursuing Ireland for failing to fully transpose the EIA Directive

The European Commission is taking action against Ireland for a continued failure to ensure that peat extraction is properly assessed for environmental impacts as required under EU law. In its latest package of infringement decisions, the Commission said that it is pursuing Ireland for failing to fully transpose the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive. The Directive states that the po...
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EU Energy Efficiency Directive – lessons learnt & future challenges before 2nd round of audits

The EU Energy Efficiency Directive came into force throughout the EU in 2012. This requires all large companies to have a high quality energy audit every four years. The Directive only applies to companies with more than 250 staff and its aim is to identify energy saving opportunities which can be easily done by an energy audit. EU directives allow for each member state to decide how to impleme...
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EU celebrates 40 years of the Birds Directive

The Birds Directive, one of the first pieces of environmental legislation in Europe, celebrates today its 40th anniversary. Protecting over 500 bird species, the directive is as relevant today as it was in 1979, when the Member States came together to address the sharp decline of Europe’s birds. The many conservation achievements of the Directive include the protection of the Great Bustard (Otis t...
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Conserving Europe’s Nature – The EU birds and habitats directives

Europe covers less than 5 % of the planet’s land mass. Yet, despite its small size, it has a stunning diversity of wild plants, animals and landscapes, many of which are found nowhere else in the world. Differences in climate, topography and geology account for much of this biodiversity. So does our long association with the land. Few places in the world have such a varied, contrasting and ...
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Managing Natura 2000 sites – provisions of Article 6 of the Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC

At sea or on land, healthy ecosystems can help mitigate Climate Change impacts. In Europe, the Natura 2000 sites are key in this role, when properly implemented. Article 6 is one of the most important articles in the Habitats Directive as it defines how Natura 2000 sites are managed and protected. Article 6 For special areas of conservation, Member States shall establish the necessary c...
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Mitigation and Compensatory Measures under Article 6 Habitats Directive

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) recently clarified the distinction between mitigation measures and compensatory measures under Article 6 of the Habitats Directive. This followed a preliminary request from Ireland’s Supreme Court during proceedings. What are the criteria? The reference concerned the interpretation of Article 6(3) and (4) of the Habitats Directive. Article 6(...
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