Environmental Guidelines of the EU & Landscape Policies

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Paper presented at EFLA 20th Anniversary. Brussels 21st November 2009.



    Environmental guidelines of the EU and landscape policiesDI Thomas KnollKnoll Planung & Beratung Ziviltechniker GmbH

  • Plan- and project-related assessment instruments:SEAStrategic Environmental Assessmentfor plans and programmesHDAHabitats Directive Assessment

    PSAProtection of species assessmentEIAEnvironmental Impact Assessmentfor projectsFederal and federal state levelEuropean UnionSEA DirectiveHabitats and Birds Directive (Natura 2000)EIA DirectiveWater Framework DirectivePlans and ProgrammesProjectsEconomic ActivitiesEnvironmental liability DirectiveEU Directives & assessment instruments

  • EU Directives & assessment instrumentsSEA Directive (Directive 2001/42/EC)The purpose of the SEA (Strategic Environmental Assessment ) is to ensure that environmental consequences of certain plans and programmes are identified and assessed during their preparation and before their adoption. The public and environmental authorities can give their opinion and all results are integrated and taken into account in the course of the planning procedure. After the adoption of the plan or programme the public is informed about the decision and the way in which it was made.

    EIA-Directive (Directive 85/337/EEC)The EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) ensures that environmental consequences of projects are identified and assessed before authorisation is given. The public can give its opinion and all results are taken into account in the authorisation procedure of the project. The public is informed of the decision afterwards.

  • EU Directives & assessment instrumentsHabitats Directive (Directive 92/43/EEC)The Habitats Directive (together with the Birds Directive) forms the cornerstone of Europe's nature conservation policy. It is built around two pillars: the Natura 2000 network of protected sites and the strict system of species protection. Under the Habitats Directive there are established Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) for the Natura 2000 network.All in all the directive protects over 1.000 animals and plant species and over 200 so called "habitat types" (e.g. special types of forests, meadows, wetlands, etc.), which are of European importance.

    Birds Directive (Directive 79/409/EEC)The Birds Directive is the EUs oldest piece of nature legislation and one of the most important, creating a comprehensive scheme of protection for all wild bird species naturally occurring in the Union. The Directive places great emphasis on the protection of habitats for endangered as well as migratory species, especially through the establishment of a coherent network of Special Protection Areas (SPAs) comprising all the most suitable territories for these species.Since 1994 all SPAs form an integral part of the NATURA 2000 network.

  • Protection of speciesat federal state levelHabitats Directive assessmentProtection of species assessmentArt. 6 (3,4) of Habitats DirectiveArt. 12, 13, 16 of Habitats DirectiveArt. 5, 9 of Birds DirectiveEU Directives & assessment instrumentsTwo pillars of Habitats and Birds DirectiveNatura 2000 network:Protection of Natura 2000 sites (SACs & SPAs)

  • The Habitats Directive Assessment is the assessment of Plans and Projects significantly affecting Natura 2000 sites:Art. 6 (3) Habitats Directive: Any plan or project not directly connected with or necessary to the management of the site but likely to have a significant effect thereon, either individually or in combination with other plans or projects, shall be subject to appropriate assessment of its implications for the site in view of the site's conservation objectives. In the light of the conclusions of the assessment of the implications for the site and subject to the provisions of paragraph 4, the competent national authorities shall agree to the plan or project only after having ascertained that it will not adversely affect the integrity of the site concerned and, if appropriate, after having obtained the opinion of the general public.Art. 6 (4) Habitats Directive: If, in spite of a negative assessment of the implications for the site and in the absence of alternative solutions, a plan or project must nevertheless be carried out for imperative reasons of overriding public interest, including those of a social or economic nature, the Member State shall take all compensatory measures necessary to ensure that the overall coherence of Natura 2000 is protected. It shall inform the Commission of the compensatory measures adopted.EU Directives & assessment instruments

  • Water Framework Directive (Directive 2000/60/EC)By means of this Framework Directive, the EU provides for the management of inland surface waters, groundwater, transitional waters and coastal waters in order to prevent and reduce pollution, promote sustainable water use, protect the aquatic environment, improve the status of aquatic ecosystems and mitigate the effects of floods and droughts.A management plan and programme of measures must be produced for each river basin district, taking account of the results of the analyses and studies carried out.The measures provided for in the river basin management plan seek to:prevent deterioration, enhance and restore bodies of surface water, achieve good chemical and ecological status of such water and reduce pollution from discharges and emissions of hazardous substances;protect, enhance and restore all bodies of groundwater, prevent the pollution and deterioration of groundwater, and ensure a balance between groundwater abstraction and replenishment;preserve protected areas.

    EU Directives & assessment instruments

  • Environmental liability Directive (Directive 2004/35/EC)The Directive establishes a framework for environmental liability based on the "polluter pays" principle, with a view to preventing and remedying environmental damage.Under the terms of the Directive, environmental damage is defined as:damage to the aquatic environment covered by EU water management legislationdamage to species and natural habitats protected by the EU Birds or Habitats Directive contamination of the land which creates a significant risk to human healthEU Directives & assessment instruments

  • Assessment instruments and subjects of protection in AustriaEIAhuman beings, fauna and flora; soil, water, air, climate and the landscape; material assets and the cultural heritage SEAbiodiversity, population, human health, fauna, flora, soil, water, air, climatic factors, material assets, cultural heritage, landscapeApproval pursuant to Nature Conservation Act landscape, recreational value of landscape, natureFEDERAL LEVELFEDERAL STATE LEVELHabitats Directive assessment (Protection of Natura 2000 sites)species in annex II of Habitats Directice, natural habitat types in annex I of Habitats Directive, birds in annex I of Birds Directive & regularly occurring migratory species not listed in Annex I of Birds DirectiveProtection of species assessmentProtected species under the act for protection of species incl. species in annex IV of Habitats Directive + all species of naturally occurring birds (subject to Art. 1 of Birds Directive)Plans(Regional Planning Act) Projects(Nature Conservation Act)Habitats Directive assessmentEXAMPLE

  • SEA - Paudorf

    The plan of the community Paudorf involves the redefinition of a suitable area for the extraction of mineral resources in the area of Hrfarthgraben. EXAMPLE

  • SEA - PaudorfSuitable area for the extraction of mineral raw materials

    Material transport

    Existing materials preparation plantExisting quarry WankoEXAMPLE

  • SEA - PaudorfLandscape assessment:The suitable area is not visible because of the topography and the location in the middle of a forest area.At project level it seems to be possible - by optimizing the route and the technology for the material transport so that the plan has no significant effects on the landscape.


  • EIA examples

    Environmental Impact Assessments can be undertaken for individual projects such as a dam, motorway, airport or factoryWind parksS10 - Highway construction projectEXAMPLE

  • Habitats and Birds Directive in Lower AustriaThe competent authorities in Lower Austria selected 20 Natura 2000 sites under the Habitats Directive and 16 sites under the Birds Directive. Pursuant to Section 9 of the Lower Austrian Nature Conservation Act, they were declared by ordinance to be "European Protection Areas".EXAMPLE

  • Example for site's conservation objectives in the Act concerning "European Protection Areas in Lower Austria:(3) For the site under the Birds Directive Tullnerfelder Donau-Auen the following conservation objectives are defined:Maintenance or restoration of a sufficient diversity and area of habitats of all species mentioned in paragraph 2. Specifically, these are the maintenance of a sufficient amount of:matured stand and deadwood rich forests with near-natural forest species compositionriver sections with a near-natural river dynamic and the corresponding dynamic of the riparian zonesHabitats and Birds Directive in Lower AustriaEXAMPLE

  • Protection of species assessmentS10 (Highway construction project)Picture: Anton MayerPicture: Anton MayerDI Knoll served as a consultant for the EIA and for the subsequent approval pursuant to Nature Conservation Act. The project applicant was asked to submit an Habitats Directive assessment and an protection of species assessment within the framework of his environmental assessments. Relevant effects arose especially for bats and otters. To secure the favora