Climate Change: Rethinking Restoration in the European Union’s Birds and Habitats Directives

Ecological Restoration, Vol. 28, No. 4, pp. 431-439, 2010

17 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2011 Last revised: 23 Feb 2011

Jonathan Verschuuren

Tilburg Sustainability Center; Tilburg University - Center for Transboundary Legal Development

Date Written: August 15, 2010

Abstract

To prepare for the ecological impacts of climate change, a landscape approach is needed in which existing protected areas are enlarged and secured and ecological corridors between areas are protected and restored, thus establishing a real ecological network that is resilient to future change. This article reviews the EU Birds and Habitats Directives and shows that restoration is a central objective of the Natura 2000 network of protected areas created by the directives, at least where intense human activity and development is taking place within or nearby Natura 2000 sites. However, the current legal provisions fall short of meeting the requirements necessary to help biodiversity adapt to climate change. The good news is that these shortcomings do not hinder government authorities that want to take action. The bad news is that this will always be on a voluntary basis. The article recommends a few small amendments to the Natura 2000 scheme that would require member states to develop robust restoration plans that will help nature adapt to a changing climate.

Keywords: Birds Directive, climate change, adaptation, European Union environmental policy, Habitats Directive, Natura 2000

JEL Classification: K32

Suggested Citation

Verschuuren, Jonathan, Climate Change: Rethinking Restoration in the European Union’s Birds and Habitats Directives (August 15, 2010). Ecological Restoration, Vol. 28, No. 4, pp. 431-439, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1473707

Jonathan Verschuuren (Contact Author)

Tilburg Sustainability Center ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, North Brabant 5000 LE
Netherlands
+31134668255 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.tilburguniversity.edu/tsc

Tilburg University - Center for Transboundary Legal Development ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, NL-5000LE
Netherlands
0031134668255 (Phone)
0031134668347 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.tilburguniversity.edu/webwijs/show/?uid=j.m.verschuuren

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