Valuing Nature: Economic Value, Conservation Values and Sustainable Development

25 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2011

Date Written: October 21, 2001


Were Member States ‘entitled or obliged’ to take into account various non-environmental requirements in drawing up the initial list of sites eligible to be Sites of Community Importance under the EC Habitats Directive? In particular, was the UK Secretary of State correct to think that the Severn Estuary, an area including Atlantic salt meadows and inter-tidal mudflats, was a possible site for inclusion on the list? Or could or should he have had regard to economic and social factors, in light of the location of Bristol Port, the UK’s fastest growing port and the foremost distributor of cars in the UK? This analysis considers Case C-371/98, The Queen v Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, ex parte First Corporate Shipping Ltd, interveners: World Wide Fund for Nature UK (WWF) and Avon Wildlife Trust [2001] ECR-I 9235 which considered this issue, and argues that non-environmental considerations need to be excluded from the site selection process.

Keywords: EC environmental law, habitat conservation, Directive 92/43/EEC, site selection, limits of Member States’ discretion, economic and social considerations

Suggested Citation

McGillivray, Donald, Valuing Nature: Economic Value, Conservation Values and Sustainable Development (October 21, 2001). Available at SSRN: or

Donald McGillivray (Contact Author)

University of Sussex Law School ( email )

Brighton BN1 9QN
United Kingdom

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