Conserving European Biodiversity in a Changing Climate: The Bern Convention, the EU Birds and Habitats Directives and the Adaptation of Nature to Climate Change
20(1) Review of European Community and International Environmental Law 62-77
26 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2015 Last revised: 27 Mar 2015
Date Written: 2011
This article reviews the Bern Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats and the European Union's Wild Birds and Habitats Directives from the perspective of the need to help nature adapt to climate change in order to attain biodiversity conservation goals. It concludes that even though none of the three instruments explicitly state this, both the Bern Convention and the EU directives currently subject Member States to legal obligations to take the measures necessary to facilitate the adaptation of biodiversity in Europe to climate change. These measures include the restoration and protection of robust populations and habitats, as well as the establishment of adequate connectivity in order to enable recovery of populations following climate-related impacts and to enable climate-induced range shifts.
Keywords: Climate change, adaptation, biodiversity, Bern Convention, Birds Directive, Habitats Directive
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