The EC Habitats Directive 1992
It requires member states to take measures to preserve and restore natural habitats and to protect threatened species. There are a range of provisions in the Directive focussed around this initiative, which include:
- The maintenance and restoration of European protected habitats and species
- Creation of protected sites, designated as Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) – these areas contain threatened species or habitats
- A requirement to appropriately manage and conserve SACs – this includes assessment of any plans which may have an adverse effect on an SAC
- Member states are to encourage the management of features of the landscape which support the Natura 2000 network. This is an ecological network of SACs and Special Protection Areas
This Directive is used in various UK laws; the Habitats Regulations 2010; the Offshore Marine Conservation Regulations 2007 and the Conservation Regulations 1995. The EC Habitats Directive is also known as Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora.