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Dieren en planten

Water en land

Mens en Milieu

Nature policy   Habitat Directive   

Habitat Directive

In 1992, the European Community proposed a directive for protecting exceptional habitats: the Habitat Directive. This directive contains lists of plant and animal species and natural communities that deserve extra protection. In the meantime, as part of the Habitat Directive, a coherent ecological network has been established under the name Natura 2000. Birds have been excluded because a separate directive (Bird Directive) had already been established especially for birds.

  • SACs

    The network of Natura 2000 will contain special protective zones, called Special Areas of Conservation (SAC). The zones will be designated using the Habitat Directive and based upon the Bird Directive. This will take place in the coming years. Large parts of the Wadden Sea will be included in the Natura 2000.

  • How does it work

    The Habitat Directive prohibits an activity if the protective zone becomes damaged. It allows calls for an 'adequate assessment' from the environmental effect report before an activity is allowed in the protective zone. Habitats to be protected include 'permanently shallow sandbanks flooded with seawater and estuaries of minor depth (tidal flats), various types of coastal dunes and several kinds of salt marshes. Just about the entire Wadden Sea has been registered as a protective area under this directive. Examples of activities which are forbidden due to this directive are the mechanical cockle fisheries in the Wadden Sea, a number of construction plans by the IJburg and the original plan for the Second Maasvlakte.