The Water Framework Directive and Nature Conservation
This background paper prepared by Ecologic was presented at the conference called "River Basin Management and Ecological Water Quality", that took place in June 2001 in Roosta, Estonia. The paper was compiled as a decent preparation for the participants of the conference.
The paper distinguishes between coastal and transitional water ecosystems and apart from that between those and water dependent terrestrial ecosystems. The WFD commits the member states to establish registers of protected or to be protected areas, derived from the made distinction and the thereof found different ecological aspects. The paper follows that approach by looking at ecological objectives and necessities for a sustainability-based classification and promotion of the different surface waters on the one hand and groundwater on the other. Derived from that needs of classification, the paper looks at what this means for future river basin management plans and which catalogues of measures will have to be established, referring to the WFD. Concluding the paper shows, that the economic use of river basins and their ecological conservation can be compatible to each other and that they partly even share the same methodology. And derived from that, an integrated approach, as it is expected from the WFD, can not only be taken but is absolutely necessary from an ecological perspective.