Identifying the Drivers of Successful Implementation of the Birds and Habitats Directives – Study for the DG Environment


Tucker, G, Stuart, T, Naumann, S, Stein, U, Landgrebe-Trinkunaite, R and Knol, O (2019) Study on identifying the drivers of successful implementation of the Birds and Habitats Directives. Report to the European Commission, DG Environment on Contract ENV.F.1/FRA/2014/0063, Institute for European Environmental Policy, Brussels.

The time to meet the next target to halt the loss of biodiversity in the EU by 2020 is approaching. Thus, it is a time to take stock of the successes and failures. In response, Ecologic Institute contributed to a study for the DG Environment on "Identifying the drivers of successful implementation of the Birds and Habitats Directives", which supports the European Commission in improving the implementation of the EU Nature Directives. The authors identified and assessed key drivers of success for measure-driven improvements that could be used to develop more successful conservation measures in the future in order to achieve a better conservation status of species and habitats. This will consequently contribute to the development of the post-2020 biodiversity strategy. The study is available for download.

The key findings show that for the improvement of the conservation status of species and habitats: a strong and coherent conservation governance backed up by political support is key, as well as an adequate and effective consultation and engagement of key stakeholders is essential. Furthermore, there is evidence that the Natura 2000 Network not only gave basic protection (e.g. from habitat destruction), but also stimulated the targeted conservation measures for the habitats and species that are present.

The European Commission observed that the nature authorities in the Member State welcomed the study, as it is showing the positive benefits of the Nature Directives, and what makes them work. The core results of the study are also presented in the European Commission's Natura 2000 Newsletter, Issue 45 - February 2019 [pdf, 6.4 MB, English].

Good governance, political support and targeted actions are key for conserving EU nature.

More content from this project

Graham Tucker (IEEP)
Tom Stuart (IEEP)
Onno Knol (PBL)
175 pp.
Project ID
Table of contents
Birds and Habitats Directives, Nature Directives, Europe, EU28, Reporting on Article 12 and Article 17, species, habitats, Natura 2000, genuine improvements, measure driven improvements, drivers, success factors, pressures and threats
analysis, database

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