New Special Bird Protection Areas, expanding existing ones, under European Natura 2000 program

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The government approved a proposal from the Ministry of Environment and Forests, of creation of new special bird protection areas and expansion of existing ones under the European Natura 2000 program, MMP informs.

By promotion and adoption of this decision by the government it is secured the obligation assumed in relation with the European Commission of continued designation of bird protection areas and also it is avoided the triggering of an infringement procedure against Romania.

The normative act stipulates the creation of new special bird protection areas (SPA) under the provisions of Directive 2009/147/EC (Birds Directive) and expansion of some of existing ones, filling in and updating the standard forms Natura 2000 for all designated SPAs. The decision also provides delimitation of the new sites and improving delimitation accuracy for the existing ones.

As a EU member state, according to European directives on the conservation of wild birds and of the EU Accession Treaty, Romania is obliged to establish the ecological network Natura 2000, by designating Special Protection Areas for Wild Birds (SPAs). A first list of these areas was approved in 2007, by the Government Decision on the declaration of special bird protction areas as part of the ecological network Natura 2000 in Romania. This list was sent to the European Commission in December 2007.

After the list examination by EC experts, and given Romania’s obligation to continue to designate such SPAs, it was requested the extension of the SPA network (both in number and in size). Simultaneously, an infringement procedure was initiated against our country for an insufficient designation, both in number and size, of bird protection areas, a procedure however ruled in favor of Romania by the European Union Court of Justice (ECJ) of 19.04.2011.

Yet, less than a month after the delivery of this decision, the EC has already indicated the intention of triggering a new infringement procedure by sending EU-Pilot Application no. ENV.A.1/IP/mm/12.05.2011, application where the aspects raised in the reasoned opinion sent in 2008 were resumed, and on 13/9/2011 the EC has entered into the database an information that it rejected Romania’s response to its letter and that it would trigger the infringement procedure, if the situation is not solved.

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