EUROPEAN COMMISSION
DIRECTORATE-GENERAL
ENVIRONMENT
IMPLEMENTATION THE EU NATURE LEGISLATION IN ESTUARIES
AND COASTAL ZONE...
Contents
1 Executive summary ................................................................................................
1 Executive summary
Will be added in the final version (partly prepared) on the basis of the final results.
Natura 2000, e...
2 Working on estuaries, coastal zones and port related
activities (why, what, how)
2.1 Challenges for estuaries and coasta...
Because many ports and fairway channels are located in estuaries and coastal zones that host
environmentally sensitive are...
of nature is the responsibility of the Member States in accordance with the requirements of the
nature directives. Nationa...
between nature protection and port development. Main issues for port sector were also
photographed because of the value of...
3 Rationale and background
Biodiversity and ecosystems are closely related concepts and changes in ecosystems affect
human...
As indicated in Article 6 (see Box
4 in chapter 4) of the ‘‘Habitats’’
Directive ‘‘any plan or project not
directly connec...
should be given to potential synergies between these directives especially in areas where all
these apply i.e. transitiona...
Map 1: Major European Sea Ports (after EC Port Policy Consultation 2006-2007,
2007, Map showing the trans-european transpo...
Natura 2000, estuaries, coastal areas and port related activities– Draft version n° 9
BOX 3 (after ESPO, 2007)
Container m...
4 Major problem and issues
Legal uncertainty was though claimed by stakeholders in relation to the Birds and Habitats
Dire...
Figure 1: Coastal Squeeze is created when habitat migration (in response to sea-level rise)
is prevented by tidal/flood de...
Stakeholders showed that many difficulties arise in the implementation of the EU nature directives
and that there are dela...
chapter of Code of Practice presents a list of topics that need further guidance from the European
Commission. These topic...
What is an appropriate
assessment?
The highly dynamic and complex estuarine habitats are still
subject to scientific debat...
4.3 Port-related activities affecting the estuarine and coastal ecosystems
Uses and users of coastal and estuarine areas w...
that a large influence area. The main source of noise from vessels is generated by the engine,
which may travel via the at...
Recreational harbour operations (summary from ABP research, 1999)
Environmental effects may be frequent from maintenance a...
Impacts on hydrodynamic regime and geomorphology from dredging (mainly from ABP research,
1999)
As indicated earlier, estu...
Figure 3: A general example of a factor train for dredging activities (Delft University of
Technology, 2007a)
Natura 2000,...
5 Conservation objectives in dynamic environments
This document is dedicated to both estuarine and coastal areas that coul...
This document is also dedicated to species that could be affected by ports or port related
activities development and espe...
The second issue (TSD n° 2) raises the main non biotic ecological processes which have to be
taken into consideration when...
Channels and/or shipping lanes are part of the habitat
in all geographical conditions as they play a crucial
role in the h...
Recommendations:
 Each estuary is different and this is why it is considered compulsory, as a first step, to
understand i...
Recommendations:
 Adaptation strategies on low-lying coasts have to address the problem of sediment loss
from marshes, be...
 Birds and Habitat directives are targeting specific components of aquatic ecosystems as
species or whole habitats (ecosy...
accessibility and nature conservation. Implementation of the Ecosystem Approach and
involvement of stakeholders and genera...
6 Integrated management and planning
Conservation objectives in dynamic environments should become part of an integrated
m...
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN  COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF  STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS
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RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS

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Transcript of "RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS"

  1. 1. EUROPEAN COMMISSION DIRECTORATE-GENERAL ENVIRONMENT IMPLEMENTATION THE EU NATURE LEGISLATION IN ESTUARIES AND COASTAL ZONES, WITH PARTICULAR ATTENTION TO PORT- RELATED ACTIVITIES: technical recommendations and guidance RESULTS OF A WORKING GROUP OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF STAKEHOLDERS, MEMBER STATES AND NGOS Prepared for the Nature & Biodiversity Unit of DG Environment and the Maritime transport, ports policy and maritime security Unit of DG Energy and Transport, editor: THE N2K GROUP, EEIG January 2009
  2. 2. Contents 1 Executive summary .................................................................................................................. 3 2 Working on estuaries, coastal zones and port related activities (why, what, how)............. 4 3 Rationale and background........................................................................................................ 8 4 Major problem and issues....................................................................................................... 13 5 Conservation objectives in dynamic environments.............................................................. 23 6 Integrated management and planning................................................................................... 31 7 Undertaking a new project...................................................................................................... 37 8 Conclusion............................................................................................................................... 37 9 Annex 1 : EC opinion on two port development plans (Rotterdam and Granadilla) affecting Natura 2000 sites......................................................................................................... 38 10 Annex 2 : references ............................................................................................................. 43 11 Annex 3: List of Technical Supporting Documents prepared............................................ 51 12 Annex 4: members of the Working Group........................................................................... 52 1 Box A: Ecological Status of primary producers in WFD (annex 5)...................................... 73 2 Box B: Ecological Status of Angiosperms in WFD (annex 5).............................................. 74 3 Box C : Ecological Status of Benthic invertebrate fauna in WFD (annex 5)....................... 75 4 Box D : Ecological Status of fish fauna in WFD (annex 5)................................................... 76 13 Conservation objectives and measures for the SACS........................................................ 94 5 Box B: Galway seminar, suggested structure of a Natura 2000 management plan........... 96 6 Box A: Key example............................................................................................................... 105 7 Box A: Key question from Hamburg Port Authority........................................................... 126 8 Box B - Key proposal from Rotterdam Port Authority: Natural Asset Creation .............. 127 14 Yes/No................................................................................................................................... 142 Natura 2000, estuaries, coastal areas and port related activities– Draft version n° 9 2
  3. 3. 1 Executive summary Will be added in the final version (partly prepared) on the basis of the final results. Natura 2000, estuaries, coastal areas and port related activities– Draft version n° 9 3
  4. 4. 2 Working on estuaries, coastal zones and port related activities (why, what, how) 2.1 Challenges for estuaries and coastal zones Estuaries and coastal zones are among the most productive ecosystems of the world, with equally high ecological and economic values. They offer a wide variety of ecosystem services such as shoreline stabilization, nutrient regulation, carbon sequestration, detoxification of polluted waters and supply of food and energy resources (Millenium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005). They also offer amenity services such as tourism and recreation but above all they provide shelter for ships and access to inland areas from the sea. Estuaries and coastal zones also comprise the most dynamic and complex ecosystems of the world forming a mosaic of a variety of habitats protected under the European environmental legislation. Typical habitats composing an estuary include sand banks, mudflats and sandflats, salt marshes and in coastal areas sand dunes, coastal lagoons, shallow inlets and bays, reefs, islets and small islands, sandy beaches, sea cliffs and other, all protected under the Council Directive (92/43/EEC) on the conservation of natural habitats and wild flora and fauna (Habitats Directive). Shorebirds are dependant on estuaries during migrations over long distances from breeding to wintering grounds. Particularly dependent species are geese, ducks, waders (Elliott et al., 1998), but seabirds, herons or passerines are concerned too. These birds are protected under the Council Directive 79/409/EEC on the conservation of birds (Birds Directive). The Habitats and Birds Directives form the cornerstone of Europe’s nature conservation policy which is based on a network of protected sites, the Natura 2000 network and a strict system of species protection. The Natura 2000 network so far consists of terrestrial and marine Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) - protecting habitats and species - and of Special Protected Areas (SPAs) -protecting bird species. Estuaries and coastal water bodies are also protected under the Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC since they are identified as transitional and coastal waters whose deterioration should be prevented and their aquatic ecosystem status should be protected and enhanced. On the other hand, the demand for marine transportation has been constantly increasing and ships have become larger to provide greater economy of scale. Bigger ships required greater facilities that have expanded and are still doing so towards estuarine and adjacent coastal areas. The enhancement of shipping is EU policy. The European Commission supports the concepts of motorways of the sea and short sea shipping. Moreover the European Commission has recognized through its Communication on An Integrated Maritime Policy for the European Union that sea-ports and shipping allow Europe to benefit from the rapid growth of international trade and to play a leading role in the global economy (European Commission, 2007d). The fact that 90% of Europe's external trade and close to 40% of its internal trade passes through its ports demonstrates that Europe's ports face a great challenge if they are to deal with increasing demand (European Commission, 2007d). According to the European Maritime Policy the capacity development of ports and coastal and estuarine fairway channels must mirror the growth of Europe's domestic and international trade and occur in a way that is compatible with related EU policy objectives, in particular its environmental and competitiveness goals. This Communication was supported from the European Ports Policy Communication that aimed at a performing European port system able to cope with the future challenges of European transport needs, setting an action plan for the European Commission (European Commission, 2007b). One of the objectives of the plan was to increase the carrying capacity of ports through improvement, extension or construction to allow increase of maritime and fluvial transport. Other port related activities (i.e. industrial activities, construction of transportation facilities) taking place near estuarine and coastal areas will also increase, following the rapid growth of ports, adding more pressure on terrestrial habitats and rural areas. Natura 2000, estuaries, coastal areas and port related activities– Draft version n° 9 4
  5. 5. Because many ports and fairway channels are located in estuaries and coastal zones that host environmentally sensitive areas with high ecological value, protected under the EU legislation (Birds and Habitats Directives, Water Framework Directive), stakeholders claimed a certain degree for legal uncertainty specifically in relation to the Birds and Habitats Directives. It was also supported from several stakeholders that the establishment of Natura 2000 under the Habitats Directive in estuaries and coastal zones and the need to increase the carrying capacity of ports in order to meet the challenges of the European transport needs has proven to be controversial in many Member States. 2.2 Study approach and limitations of the document The Commission has already published several guidance documents to support Member States in implementing the environment directives, and citizens and stakeholders in better understanding them (see references). For the Water Framework Directive, a Common Implementation Strategy (CIS) was developed in order to address the challenges in a co-operative and coordinated way. However, there was a more persistent need to issue clarifications, explanations and even prospective thoughts on the application of the Community environmental legislation, especially the Bird and Habitats directives, to port development. An expert “Working Group on Estuaries and Coastal Zones” was established (see annex 4) with the aim of enhancing exchange of information on existing experiences and best practice in relation to management of port related activities and Natura 2000, and providing general guidance on the application of the Nature Directives in these areas. The working group was chaired by the Commission (The Nature and Biodiversity Unit of DG Environment and the Maritime transport, ports policy and maritime security Unit of DG for Energy and Transport) and composed of experts from different Member States, scientific experts, representatives of key stakeholder groups (including European Sea Port Organisation and the European Dredging Association), NGOs, as well as Commission services (Directorate General of the Environment, Directorate General of Transport and Energy, Directorate General of Maritime Affaires and Fisheries). The Working Group met several times to discuss the progress of this document within the 2007-2009 and significantly contributed to its elaboration. Principal communication and documentation exchange was carried out through the CIRCA platform1 . It is foreseen to continue the dialogue between the European Commission and the Working Group on Estuaries and Coastal Zones with at least one meeting per year. The scope of the current document is to provide clarifications, explanations and even prospective thoughts on the implementation of the EU nature legislation in Natura 2000 sites located in estuaries and coastal zones, with particular attention to fairway channels, port-related activities and dredging. This work is a new approach that has not to be mistake for the existing guidance documents as it does not concern the interpretation of one single article of the directive. This is the results of both the considerations of the European Commission and these of the stakeholders, NGOs, scientists and national or regional representatives. The document is intended to be bound by and faithful to the text of the relevant Directives and the wider principles underpinning Community law on the environment and port-related activities. It is not legislative in character, it does not provide new rules but guidance on the application of those that exist. As such this document reflects only the views of the Commission services and is not of a binding nature. It should be stressed that it rests with the EU Court of Justice to provide definitive interpretation of a Directive. Therefore, the guidance provided will need to evolve in line with any emerging jurisprudence on this subject. The current document intends to fully respect the existing case law of the Court, especially where clear positions have already been established by the Court. The document also aims to make best use of existing technical and scientific knowledge, with a view to identifying methodological approaches relevant to dealing with port related activities and nature conservation. This subject could also be considered as a case study for the Business and Biodiversity EU Initiative. The current document recognises that the management and protection 1 see: http://circa.europa.eu/Public/irc/env/estuary/home Natura 2000, estuaries, coastal areas and port related activities– Draft version n° 9 5
  6. 6. of nature is the responsibility of the Member States in accordance with the requirements of the nature directives. National legislation, regulations and planning guidance will also be very significant in establishing how Natura 2000 sites, port development and maintenance measures interact. This document will tackle different groups of directives (process, planning, and implementation) including the Environmental Impact Assessment and the Strategic Environmental Assessment directives. Some general comments will also be given for the requirements of the Water Framework Directive and the Marine Strategy. Air emissions, waste, energy and environmental quality standards policies are not in the scope of this document. In addition, it is not only Community legislation but also the national law, which needs to be applied. The exchange of experience and good practice examples have been the most appropriate means for facilitating and improving the implementation of the respective legislation, as several interesting initiatives were already launched by stakeholders as the projects Harbasins, New Delta or Paralia. Extensive evaluation of jurisprudence or Commission opinions under article 6 in relation to development projects in estuaries and coastal zones have also been taken under consideration to a better understanding and implementation of EU environmental legislation in these areas. The document mainly focuses on the development of large commercial and industrial port infrastructure, waterways and related projects in the EU, regardless of their geographical location (estuary, coastline, bay, island, city). Port related activities considered include port construction/ extension, extension and maintenance of coastal and estuarine fairway channels, capital and maintenance dredging and disposal, industrial areas, transportation facilities and safety (including sea defence and flood protection). Other important users and issues of estuaries like flood protection, fishery, agriculture, tourism, shellfish farming, use of water for cooling systems will not be dealt with although these aspects may have an important influence on any estuary designated as a Natura 2000 site as well. The target audiences of the guidance document are as follows:  National, regional, local and federal competent authorities,  Port and waterway authorities, operators, users and related industries,  Dredging companies and associations,  NGOs,  Conservation agencies,  Local communities. The current report, consists of a core text, was elaborated with the support of thirteen specific technical specification sheets called Technical Supporting Documents (TSD - see annex 3). The TSDs involve a more detailed analysis of the most important issues/ questions raised from the stakeholders in terms of the application of the EU nature legislation to areas where port-activities are taking place. Both the current report and TSDs have been reviewed from the members of the working group (including by the mean of dedicated meetings). A brief summary of the TSDs and main conclusions drawn for each issue/question are presented in the following chapters. This current document consists of five thematic areas: 1. Rationale and background This part of the document emphasizes both the environmental importance of estuaries and coastal zones and the economic value of ports. A brief presentation is made on main European policies focused by the report. 2. Major problems and issues Taken into consideration of the impact of climate change, it is important to examine at this point what are the environmental impacts of the port related activities, including waterways management, to nature in order to be able to define the existing problem and find a compromise Natura 2000, estuaries, coastal areas and port related activities– Draft version n° 9 6
  7. 7. between nature protection and port development. Main issues for port sector were also photographed because of the value of this economical sector. 3. Conservation objectives in dynamic environments This part of the document first emphasized how important is for stakeholders to understand the estuarine and coastal system functioning for a more accurate assessment of the effects of anthropogenic activities and other external factors (e.g. climate change). The ecosystems and protected species and habitats were thereafter presented in order to explain the environmental sensitivity of estuarine and coastal environments to the development of ports and waterways. The ecosystem approach was also introduced as a way to integrate and better understand such a complex system with very different elements i.e. geomorphological issues, ecological and economic issues. Potential synergies were also explored between the EU nature legislation and the WFD. Guidelines were finally given on how to set conservation objectives in such dynamic and complex ecosystems and how to integrate economical activities in Natura 2000 management plans. 4. Integrated management and planning This chapter presents issues of recurring activities in estuarine areas and adjacent coastal zones, as maintenance dredging, and of long term spatial plans including port extensions. Both categories may need an appropriate assessment related to the implementation of article 6 of the Habitats Directive. Port extension at EU and regional levels could benefit from Strategic Environmental Assessment and other planning tools such as the Integrated Coastal Zone Management. Integrated management will be the core part of this thematic area. 5. Undertaking a new project This chapter answers questions frequently raised from stakeholders when it comes to undertake a new plan or project: what is really an appropriate assessment required from the habitats directive when undertaking a new project? How to handle alternatives? How are indirect and cumulative impacts considered? How to proceed with mitigation and compensation measures and who will manage the future of ecological areas restored? Natura 2000, estuaries, coastal areas and port related activities– Draft version n° 9 7
  8. 8. 3 Rationale and background Biodiversity and ecosystems are closely related concepts and changes in ecosystems affect human beings and many other species as well. Coastal and estuarine ecosystems — areas where fresh water and salt water mix, and nearshore marine areas — are among the most productive yet highly threatened systems in the world. Ecosystem services of coastal and estuarine areas include regulation and supporting services such as shoreline stabilization, nutrient regulation, carbon sequestration, detoxification of polluted waters, and waste disposal; provisioning services such as supply of food, energy resources, and natural products; and amenity services such as tourism and recreation (Millenium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005). One of the services offered from such ecosystems was shelter for ships and access to inland waters. This lead to the development of ports that has amongst other activities altered the ecosystem’s functions. The great variety and economic value of such ecosystems attracted humans and today worldwide population densities on the coasts are nearly three times that of inland areas. About 70 out of the 455 million citizens of the enlarged European Union, i.e. 16% of the EU population, live in coastal municipalities (EC, 2006b). Rapid growth and human population concentration has lead to the overexploitation of coastal and estuarine ecosystem services from activities such as port development, urbanization, resort development, aquaculture and industrialization. This often affected estuaries, sand dunes, salt marshes, mudflats, sandflats, coastal lagoons and reefs, all comprising habitats with a high natural value hosting a great diversity of species of fauna and flora. Since ecosystem services have been degraded human well-being has also been affected and coastal inhabitants are in many cases facing coastal erosion and flooding, declining water quality, resource limitation and increasing health risks. It is clear from the previous section that the physical, chemical and biological features of coastal zones and estuaries present a very thin balance that could be adversely affected both from human activities and other external factors such as climate change. 3.1 Estuaries, coastal zones and the EU Nature legislation Natura 2000 is a European network of nature protection areas established under the 1992 ‘‘Habitats’’ Directive 92/43/EEC on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Flora and Fauna and under the 1979 ’’Birds’’ Directive 79/409/EEC on the Conservation of Wild Birds. The aim of the network is to assure the long-term survival of Europe's most valuable and threatened species and habitats. It is comprised of Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) designated by Member States under the Habitats Directive, and Special Protection Areas (SPAs) which they designate under the Birds Directive. The Habitats Directive (Box 1) complements the Birds Directive (Box 2) since ‘’the Natura 2000 network shall include the special protection areas classified by the Member States pursuant to the Birds Directive’’. Natura 2000, estuaries, coastal areas and port related activities– Draft version n° 9 Box 1: The ‘‘Habitats’’ Directive 92/43/EEC on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Flora and Fauna. Article (2) - 1. The aim of this Directive shall be to contribute towards ensuring bio-diversity through the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora in the European territory of the Member States to which the Treaty applies. 2. Measures taken pursuant to this Directive shall be designed to maintain or restore, at favourable conservation status, natural habitats and species of wild fauna and flora of Community interest. 3. Measures taken pursuant to this Directive shall take account of economic, social and cultural requirements and regional and local characteristics. Article (3) - A coherent European network of special areas for conservation shall be set up under the title Natura 2000. This network, composed of sites hosting the natural habitat types listed in Annex I and habitats of the species listed in Annex II, shall enable the natural habitat types and the species' habitats concerned to be maintained or, where appropriate, restored at a favourable conservation status in their natural range. 8
  9. 9. As indicated in Article 6 (see Box 4 in chapter 4) of the ‘‘Habitats’’ Directive ‘‘any plan or project not directly connected with or necessary to the management of the site but likely to have a significant effect thereon, either individually or in combination with other plans or projects, shall be subject to appropriate assessment of its implications for the site in view of the site’s conservation objectives’’. The EU has made significant commitments in the protection of biodiversity and restoration of natural systems. An EC Biodiversity Strategy (European Commission, 1998) was adopted and Heads of State or Government agreed “to halt the decline of biodiversity in the EU by 2010” (Göteborg European Council, 2001) and to “restore habitats and natural systems” (EC, 2001a). Natura 2000 is the centrepiece of EU nature & biodiversity policy. Coastal and estuarine habitats protected under the Habitats Directive cover a total area of more than 45,000 km² in the whole European Territory, which is 7% of the whole Natura 2000 network (Table 1). Table 1: Surface area of coastal and estuarine habitats protected under the EU Nature legislation (after Natura 2000 Database – December 2007) Coastal and estuarine Natura 2000 sites of interest to the present document (without SPAs) Total surface area in the whole EU-27 territory (in 2007) 1130 Estuaries (264 sites) 634.249 1150 Coastal lagoons (564 sites) 405.164 1160 Large shallow inlets and bays (320 sites) 1.089.188 1110 Sandbank which are slightly covered by sea water all the time (411 sites) 1.606.372 1140 Mudflats and sandflats not covered by seawater at low tide (340 sites) 777.044 Total 4.512.116 ha 3.2 The Water Framework Directive (WFD) and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) Two other directives also protecting ecosystem services, and thus contributing to biodiversity protection, include the Water Framework Directive (WFD), 2000/60/EC and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), 2008/56/EC. The WFD establishes a framework for the protection of surface waters (rivers, lakes, transitional and coastal) and groundwater on an EU level and aims to achieve a good ecological and chemical status (or a good potential) by 2015. The MSFD 2008/56/EC establishes a framework for the protection, preservation and restoration of marine biodiversity and ecosystems. Within this framework, Member States shall take the necessary measures to achieve or maintain good environmental status in the marine environment by the year 2020 at the latest. Although the principal aim of all these directives is to protect ecosystems (a component of biodiversity definition) their objectives, measures and tools are not entirely the same. Attention Natura 2000, estuaries, coastal areas and port related activities– Draft version n° 9 Box 2: The ‘‘Birds’’ Directive 79/409/EEC on the Conservation of Wild Birds Article (1) - This Directive relates to the conservation of all species of naturally occurring birds in the wild state in the European territory of the Member States to which the Treaty applies. It covers the protection, management and control of these species and lays down the rules for their exploitation... Article (3) -... Member States shall take the requisite measures to preserve, maintain or re-establish a sufficient diversity and area of habitats for the all the species of birds referred to in Article 1... Article (4) - In respect of the protection areas...Member States shall take appropriate steps to avoid pollution or deterioration of habitats and any disturbances affecting the birds, in so far as these would be significant having regard to the objectives of this Article. 9
  10. 10. should be given to potential synergies between these directives especially in areas where all these apply i.e. transitional and coastal waters2 . In contrast to the Habitats Directive, the WFD gives the opportunity to designate sites as ‘Heavily Modified Water Bodies’ (HMWB) defined as water bodies resulted from physical alterations from human activity, which substantially changed its hydrogeomorphological character. Member States may designate a body of surface water as heavily modified when the changes to the hydromorphological characteristics of that body, which would be necessary for achieving Good Ecological Status (GES – a similar type of target to Favourable Conservation Status – FCS - in the Habitats Directive), would have significant adverse effects on navigation, including port facilities or recreation (and other activities not relevant to the current document). This means that under the WFD, many of the transitional or coastal water bodies where ports are located will probably be designated as HMWB. In implementing the WFD, environmental managers are required to assess the status of HMWB in terms of achieving at least ‘good ecological potential’ (GEP) and not GES. Port developers consider sometimes that the requirements of the WFD are less problematic than those of the nature directives and stakeholders noted that the WFD considers in a more direct manner the need for economic development within or near the areas to be designated. They are confused when the requirements of the Habitat Directive have to be applied for the same area (i.e. achieve FCS) especially when it is considered as HMWB. However, the Water Framework Directive is clear that the more stringent objectives (of either the WFD or the nature Directives) take precedence over the less stringent objectives. Guidance already provided on the exemptions related to the WFD, especially the one on article 4.7 (see references), have already highlighted that the most stringent objectives are valid. 3.3 Maritime transport policy and European ports policy The importance of the 70 000 km of European coastline was underlined in the EU communication on the Integrated Maritime Policy since EU's maritime regions account for some 40% of its GDP and population (EC 2007d). Shipbuilding and shipping, ports and fisheries remain key maritime activities, but offshore energy (including oil, gas and renewables) and coastal and maritime tourism also generate massive revenues (EC 2007d). Increased demand for port capacity was identified in the European Port’s Policy (EC, 2007b) in order to improve port efficiency and increase productivity rates. As highlighted by the European Sea Port Organisation (ESPO, 2007), “international seaborne trade increased by an estimated 3.8% in 2005 to reach a total volume of 7.11 billion tons. Total demand for shipping services reached about 29 billion ton-miles in 2005, representing an increase of 5.1 % compared to the year before). Europe remains a massive importer of crude oil and petroleum products with more than half a billion tons in 2005. Europe also remained the largest dry cargo market with more than a billion tons of exports (22.7% of world total) and over .5 billion tons of imports (32.3%)”. The European Sea Port Organisation (ESPO) published some interesting figures on the container, RoRo, general cargo and liquid and dry bulk markets in Europe (ESPO, 2007 – Box 3). Merchant ports count for more than 1 200 in Europe (Map 1), comprise key points of modal transfer and are of vital interest to handle 90% of Europe's international trade (EC, 2007b). The high density of ports along North sea and Channel coastlines has to be highlighted. Environmental Directives were sometimes considered as an obstacle to port development as stated from ESPO: “shipping lines, through massive expansion plans for their ship fleets, have clearly prepared themselves to handle the expected increase in container volumes in the short term, the development of additional container handling capacity to meet this demand has clearly lagged behind in some parts of the world’’. 2 the MSFD only applies in coastal water bodies insofar as aspects such as litter, noise and cetaceans are concerned (ie. to parameters not already included in the WFD) Natura 2000, estuaries, coastal areas and port related activities– Draft version n° 9 10
  11. 11. Map 1: Major European Sea Ports (after EC Port Policy Consultation 2006-2007, 2007, Map showing the trans-european transport network outline plan-2020 horizon) (Quality of map to be improved)  Existing seaports Existing inland ways  Inland maritime ports Planned inland ways Railways Roads Natura 2000, estuaries, coastal areas and port related activities– Draft version n° 9 11
  12. 12. Natura 2000, estuaries, coastal areas and port related activities– Draft version n° 9 BOX 3 (after ESPO, 2007) Container market - The total throughput handled by the world’s container ports grew at an average rate of 11 % per year in the last five years and this attributed to the increased transhipment traffic and the high growth rates in Asian/Chinese container ports. - Total container throughput in Europe accounts for some 18% of the world total. - The top fifteen ports in Europe saw a container throughput of around 54 million TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit-container length) in 2006, the top three 25.6 million TEU. - The Le Havre – Hamburg range remains the leading port range in Europe, but a significant number of ports in the West-Mediterranean (in particular Spanish ports), the Black Sea and the Baltic have witnessed healthy growth rates as well. - The highest growth rates in 2006 have been realized by Amsterdam, Sines, Zeebrugge, Bremerhaven, Constanza, Gdynia, Tallinn, Kotka and Rauma. - The top five strongest growers in TEU terms were Hamburg, Bremerhaven, Antwerp, Rotterdam and Constanza, together adding some 2.7 million TEU to total European port throughput in 2006. RoRo market RoRo stands for Roll-on/roll-off and refers to ships that are ferries designed to carry wheeled cargo such as automobiles, trucks, semi-trailer trucks, trailers or railroad cars. This is in contrast to lo-lo (lift on-lift off) vessels which use a crane to load and unload cargo. - Combined European RoRo throughput amounted to 415 million tons in 2005, of which ports in the United Kingdom handled about one quarter. - Other major RoRo countries include Italy, Sweden, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Spain, the Netherlands and Finland. Dover remains the largest European RoRo port followed by Calais, Zeebrugge, Lόbeck, Immingham, Rotterdam, Trelleborg and Goteborg. Conventional general cargo market - European seaports handled a total throughput of 253 million tons of conventional general cargo in 2005. - The lion’s share of conventional general cargo was handled in ports in Italy, the United Kingdom, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, Norway, Finland and France. - Antwerp is the market leader with a volume of 17.4 million tons in 2005. - Other major conventional general cargo ports include Rotterdam, Taranto, Dunkirk and Valencia. More than 200 ports in Europe handled less than half a million ton of conventional general cargo traffic in 2005. Liquid bulk market - The seaborne liquid bulk trade amounted to 2.42 billion tons in 2005, of which 77% crude oil and 23% oil products. - Loadings and unloadings in Europe amounted to half a billion tons of crude oil and 46 million tons of oil products. - The liquid bulk ships represent 40.9% in the world fleet (in dwt), mainly oil tankers. - European seaports handled a total throughput of 1.58 billion tons of liquid bulk traffic in 2005. The lion’s share of this volume was handled in ports in the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, France and Spain. - These five countries accounted for around billion tons of liquid bulk traffic. - On an individual port basis, by far the biggest liquid bulk port in Europe is Rotterdam, handling nearly 170 million tons in 2005, mainly thanks to a favourable nautical accessibility and the presence of major petrochemical clusters in Rotterdam and Antwerp. Dry bulk market - European ports handled a total throughput of 977 million tons of dry bulk in 2005. - The lion’s share of this volume was handled in ports in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy and France. Also here, by far the biggest dry bulk port is Rotterdam, handling nearly 88 million tons of dry bulk traffic in 2005. Other major dry bulk ports include Hamburg (Germany), Antwerp (Belgium), Dunkirk (France), Taranto (Italy) and Amsterdam (Netherlands). 12
  13. 13. 4 Major problem and issues Legal uncertainty was though claimed by stakeholders in relation to the Birds and Habitats Directives. The Commission is aware of the difficulties that may arise on the occasion of the implementation of these directives with regard to port infrastructures (EC, 2007b). Conservation objectives of all designated sites are not always compatible with the developmental objectives of other users of such areas (i.e. port authorities) that are having a difficulty in implementing all aforementioned directives. However this position has to be balanced with the need of protection of estuaries and coastal zones because of the great human pressure on these areas and the challenges they will be confronted to with climate change and its related impacts. This external factor will have a great impact on port related activities to because of the sea level rise and tidal modifications. 4.1 Climate and global changes As indicated in the Green Paper informing Member States on how to adapt to Climate Change in Europe (EC, 2007a), global change presents a double challenge today:  Climate change is already happening, societies worldwide face the parallel challenge of having to adapt to its impacts as a certain degree of climate change is inevitable throughout this century and beyond, even if global mitigation efforts over the next decades prove successful.  Severe climate change impacts can only be prevented by early, deep cuts of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Swift transition to a global low-carbon economy is therefore the central pillar of the EU’s integrated climate change and energy policy in order to reach the EU’s objective of keeping global average temperature increase below 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels. Coastal zones and floodplains are listed in the most vulnerable areas to climate change in Europe. Coastal zones are vulnerable due to sea level rise combined with increased risks for storms, intense rainfall and flash floods leading to widespread damages to built-up areas and infrastructure (EC, 2007a). Flood protection measures such as dyke construction, land reclamation and other types of construction for sea defence leads to the “coastal squeeze” phenomenon whereby less and less space is available for natural coastal processes to accommodate eroding forces or adjust to changes such as sea-level rise. “Coastal squeeze” occurs especially in low-lying and inter-tidal areas, which would naturally adjust to the changes in sea level, storms and tides, but cannot do so due to the construction of inflexible barriers such as roads, dykes, urbanisations, hard port infrastructure, industrial and other facilities (European Commission, 2004b). Natura 2000, estuaries, coastal areas and port related activities– Draft version n° 9 13
  14. 14. Figure 1: Coastal Squeeze is created when habitat migration (in response to sea-level rise) is prevented by tidal/flood defences (Environment Agency, 2005). Climate change will heavily affect Europe's natural environment and nearly all sections of society and the economy. Major transport infrastructure with long lifetimes such as motorways, railways, waterways, its functioning and related means of transport are weather and climate sensitive and therefore affected by a changing climate. For example, sea-level rise will reduce the sheltering effect of breakwaters and quays wall (EC, 2007a), but also periods of decreased precipitation in the river catchment areas can lead to lower rates of freshwater run-of resulting in and higher sedimentation rates within the estuary. The EC published the Eurosion study (EC, 2004b) in order to guide Member States on how to deal with sea-level rise in coastal areas and manage coastal erosion. According to this, coastal erosion is usually the result of a combination of factors - both natural and human induced - that operate on different scales:  Natural factors are: winds and storms, near shore currents, relative sea level rise (a combination of vertical land movement and sea level rise) and slope processes.  Human induced factors include: coastal engineering, land claim, river basin regulation works (especially construction of dams), dredging, vegetation clearing, vessel-induced wave erosion, gas mining and water extraction. 4.2 Main issues for port sector One of the key issue for port sector development is the capability to plan smoothly the new projects because there is a need of coordinated investments. However there were frequently delays in terminal extension in various European ports during these last years (see table 2). ESPO attributes those delays to a number of different causes, ranging from internal politics within the port, environmental objections, legal technicalities and objections, investigations by the European Commission into market share implications, to political wrangling over funding, court cases, or to public enquiries and subsequent government considerations of their findings (ESPO, 2007). Table 2: Port terminal extension delays (After ESPO, 2007) Port terminal name and location Delays due to a wide range of reasons Le Havre Port 2000, France The originally proposed date for the opening of the “Le Havre Port 2000” complex was delayed for three years (from 2003 until 2006) Deurganckdok terminal in the port of Antwerp, Belgium Operations at the Deurganckdok in the port of Antwerp (Belgium) only started in late 2005, while this date was originally intended to be 2001 Euromax terminal in the port of Rotterdam, Netherlands Delay from 2004 to 2008 JadeWeserPort in Wilhelmshaven, Lower Saxony Germany Delay from 2006 to 2010 Westerschelde Container Terminal in Flushing, Netherlands At least five years delay Maasvlakte II project in Rotterdam, Netherlands Start date of operations postponed from 2002 to 2003 at the earliest Felixstowe South Reconfiguration, UK Felixstowe South Reconfiguration’ obtained government approval in early 2006 and is expected to be taken into operation in 2008, i.e. two years behind schedule Bathside Bay in the port of Harwich, UK Construction work expected to start in 2009 at the earliest, implying a significant delay to the proposed start date of operations of 2004 London Gateway terminal, UK Originally scheduled to open in 2006 were still awaiting final approval in early 2007 Natura 2000, estuaries, coastal areas and port related activities– Draft version n° 9 14
  15. 15. Stakeholders showed that many difficulties arise in the implementation of the EU nature directives and that there are delays in port maintenance works or other extension developments of ports and their coastal and estuarine fairway channels. As indicated in previous chapters ports comprise highly competitive businesses and confusion in the implementation of environmental legislation that may differ from one Member State to the other will not result in a level playing field. Port development activities and navigation facilities will have to be integrated in early planning either in the management plans more or less required from all directives (i.e. Natura 2000 management plan or River Basin Management Plan) or in other EU planning tools such as the Strategic Environmental Assessment or Integrated Coastal Zone Management. Early cooperation among interested parties is commonly a prerequisite for successful planning and elimination of delays. One of the possible reason for the delay is the fact that stakeholders find it difficult to follow all requirements of the Habitat and Birds directives, and especially those of article 6 (see Box 4), in a largely modified environment i.e. estuaries and coastal zones with historic and long lasting port and waterways operations. The purpose of this document is to provide guidance on the implementation of the EU Nature Directives within Natura 2000 sites located in estuaries and coastal zones in order to protect, maintain and restore their biodiversity and ecosystems while taking into account maritime transport that requires port infrastructure development and maintenance of good conditions of navigation through dredging. The first step has to be a good understanding of stakeholders questions. Those arising include: how to define Favourable Conservation Status and how to set conservation objectives in dynamic and rapidly changing environments such as estuaries? What are the boundaries and the definitions of an estuary and when and to which point an impact is considered significant? Is an appropriate assessment needed for recurring activities such as waterway and port maintenance operations? How to reconcile the often high economic importance of estuaries with the nature conservation needs of Natura 2000 via Article 2.3 of the habitats directive without incurring unacceptable economic damages for whole regions? In addition to these questions, coordination is needed when it comes to apply another two EU environmental legislations i.e. the Water Framework Directive and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. Since 1993, ESPO (European Sea Ports Organisation) represents the port authorities, port associations and port administrations of the seaports of the European Union. ESPO published the so called Code of Practice on the Birds and Habitats Directives in 2007 (ESPO, 2007), which contains a number of recommendations to port authorities which are confronted with the legal implications of the provisions of the Birds and Habitats Directives in their wider port area. The last Natura 2000, estuaries, coastal areas and port related activities– Draft version n° 9 Box 4 : The ‘‘Habitats’’ Directive 92/43/EEC on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Flora and Fauna. Article (6)- 1. For special areas of conservation, Member States shall establish the necessary conservation measures involving, if need be, appropriate management plans specifically designed for the sites or integrated into other development plans, and appropriate statutory, administrative or contractual measures which correspond to the ecological requirements of the natural habitat types in Annex I and the species in Annex II present on the sites. 2. Member States shall take appropriate steps to avoid, in the special areas of conservation, the deterioration of natural habitats and the habitats of species as well as disturbance of the species for which the areas have been designated, in so far as such disturbance could be significant in relation to the objectives of this Directive. 3. Any plan or project not directly connected with or necessary to the management of the site but likely to have a significant effect thereon, either individually or in combination with other plans or projects, shall be subject to appropriate assessment of its implications for the site in view of the site’s conservation objectives....competent authorities shall agree to the plan or project only after having ascertained that it will not adversely affect the integrity of the site.... 4. If, in spite of a negative assessment of the implications for the site and in the absence of alternative solutions, a plan or project must nevertheless be carried out for imperative reasons of overriding public interest, including those of social or economic nature, the Member State shall take all compensatory measures necessary to ensure that the overall coherence of Natura 2000 is protected....where the site concerned hosts a priority natural habitat type and/or a priority species, the only considerations which may be raised are those relating to human health or public safety.... 15
  16. 16. chapter of Code of Practice presents a list of topics that need further guidance from the European Commission. These topics are as follows:  More guidance should be developed for the plan or project developers on how a proactive approach could lead to more legal certainty.  Port authorities should be willing to be proactive and willing to invest time and money in wide public consultation, offering all stakeholders involved a chance to participate in the procedure. Individual interests can, however, block efforts to reach early agreements and guidance should be developed on ways to avoid this.  More guidance could be developed on how costs can be shared amongst all the relevant stakeholders who can benefit from general initiatives aimed at integrating all the human activities potentially affecting designated areas.  More guidance should be developed on how to address the compensation requirements in a more flexible manner and how plan or project developers can cooperate with environmental agencies and NGOs on this issue. The European Commission should also promote a flexible approach as this could lead to more win-win situations.  ESPO also recommended that the European Commission actively disseminates information on initiatives taken by industry to the relevant national authorities to demonstrate what can be achieved by taking a proactive approach. ESPO also submitted to the Working Group on Estuaries and Coastal Zones a position paper (ESPO, 2008) with a list of key issues needing further guidance from the European Commission. Those issues and questions are summarised in the table bellow. Topics for further guidance requested from ESPO Question/topic explanation How are conservation objectives set clearly for the estuarine habitat? Request for an exchange and collection of good practices on setting such objectives (clear conservation objectives in concrete terms such as numbers and/or size were considered desirable) How can management plans be developed in relation to maintenance dredging, sediment relocation and other water engineering activities? For new proposed maintenance dredging activities an exchange of good practices on how to integrate these in a management plan could be useful. In those cases more consideration should go out to the possibility of having an ecological baseline laid down in the management plan. The possibilities to set such a baseline applying to maintenance dredging activities which were not assessed prior should be further explored by means of an exchange of good practices. Where is integrated planning useful for port related activities and where could it effectively reduce time to get permits? Integrated planning should be looked at in more detail. ESPO believes that spatial planning could help achieving greater legal certainty for port development projects. However, it also believes that a management plan for a designated site should primarily focus on achieving the conservation objectives. Natura 2000, estuaries, coastal areas and port related activities– Draft version n° 9 16
  17. 17. What is an appropriate assessment? The highly dynamic and complex estuarine habitats are still subject to scientific debate. This contrasts with the prescription that a competent authority shall agree to a plan or a project only after having ascertained that it will not adversely affect the integrity of the site concerned. This combination of terminology, likely – significant – appropriate, raises a lot of uncertainty which is also not really solved in the existing Commission guidance documents. It sets out some indications about how to carry out an appropriate assessment but says nothing about length, number of studies required, required contra-expertise etc. ESPO would like to see some exchange of good practices on appropriate assessments for specific port related projects, which would give some more insight on how they need to be assessed. In this way port authorities can also demonstrate the appropriateness of their work to other parties. ESPO believes though that an appropriate assessment should be proportional to the project/plan proposed. There is a trend that even for the smallest projects (e.g. a minor dredge required for a turning circle for vessels) a big amount of studies are required. Therefore some more guidance (templates) for specific port related projects could be useful. Which are the different mitigation measures for port related projects? Despite huge efforts to avoid any significant effect by means of mitigation, legal complaints are still being filed against the appropriate assessment including such measures. ESPO requests to formalize such prior agreements in order to avoid legal complaints. ESPO therefore calls for an exchange of good practices about possible mitigation measures for different port related activities. How can active involvement of port authorities with the management of a site be promoted without legal implications? Port authorities are involved in exercises aimed at improving the resilience of a designated site and working toward a ‘good conservation status’ by means of active management and measures. A similar approach counts for pieces of land owned by the port authority but not in use for port operations. Ports can turn these into ecologically interesting areas, but are less inclined to do so if this would lead to adaptation of conservation objectives or additional designation in return. An exchange of good practices in this matter indicating how port authorities can be actively involved in the management of sites without having to fear of immediate adaptation of conservation objectives was requested from ESPO. How can compensation requirements resulted in a fast implementation of the compensation obligations be executed? In general port authorities do not oppose the compensation obligation, compensation areas are often even bigger than the area that went lost, but port authorities would like to execute this as soon as possible. Nevertheless, difficulties in relation to land purchase permit and administrative procedures slow down the implementation. Another difficulty lies in the fact that compensation obligations could coincide with general national policy initiatives to prevent against the impact of sea level rise (e.g. realignment procedures etc.). In this way the actual compensation area may become much bigger than if it would only deal with the compensation for a port related project. An exchange of good practices on how to put in place compensation requirements could be useful to in general speed up the process which in many Member States is subject to an unclear legal framework. These are the problems presented from a port authority point of view when it comes to management a port near or in a protected estuarine or coastal zone. From a scientist point of view, other problems are arising when trying to implement port development works near a designated site. Those problems are actually the impacts of human infrastructure to the protected habitats, fauna and flora. Natura 2000, estuaries, coastal areas and port related activities– Draft version n° 9 17
  18. 18. 4.3 Port-related activities affecting the estuarine and coastal ecosystems Uses and users of coastal and estuarine areas where port-related activities are taking place have been recorded from the Delft University of Technology (2007) within the framework of the New Delta project. These include navigation and dredging, aggregate extraction (sand mining), navigation, fishing and fisheries (including shell fisheries), industry (including oil and gas extraction, wind farm development), drainage of sewage and waste water, water extraction (e.g. cooling or process water for power stations and industry), safety (including sea defence and flood protection, bird watching, recreation and nature experience, mariculture, housing, cover for cables, pipes and tunnels, military activities and research activities. Users of such areas are port authorities, dredging companies, local and federal authorities, tourism operators, fishermen, farmers, vessel captains, research institutions, environmental organisations etc. All these activities undertaken in coastal zones and estuaries could have a significant impact not only in their morphology, directly by means of engineering works but also indirectly by modifying their physical chemical and biological process (Emphasys Consortium, 2000). For example, sailing of vessels affect the environment by emission of gases and disturbance by means of noise, turbidity and water/sediment movement, whereas, drainage of sewage and wastewater might cause contamination (Delft University of Technology, 2007). Additionally, flood protection measures such as dyke construction, land reclamation and other types of construction for sea defense leads to the “coastal squeeze” phenomenon whereby less and less space is available for natural coastal processes to accommodate eroding forces or adjust to changes such as sea-level rise. On the other hand, industry needs cooling or process water requiring its intake and outfall. Outfalls could both discharge warmer water and chemical contaminants which could effect the type of flora and fauna that exists at those localities (Delft University of Technology, 2007). One of the most important and frequent activity in ports and waterways located in estuaries and adjacent coastal areas is dredging. Dredging includes the excavation, transport and relocation of the dredged material either for beneficial use or disposal. Dredging can have short-term impacts including the direct removal of a locally present habitat as well as the increase of the turbidity due to excavation works and sediment disposal. But also long-term impacts can be caused by the change in flow and sediment budgets, changing the geometry of channels and the flow, especially affecting the tidal propagation. As indicated in the rationale, the use of coastal and estuarine areas is highly variable including navigation and dredging, fishing and fisheries (including shell fisheries), industry, safety (including sea defence and flood protection), bird watching, recreation and nature experience, mariculture, housing and other. All these activities undertaken in coastal zones and estuaries could have a significant impact not only in their morphology, directly by means of engineering works but also indirectly by modifying their physical, chemical and biological process (Emphasys Consortium, 2000). This section of the guidance document intends to present the environmental impacts directly related to port development/ construction and port operation. An overview of such impacts are presented in Figure 2. Commercial shipping operations (summary from ABP research, 1999) Commercial shipping operations within ports and harbours can be divided into two broad categories, vessel movements and cargo operations. The movement of ships through water may potentially affect the features of a habitat both through the generation of waves and propeller- induced turbidity in the water column. The effects of vessel movement to the environment can either be harmful i.e. intertidal erosion of estuaries and/or resuspension of sediments3 or beneficial i.e. aeration of the water column (ibid). Noise associated with shipping has the potential to cause disturbance to marine animals designated under the Habitats Directive. Some experts consider that the main disturbance is created by under water noise. Fish, marine animals and (diving) birds are affected by under water noise. Noise under water can travel very far and has by 3 refer to sediment resuspension effects from dredging below Natura 2000, estuaries, coastal areas and port related activities– Draft version n° 9 18
  19. 19. that a large influence area. The main source of noise from vessels is generated by the engine, which may travel via the atmosphere or be transmitted through the structure of the craft. The anchoring of vessels may disturb or damage animals and plants on the seabed (i.e. shellfish beds, soft corals, sea grasses and maerl), either temporarily by increasing suspended sediments from the disturbance of the bottom or through direct contact with dragging anchors. During cargo handling operations in ports and harbours discharges and emissions can often occur. Dry bulk cargos including grain, coal, iron ore, china clay and during transportation may cause the production of dust. Handling of liquid bulks may require discharge through pipelines, which provides the potential for leaks, emissions and spillages4 . Sources of atmospheric pollution can stem from cargo vapour emissions. Release of cargoes into the marine environment may have important environmental effects, as in the case of the loss of toxic substances or the loss of non-toxic organic-rich substances which may result in oxygen depletion on their breakdown resulting in the suffocation of marine life in the vicinity. The import of exotic animals and plants by foreign vessels can have a negative influence on Natura 2000 values. Figure 2: Environmental impacts specifically related to port operation and port development and construction (after Delft University of Technology, 2007). 4 As it was the case in Loire estuary during summer 2008. Natura 2000, estuaries, coastal areas and port related activities– Draft version n° 9 19
  20. 20. Recreational harbour operations (summary from ABP research, 1999) Environmental effects may be frequent from maintenance activities, essential to preserve human safety, in harbours and marinas. Typical activities undertaken in recreational harbours include the maintenance or replacement or installation of navigation marks, piles, lights, vessel traffic schemes and moorings, the extension or construction of slipways and jetties and the maintenance of sea walls, flood defences and wave screens. Scraping old paint from vessels, cleaning pontoons, cleaning jetties and wharves or cleaning vessels lead to the release of wastes containing a mixture of contaminants including oils, oil emulsifiers, paints, solvents, detergents, bleach, antifouling paint scrapings or sandblasting wastes. On entering the marine environment these pollutants can have harmful or toxic effects on the animals and plants. Impacts on marine life from dredging (summary from ABP research, 1999) Dredging has been defined from the International Association of Dredging Companies (2008) as the ‘’relocation of underwater sediments and soils for the construction and maintenance of waterways, dikes and transportation infrastructures and for reclamation and soil improvements’’. The detailed impacts exposed below concern mainly capital dredging (by opposition to maintenance dredging) and gravel extraction. During all dredging operations a first impact is the removal of benthic animals, the animals living on or in the sediments. A second impact arises with all methods of dredging that release suspended sediments into the water column, during the excavation itself and during the flow of sediments from hoppers and barges. Increases in suspended sediments and turbidity levels from dredging and disposal operations may under certain conditions have adverse effects on marine animals and plants by reducing light penetration into the water column and by physical disturbance. Reduction in light penetration may affect submerged seaweeds and plants, such as eelgrass Zostera species, by temporarily reducing productivity and growth rates. Also the growth of algae is reduced, which can affect the total mass of food, and by that through the lifecycle can affect higher organisms. On the other hand, increased suspended sediments can effect filter feeding organisms, such as shellfish, through clogging and damaging their feeding and breathing equipment. Similarly, young fish can damaged when suspended sediments are trapped in their gills leading to increase fatalities. It is important to note that the degree of resuspension of sediments and turbidity from maintenance dredging and disposal depends on four main variables: the sediments being dredged (size, density and quality of the material), the method of dredging (and disposal), the hydrodynamic regime in the dredging and disposal area (current direction and speed, mixing rate, tidal state), the state of the sediment (undisturbed or not, e.g. by fisheries) and the existing water quality and characteristics (background suspended sediment and turbidity levels). Dredged material may also be contaminated from harmful substances (heavy metals, oil, TBT, PCBs and pesticides) especially in industrialised estuaries. The dredging and disposal processes can release these contaminants into the water column, making them available to be taken up by animals and plants, with the potential to cause contamination and/or poisoning. Contaminants can accumulate in marine animals and plants and transfer up the food chain to fish and sea mammals causing morphological or reproductive disorders. Sediment resettlement over the seabed from both dredging and disposal may also affect the animals and plants that live on and within it. This blanketing or smothering of benthic animals and plants, may cause stress, reduced rates of growth or reproduction and in the worse cases the effects may be fatal. For example, animals with delicate feeding or breeding apparatus, such as shellfish can be intolerant to increased siltation resulting in reduced growth and fatality. Additionally, smothering of eggs and larvae can result from sediment resettlements when dredging takes place near spawning or nursery areas. On the other hand resettlement of the dredge area is possible, especially disturbed areas can be in the same state as before dredging in a defined time Natura 2000, estuaries, coastal areas and port related activities– Draft version n° 9 20
  21. 21. Impacts on hydrodynamic regime and geomorphology from dredging (mainly from ABP research, 1999) As indicated earlier, estuaries undergo a natural infilling depending on the size of the initial basin and the amount of sediment available which is either supplied from erosion in the catchment, or from the marine environment. It is also noted that beyond a certain point, a sort of balance is reached and the estuary begins to release sediment, rather than retain it. Capital dredging reserves the trend of estuarine infilling and provides an obstacle to the natural balance it seeks to attain (Morris, 2007). This occurs because capital dredging operations in an estuary may permit a saltwedge intrusion to travel further upstream than previously, increase shoreline wave action, change tidal range, tidal currents, suspended sediment load and suspended sedimentation in areas away from the deepened part of the river. Additionally, the hydrodynamic changes and their effect on sediment erosion, deposition and transport may cause secondary geomorphological changes away from the dredge location, including the potential erosion of mudflats and saltmarshes. Regarding maintenance dredging, its effect on the hydrodynamics and geomorphology of a site has all the complexity of a capital scheme but the impacts are in general much smaller. The impacts depend on a series of factors like the quantity and periodicity of dredging activities and the specific locality were it takes place (including relocation). What plays an important role in maintenance dredging is the location of the disposal site, determining the sediment regime. A first case scenario could be for the location of the disposal site not to be linked to the estuary or coastal zone system, leading to a regular removal of sediment from the transport system and finally affecting the erosion and sedimentation processes and ultimately the form of the estuary. This could possibly deprive downstream coastal areas of sediment required to maintain coastal stability. A second scenario could be for the sediment to be placed back within the same system. In such case, although the net change may be insignificant the locations of maximum sediment concentration may change promoting additional siltation in specific areas. Increased erosion of mud, sand flats and salt marshes may have numerous implications on the ecology of marine habitats and species. For example a reduction in the lower intertidal area may lead to reduced intertidal communities and a subsequent loss of bird feeding grounds. By contrast, careful design of disposal can result in intertidal areas being increased. Figure 3 provides a good example of a factor train for dredging activities. Natura 2000, estuaries, coastal areas and port related activities– Draft version n° 9 21
  22. 22. Figure 3: A general example of a factor train for dredging activities (Delft University of Technology, 2007a) Natura 2000, estuaries, coastal areas and port related activities– Draft version n° 9 22
  23. 23. 5 Conservation objectives in dynamic environments This document is dedicated to both estuarine and coastal areas that could be affected by ports or port related activities, including waterways. A prerequisite for successful planning is the good knowledge of the complex ecosystem of the estuary and adjacent coastal zone. When the system is well understood authorities will be able to set the right conservation objectives and define the final target which will be the Favourable Conservation Status for habitats and species and the Good Ecological Status or Potential for water bodies. The habitats examined in the current document are listed in table 3 and are all of them considered under the Water Framework Directive. Sea cliffs and shingle or stony beaches (habitats 1210 to 1240) were not taken into consideration as they are less dynamics environments with sparse port development apart of local marinas. Purely marine habitats (e.g. 1180 submarine structures made by leaking gases) were not considered as well as terrestrial habitats including dunes systems even if they have functional links with subtidal or intertidal habitats. Table 3: Habitats examined in the current document Habitats listed in Annex I of the Habitats Directive that may be affected during port development Relations with WFD categories 1. Coastal and halophytic habitats 11. Open sea and tidal areas 1110 - Sandbanks which are slightly covered by sea water all the time Coastal or transitional waters 1120 – Posidonia beds * Coastal waters 1130 – Estuaries Transitional waters 1140 – Mudflats and sandflats not covered by seawater at low tide Coastal or transitional waters 1150 - Coastal lagoons* Transitional waters 1160 - Large shallow inlets and bays Coastal or transitional waters 1170 – Reefs Coastal or transitional waters 13 . Atlantic and continental salt marshes and salt meadows 1310. Salicornia and other annuals colonising mud and sand Coastal or transitional waters 1320. Spartina swards (Spartinion maritimae) Coastal or transitional waters 1330. Atlantic salt meadows (Glauco-Puccinellietalia maritimae) Coastal or transitional waters 14 . Mediterranean and thermo-Atlantic salt marshes and salt meadows 1410. Mediterranean salt meadows (Juncetalia maritimi) Coastal or transitional waters 1420. Mediterranean and thermo-Atlantic halophilous scrubs (Sarcocornetea fructicosi) Coastal or transitional waters 16 . Boreal Baltic archipelago, coastal and landupheaval areas 1610 Baltic esker islands with sandy, rocky and shingle beach vegetation and sublittoral vegetation Coastal or transitional waters 1620 Boreal Baltic islets and small islands Coastal or transitional waters 1630 * Boreal Baltic coastal meadows Coastal or transitional waters 1640 Boreal Baltic sandy beaches with perennial vegetation Coastal or transitional waters 1650 Boreal Baltic narrow inlets Coastal or transitional waters 3. Freshwater habitats Standing waters or running waters habitats in relation with coastal and transitional waters Surface waters Natura 2000, estuaries, coastal areas and port related activities– Draft version n° 9 23
  24. 24. This document is also dedicated to species that could be affected by ports or port related activities development and especially birds in the framework of the Birds Directive. 5.1 Understanding estuarine and coastal systems Habitats and species are in many aspects determined by the geological setting, the morphology and the natural system processes of the coastal and estuarine ecosystems. They depend on numerous factors such as the location along the natural system and position in the salinity gradient, the area surface and elevation of the considered habitat, the duration and the degree of submersion of it, the flow intensity (velocity and turbulence) during the various phases of the tidal cycle, the sedimentary composition of morphological features such as the intertidal areas, shallow water zones, sandbars, salt marshes and others (Delft, 2007b) All these natural factors form a rapidly changing estuarine or coastal setting consisting of several sub-systems as described in figure 4. In order to be able to understand how a natural system responds to change, whether this is humanly induced or naturally caused, the concerned authorities should have a general understanding, particularly for the area they manage, how their estuarine or coastal system is organised, from which physical elements it consists of, what are the dynamics of the interaction between them and how the current system and subsystems behave. Figure 4: Systems map of the estuary within a coastal and catchment setting (ABPmer, 2008) The example proposed by figure 4 gives an idea of the complexity of the systems focused by this guidance document. Several questions will be raised through the following technical supporting documents to help to gather a common knowledge base. The first question to raise (TSD n° 1) concerns the definition of the habitat 1130, first of all because the European Commission has published informally a first interpretation note on this in 2005 and furthermore because the article 17 reports produced by Members States to define the current conservation status of estuaries has shown slightly different approaches. Natura 2000, estuaries, coastal areas and port related activities– Draft version n° 9 24
  25. 25. The second issue (TSD n° 2) raises the main non biotic ecological processes which have to be taken into consideration when defining conservation objectives or when studying potential impacts of plan and projects. The third TSD tackles specific features and needs of species within estuarine and coastal ecosystems explaining how nature and water directives are considering these species. The specification of the Habitats Directive concerning the protection regime of species (art.12, 13 and 16) are not developed within this guidance document as an interpretation guide was already published in 2007 on the strict protection of animal species of Community interest under the Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC. Before developing the concept of Ecosystem Approach and its relationship with nature and water directives in the fifth TSD, the fourth one will describe how global change will influence conservation objectives. Technical Supporting Document (TSD):  TSD 1: How can the definition of the habitat type 1130-'Estuaries' be improved? The definition for the habitat 1130 Estuaries proposed in the Interpretation Manual was adopted by the Habitats committee in 1999. Unfortunately, no change occurs when some other habitats were revised in the version of 2007 (e.g. marine habitats 1110, 1170 and 1180). A review of the different definitions/interpretation from various Member States (Germany, France, UK and others) of the habitat estuaries-1130 is presented including a review of the article 17 reports proposed by Member states. Further interpretation on the delimitation of Estuaries is presented in coherence with EC interpretation from last years, including the Water Framework Directive definition of transitional waters. However, this document is not the right place to solve the definition of the habitat 1130-“estuaries” issue. Nevertheless, the Habitat Committee and the EEA Topic Centre should be aware of the proposals made during this work. Recommendations:  The Interpretation Manual of European habitats could be modified to clarify the current interpretation concerning estuaries. However final decision has to be taken by the Habitat Committee. The following main modifications are suggested for the habitat 1130 (see the TSD for the full proposal): Current Interpretation Manual version (EUR 27) Proposed modification (in bold) Downstream part of a river valley… extending from the limit of brackish waters. Downstream part of a river valley extending from the limit of brackish water. The outer limit has to be defined at local level with the features of interest and if possible in coherence with the transitional water bodies identified during the WFD implantation. Estuaries are dynamic systems with their own conservation value but consisting at the same time of several habitat types and habitats of species. Downstream part of a river valley, subject to the tide and extending from the limit of brackish waters. River estuaries are coastal inlets where, unlike 'large shallow inlets and bays' there is generally a substantial freshwater influence. The mixing of fresh water and sea water and the reduced current flows in the shelter of the estuary lead to deposition of fine sediments, often forming extensive intertidal sand and mud flats. Where the tidal currents are faster than flood tides, most sediments deposit to form a delta at the mouth of the estuary. In North-East Atlantic coast, estuaries are subject to the tide. River estuaries are coastal inlets where, unlike 'large shallow inlets and bays' there is generally a substantial freshwater influence. The mixing of fresh water and sea water and the reduced current flows in the shelter of the estuary lead to deposition of fine sediments, often forming extensive intertidal sand and mud flats. Estuarine ecosystems are characterized by subtidal and intertidal habitats (slikke) including salt marshes (shore). Some of them are identified as habitat types in their own right and occur in other coastal areas. Where the tidal currents are faster than flood tides, most sediments deposit to form a delta at the mouth of the estuary. Natura 2000, estuaries, coastal areas and port related activities– Draft version n° 9 25
  26. 26. Channels and/or shipping lanes are part of the habitat in all geographical conditions as they play a crucial role in the hydrological functioning of estuaries, including the circulation of water and the deposition of sediments. Furthermore, these channels may also form part of the estuarine migration routes of Annex II fish species. If freshwater tidal areas form part of the estuary, the upstream boundary may be marked by the limit of tidal influence. However occurrence of tidal influence without brackish water is not sufficient for defining the habitat type 1130-estuaries. Nevertheless, it is possible and in the discretion of Member States to designate such areas under 1130. Baltic river mouths, considered as an estuary subtype, have brackish water and no tide, with large wetland vegetation (helophytic) and luxurious aquatic vegetation in shallow water areas. Baltic, Mediterranean and Black sea river mouths may be considered as estuary subtypes with brackish water and nearly no tide. Their definition is made at Member States level in relation with the obligations of the annex 2 of the Water Framework Directive (typologies). When the distinction among habitat types is uncertain, as between 1130 estuaries and 1150* lagoons, the choice made by the Member States in the Standard Data Form will be considered as accurate. In Baltic estuaries, large wetland vegetation (helophytic) and luxurious aquatic vegetation in shallow water areas occur. Both species of fresh water and brackish water can be found in Baltic river mouths (Carex spp., Myriophyllum spp., Phragmites australis, Potamogeton spp., Scirpus spp.). Both species of fresh water and brackish water can be found in Baltic, Mediterranean and Black sea river mouths (Carex spp., Myriophyllum spp., Phragmites australis, Potamogeton spp., Scirpus spp.). Animals: Invertebrate benthic communities; important feeding areas for many birds. Animals: Invertebrate benthic communities; fish communities including migratory species; important feeding and resting areas for many birds. An estuary forms an ecological unit with the surrounding terrestrial coastal habitat types. In terms of nature conservation, these different habitat types should not be separated, and this reality must be taken into account during the selection of sites. An estuary forms an ecological unit with the surrounding terrestrial and subtidal coastal habitat types. In terms of nature conservation, these different habitat types should not be separated, and this reality must be taken into account during the selection of sites. Estuaries are sometimes related to coastal lagoons (1150*) or to large shallow inlets and bays (1160). Sand banks (1110), sandflats and mudflats (1140), reefs (1170) and salt marshes (1310 to 1330) may also be a component part of habitat 1130 Estuaries.  TSD 2 : Getting to know the key environmental processes that form an estuary and a coastal zone In order to be able to understand how a natural system responds to change, whether this is humanly induced or naturally caused, the concerned authorities will first need to know, particularly for the area they manage, how their estuarine or coastal system is organised, from which physical elements it consists of, what are the dynamics of the interaction between them and how the current system and subsystems behave. The TSD provides a brief description of all these elements related to the system’s dynamics. The functioning of an estuarine system and the role of the tides, water mixing and sediment movement are briefly explained, as well as the role of the different part of this system i.e. mudflats, sandflats, sandbanks, salt marshes and sand dunes. Natura 2000, estuaries, coastal areas and port related activities– Draft version n° 9 26
  27. 27. Recommendations:  Each estuary is different and this is why it is considered compulsory, as a first step, to understand its functioning and the principle “physical” processes that are leading to its morphological evolution.  Similarly coastal processes may differ from a coastal zone to another and therefore the major natural forces shaping the coastline should be well known.  Morphological evolution is the principle factor, amongst others, determining the presence or absence of different habitats and species.  When an estuary or a coastal zone evolve the presence or absence of species and habitats will also evolve. Therefore, the conservation objectives for the species and designated sites should reflect the system-specific evolutionary trends.  TSD 3 : Species of estuarine and coastal habitats in consideration of the nature directives and the Water Framework Directive This guidance concept form briefly describes some key parameters of biological functioning within estuaries and coastal zones (angiosperms, benthic invertebrate fauna, fish fauna, birds and mammals). Presence or absence of those species depends on the systems behaviour especially, turbidity and salinity. Changes in the physical elements of estuaries and coastal zones directly affect the survival of all species in the food chain. The Water Framework Directive applies to all water bodies and the Nature Directives only to some of them. In the water bodies which are part of the Natura 2000 areas, both directives are complementary and the respective objectives are set at the level of the River Basin Management Plan and the Natura 2000 site itself. These objectives are specific and contribute to sound estuaries and coastal areas. Recommendations:  Regarding specific aquatic habitats targeted by the habitat directive (e.g. estuaries, overlapping by default with water bodies), it seems that quality elements for the classification of ecological status, as proposed by the annex 5 of the WFD, are compatible with most of the needs of estuaries and coastal areas as far as conservation status is concerned. In this sense, the Water Framework Directive contributes towards the achievement of the objectives in the nature directives. When determining typical species of the annex 1 habitats (angiosperms, benthic fauna, fish…) and monitoring schemes, Member states and local authorities should coordinate approaches developed under both directives especially regarding biological parameters.  Regarding specific species targeted by the annexes of nature directive (birds, fish, mammals…), their conservation status may not rely only on the ecological quality of water bodies as defined under the WFD. However, good ecological status is certainly one of the key component for the conservation status of these species. Some aquatic vertebrate species as bird and mammal species were not considered by the WFD and their local conservation status may rely on specific criteria (e.g. quiet resting areas for seals). Furthermore, other vertebrate species, as birds or otter, occurring outside water bodies but feeding on sub-tidal or intertidal areas are not targeted by the WFD and their local conservation status may rely on specific criteria.  TSD 4 : How can Climate change influence conservation objectives? Global change or climate change could influence the conservation planning in several ways. This is because climate change can affect all the features of the coastal and estuarine habitats including the anthropogenic features such as port infrastructure. This TSD reviews latest information on climate change in Europe as recently published by the European Environment Agency. It presents the potential impacts of climate change on the biodiversity and hydromorphology of estuarine and coastal areas, as well as on human activities such as port development and operation. Adaptation measures that should be taken in order to minimise the effect and costs of climate change are also listed for consideration when developing conservation objectives. Natura 2000, estuaries, coastal areas and port related activities– Draft version n° 9 27
  28. 28. Recommendations:  Adaptation strategies on low-lying coasts have to address the problem of sediment loss from marshes, beaches and dunes  There is a need for a more proactive and strategic approach to coastal erosion management giving priority to the increase of coastal resilience by providing space for coastal processes to operate and by maintaining a good sediment balance in the coastal system.  It would be more cost effective to expand nature protected areas proactively rather than waiting for climate change impacts to occur and then acting reactively. Dispersal corridors for species are another important adaptation tool.  As proposed by PIANC (2008), several measures have to be implemented to prepare responses of navigation to climate change (areas of intervention: maritime infrastructure operation and maintenance, navigation practice, vessel operation…). These might also include the need for increased dredging due to more sedimentation at river outlet while respecting Natura 2000 sites conservation objectives.  TSD 5: How can the ecosystem approach assist on the management of estuarine and coastal systems? The balance between the different components (physical, chemical, biological and hydromorphological) of the estuarine and coastal ecosystems is very fine and can be easily affected from human activities such as port related activities. Both ecological and economic values of such ecosystems will have to be maintained in order to satisfy societal needs expressed by both the Nature and Water Framework directives and the Ports and Integrated Maritime Policy. The Ecosystem approach is suggested as a tool to manage the complex systems such as estuaries and coastal zones. Recommendations:  Management plans and policies for estuarine and coastal areas should be inspired by the Ecosystem Approach as developed in the framework of the Convention on Biological Diversity. It leads to difficult question (i.e. which level of antropogeneisation or naturalness is acceptable?) and exercise (i.e. how to tackle favourable reference value) but it results in a better accepted environmental and economical development. 5.2 Setting conservation objectives for habitats found within transitional and coastal water bodies in Natura 2000 sites (Natura 2000 site management plan) The word “conservation” is one of the key words of the Habitats directive. It is defined in article 1 of the Directive as “a series of measures required to maintain or restore the natural habitats and the populations of species of wild fauna and flora at a favourable status as defined…”. The word conservation is very often used in the concept of 'Favourable Conservation Status' but not only as it is also used in three other contexts within the directive: the Special Areas of Conservation (SAC), the conservation measures and the conservation objectives. If the meaning of a SAC is relatively well known, the concepts of conservation objectives and conservation measures were more rarely explained in guidance documents. Some economical stakeholders are considering the conservation objectives as an outstanding issue on which additional interpretation is desirable. The European Sea Port Organisation (ESPO) highlighted in a note prepared for the working group that conservation objectives should preferably be as clear and straight forward as possible and functional in practice. Therefore, where possible, clear conservation objectives in concrete terms such as numbers and/or size are desirable. Both WFD and Habitats Directive are focusing aquatic ecosystems but in a different manner:  For WFD, water bodies, covering the whole water system, should be able to support healthy ecosystems and this directive sets the basic requirements for measuring the health of these ecosystems. It includes the definition of quality elements with some of them related to composition and abundance of species groups and other related to hydromorphological, chemical and physico-chemical elements. Natura 2000, estuaries, coastal areas and port related activities– Draft version n° 9 28
  29. 29.  Birds and Habitat directives are targeting specific components of aquatic ecosystems as species or whole habitats (ecosystems) as estuaries. Habitats Directive sets the basic requirements for measuring the health of these component/ecosystems with features as range, areas, population size and structure and functions of habitats for long-term maintenance. Because of the partial overlapping of the objects targeted (aquatic systems) and, up to a certain extend, the similarities between the aims of both directives, it was considered as a useful exercise to make some comparisons in a specific TSD (n°7). Technical Supporting Document (TSD):  TSD 6: How to set conservation objectives at national//local level? How to set conservation objectives for habitats and species through Natura 2000 management plans? How can economical objectives be integrated with Natura 2000 conservation objectives and management plans? The guidance concept form recall the principles as defined by the Habitats Directive or contained in guidance documents published by the Commission. It will propose advice on how to deal with conservation objectives, management plans and priorities. However, the final responsibility for developing appropriate objectives, priorities and instruments that are adopted to national, regional and local context will always remain with the Member States. Recommendations:  If the conservation measures according to Article 6.1 are always applied at site level, conservation objectives have to be defined and assessed both at Member State level, to apply the article 2.1 and 4.4 of the Habitats directive, and at site level where they will help to determine specific site-related conservation measures. Habitats directive article 4.4 has to be reminded as, after the inclusion of a site on the list of Sites of Community Importance, the Member State shall designate the site as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) “establishing priorities in the light of the importance of the sites for the maintenance or restoration, at a favourable conservation status, of a natural habitat type in Annex I or a species in Annex II and for the coherence of Natura 2000, and in the light of the threats of degradation or destruction to which those sites are exposed”.  Conservation objectives at Member state level and site level have a complementary nature because Natura 2000 is a network where each site will have a specific function in the global coherence of the system. It means that conservation objectives at site level will serve conservation objectives at national level to fulfil directives obligations. However, when determining the intensity or location of conservation objectives at site level, economic requirements have to be taken into account. This mean all the sites are not equivalent in view of reaching a national favourable conservation status for habitats or species targeted.  Any management plan, conservation objectives or other specifications for the sites have to be based on the knowledge of the conservation status of the habitats and species of the site. The actual conservation status must also be known as a reference value concerning the integrity of the site (art.6.3) or the deterioration (art. 6.2). The Standard Data Form (SDF) remains an important reference document even if it is sometimes considered as insufficient. Further guidance was already proposed on the conservation objectives and the concept of ecological requirements defined in article 6.1 (EC 2000)  Three kinds of obligations can be described for the SACs: positive measures as foreseen by article 6.1, preventive measures as foreseen by article 6.2 to avoid the deterioration of natural habitats and exception/exemption regime as foreseen by article 6-3 & 6.4. The conservation objectives for a specific site have to consider all these categories (including if possible a definition of the integrity of the site).  Management plans, even if not mandatory, appear to be the best solution to establish quantitative conservation objectives based on the system’s processes and their monitoring. It is the occasion to find a good balance for an estuary between safety, Natura 2000, estuaries, coastal areas and port related activities– Draft version n° 9 29
  30. 30. accessibility and nature conservation. Implementation of the Ecosystem Approach and involvement of stakeholders and general public will help to determine local conservation objectives, conservation measures and ecological processes to be monitored.  The development of conservation objectives for estuaries and coastal areas is a real challenge as these areas are very complex and dynamic ecosystems. The dynamic nature of estuaries should be considered in the conservation objectives for both preventive or positive measures. Ecosystem dynamics have to be taken into consideration when establishing conservation objectives. Conservation objectives have not to be seen as a static approach, on the contrary they need to be adapted to the actual evolution of the conservation status of species and habitats and to the evolution of other ecological factors. To elaborate conservation objectives or to prepare management plans for estuaries and adjacent coastal areas, specific factors will have to be taken into consideration on a case by case basis including, first of all, morphological dynamics and sediment circulation/ re-distribution in the system  TSD 7 : Water Framework Directive and Nature Directives This document should be elaborated after a work currently prepared by DG ENV water and nature units on Frequently Asked Questions. The document and the recommendations will be delivered for end of February. Natura 2000, estuaries, coastal areas and port related activities– Draft version n° 9 30
  31. 31. 6 Integrated management and planning Conservation objectives in dynamic environments should become part of an integrated management and planning at regional/local level as they correspond not only to the application of EU nature legislation but to societal objectives also that have to be taken into consideration. This chapter will analyse, partly through the current legislative procedures, which are the most appropriate means of ensuring stakeholder communication and satisfy long term needs in estuaries and adjacent coastal areas. Such means (middle term / long term) may be classified under the following thematic areas: o Strategic planning at EU level, o Management of recurring activities o Integrated management through spatial planning tools It is important to emphasize that public involvement through a participatory approach is fundamental for a successful planning within estuaries and adjacent coastal zones (even if it is not a target for this guidance document). Transparency and qualitative approach should facilitate public involvement and appropriation even if it will not prevent the risk of contentious actions. At least two of already existing European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling cases will have to be taken into consideration when envisaging long term activities:  “Waddenvereniging and Vogelbeschermingsvereniging” ECJ ruling on Case C- 127/02, reference for a preliminary ruling (EC 2006a) This case was considered in respect of licences which the Secretary of State for agriculture, nature conservation and fisheries issued to the Cooperative producers’ association of Netherlands cockle for mechanical fishing of cockles. The fact that the activity has been carried on periodically for several years on the site concerned and that a licence has to be obtained for it every year, each new issuance of which requires an assessment both of the possibility of carrying on that activity and of the site where it may be carried on, does not in itself constitute an obstacle to considering it, at the time of each application, as a distinct plan or project within the meaning of the Habitats Directive. It means that authorization renewal of recurring activities has to subject to appropriate assessment of their implications for Natura 2000 sites in accordance with Article 6(3) and (4) of the Habitats Directive.  Appropriate assessment of land use plans ECJ ruling on Case C-6/04, Commission v. United Kingdom (EC 2006a) The appropriate assessment is compulsory for all plans and project that are likely to have adverse effects on Natura 2000 sites. In October 2005 the European Court of Justice ruled that all land use plans should be assessed for the effects they may have on the Natura 2000 sites. National legislation does not always clearly require land use plans to be subject to appropriate assessment of their implications for Natura 2000 sites in accordance with Article 6(3) and (4) of the Habitats Directive. Although land use plans do not as such authorise development and planning permission must be obtained for development projects in the normal manner, they have great influence on development decisions. Therefore land use plans must also be subject to appropriate assessment of their implications for the site concerned. This has now to be studied in relation with Strategic Environmental Assessment (directive 2001/42 on the assessment of the effects of certain plans and programmes on the environment). 6.1 Strategic planning: global maritime traffic growth and port and waterway extension at EU level Natura 2000, estuaries, coastal areas and port related activities– Draft version n° 9 31

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