EUROPEAN LAND PLANNING AND BIODIVERSITY CHARTER

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EUROPEAN LAND PLANNING AND BIODIVERSITY
CHARTER
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
These recommendations are the culmination of contributions from 14 organizations since January 2010. We would
like to thank all the members of the Reverse team for having identified and discussed the content of this book:
Camille MASSOL, Bénédicte HAMON, Adeline BOROT DE BATTISTI, Sophie KERLOCH (Aquitaine Region); Immacolata
BARBAGIOVANNI, Paolo COLLEPARDI, Paola TAVIANI, Lino LELLI, Stefano PAOLETTI, Roberto REA, Stefano
CARRANO, Paola CIRIONI, Massimo TANCA, Mariateresa COSTANZA, Claudio DI GIOVANNATONIO (ARSIAL); Marta
ROZAS , Azucena SALAZAR (Basque Government); Bertrand LASSAIGNE, Jennifer KENDALL, Angela MALLARONI
(Bio d’Aquitaine); Henrich KLUGKIST, Dirk HÜRTER (Bremen Region); Hervé CODHANT (CEN Aquitaine); Daniela
BENEDIKOVÁ, Michaela BENKOVÁ, Iveta CICOVÁ (PPRC Piešt’any); Karin KRUUSMAA, Merrit SHANSKIY, Kalev
SEPP, Elis VOLLMER, Maaria SEMM (Estonian University of Life Sciences); Polymnia SKLAVAKI, Voula NOUSIA,
Ioannis FOTAKIS, Dimos DIMITRIOU (Forest Directorate of Chania-Crete Region); Christini FOURNARAKI, Panagiota
GOTSIOU, Adamantia KOKKINAKI, Aristidis STAMATAKIS (MAICh); Marcelo MARTINEZ PALAO, Ramón BALLESTER
SABATER, Inmaculada RAMÍREZ SANTIGOSA, Antonio VICTORIA LÓPEZ, Francisco FLORES ALBACETE, Rafael
DÍAZ GARCÍA (Murcia Region); Lambros TSOURGIANNIS, Kiki HARALAMPIDOU, Dimitris TSIANIS (Region of East
Macedonia and Thrace); Josefine GUMPRECHT, Benjamin KÜTHER (ttz Bremerhaven); Ivana STELLA, Giuseppe
MERLI, Rodolfo INGUAGGIATO, Paolo PAPA, Raoul SEGATORI (Umbria Region); Luciano CONCEZZI, Livia POLEGRI
(3A-Umbria Agrofood Technology Park).
Special thanks to the Euskadi and Murcia Regions for writing this book- and to the Aquitaine Region for coordinating
and editing it.
We also warmly acknowledge Professor Dr. Christina VON HAAREN (Institute for Environmental Planning-Leibniz.
University Hannover) for writing a relevant preamble to this book.
Last but not least, we acknowledge the work done by EDEN Traduction as proof-reader and D-Day for the design.
Book published in 2012


2
A WORD FROM PROFESSOR DR. CHRISTINA VON HAAREN
Environmental planning: supporting a sustainable future and helping to preserve biodiversity
No matter whether it is climate change, biodiversity conservation or the advancement of renewable energies - all current
and pressing challenges in the environmental policy sector demand not only global solutions, but they also have an impact
on land use on a local level. The examples are manifold: they range from citizens protesting against the development of
new biogas plants, wind farms or high power voltage lines to legal suits by environmental NGOs over protected species
that are impacted by development projects. These local manifestations of conflict are coupled with long range phenomena
like climate change, which need to be addressed by adaptation and mitigation strategies that also frequently result in
land use changes.
In light of all the complex issues that are at stake, environmental planning is a useful tool to address these problems in
a comprehensive manner.
Within the context of these challenges, reactive ad hoc approaches alone, such as a (strategic) environmental impact study,
are not sufficient, for example, when looking for environmentally suitable development sites. Furthermore, responses
to environmental impacts caused by climate or demographic changes cannot be found with such instruments. Instead,
prospective strategies for regional and local development and a comprehensive environmental information basis are
needed. This kind of planning must consider land use conflicts, as well as synergies or competition between the provision
of different environmental goods and services.
In the EU member states, as well as in other European countries, a broad diversity of planning instruments exists. Most
countries acknowledge in one way or another that environmental issues should be integrated into territorial planning and
development. Different sectorial types of environmental planning that are focused on one environmental factor, such as
biodiversity, air or water, have emerged recently. These sectorial environmental plans are hard to survey and link to each
other by citizens or spatial planners. A comprehensive environmental planning approach, that ties together the different
environmental issues, promises to be much more transparent and efficient in supporting synergies in measures and
administrative action.
Existing best practise that leads the way are landscape plans, which have been well established in some European countries
for some time. Landscape plans propose numerous alternatives to improve the landscape, for example by developing
habitat networks, reducing soil erosion and conserving cultural landscapes with multifunctional measures. In integrating
environmental objectives into spatial planning, for example regional or local land use plans, the implementation of the
landscape planning targets seem to be very effective. For the public and NGOs environmental information is presented
in a way which is open for local contributions and supports acceptability of sustainable projects by understanding and
participation. Also landscape planning gives authorities a guideline for concerted action, e.g. in curtailing land consumption
by urban land uses or creating a green infrastructure as a tool for preserving biodiversity.
Professor Dr. Christina von Haaren
Professor of Landscape Planning and Nature Conservation
Institute for Environmental Planning
Leibniz.University Hannover. Germany
haaren
@
umwelt.uni-hannover.de
EUROPEAN LAND PLANNING AND BIODIVERSITY CHARTER
A WORD FROM PROFESSOR DR. CHRISTINA VON HAAREN
3
4
INDEX
Appendix
30
THE EUROPEAN LEGAL FRAMEWORK ON LAND PLANNING AND BIODIVERSITY
12
A. European scope in spatial planning
B. Foundations of the European land planning policy
C. Current framework for territorial cohesion and economic development in Europe
D. Specific land planning initiatives relevant to biodiversity conservation
13
14
14
16
STEPS TOWARDS REVERSING BIODIVERSITY LOSS THROUGH LAND PLANNING
18
A word from Professor Dr. Christina von Haaren
3
BIODIVERSITY IN EUROPE: CHALLENGES AND ACTIONS
6
LAND PLANNING AND BIODIVERSITY: COMPLEX AND INTERRELATED TOPICS
10
A. The crucial role of land planning in biodiversity conservation
B. How biodiversity conservation can facilitate land planning
11
11
IMPROVE THE COHERENCE AND FULL FUNCTIONALITY OF THE NETWORKS OF PROTECTED AREAS,
ESPECIALLY THE NATURA 2000 NETWORK
Urge member states to complete, improve and ensure good management of European protected
area networks, especially the Natura 2000 network
Encourage member states to identify corridors, and buffer zones between core areas,
especially Natura 2000 sites, and protect them at the same level as the sites themselves
CHALLENGE 1
20
21
20
INTEGRATE BIODIVERSITY IN THE EARLY STAGES OF LAND PLANNING PRACTICES,
POLICIES AND LEGISLATION BEYOND NATURA 2000 AND OTHER PROTECTED AREAS
Establish a functional European Green Infrastructure
Ensure the consideration of biodiversity in land planning policy-making
Facilitate the consideration of biodiversity by land planners and promoters
Establish conditional public funding for planning projects, depending on their positive effect on biodiversity
CHALLENGE 2
22
22
23
24
25
INCREASE KNOWLEDGE AND AWARENESS OF BIODIVERSITY
AMONG ALL LAND PLANNING STAKEHOLDERS AS WELL AS THE GENERAL PUBLIC
Increase, improve and share knowledge of biodiversity and on its role on the territory
Raise public awareness of biodiversity and encourage active involvement in its conservation
Promote stakeholder awareness regarding biodiversity and encourage their commitment
to biodiversity conservation
26
26
27
28
CHALLENGE 3
5
EUROPEAN LAND PLANNING AND BIODIVERSITY CHARTER
BIODIVERSITY IN EUROPE: CHALLENGES AND ACTIONS
6
BIODIVERSITY IN EUROPE: CHALLENGES AND ACTIONS
EUROPEAN LAND PLANNING AND BIODIVERSITY CHARTER
BIODIVERSITY IN EUROPE: CHALLENGES AND ACTIONS
7
Biological diversity, better known for short as biodiversity, is the variety of life on Earth (microorganisms, plants, fungi
and animals) and the natural patterns it forms. Three different and interrelated levels of biodiversity are commonly
defined as: genetic diversity (i.e. the range of genes in all individuals as well as between individuals), species diversity
(i.e. the range of species within and between populations) and ecosystems (i.e. the range of habitats, communities,
and ecological processes, including intra-ecosystem variations). Although this is not easy to quantify, all levels are
the basis to ensure evolution and adaptation to a changing environment.
Definition
[ Biological diversity
The variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other
aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species,
between species and of ecosystems.
Source: Article 2, Convention on Biological Diversity (United Nations, 1992)
]
Biodiversity certainly has intrinsic value. It is also essential to human life and wellbeing in the sense that humans
have always depended on natural resources. More specifically, biodiversity ensures the quality, quantity and stability
of ecosystems’ goods and services,
i.e. the series of material
, cultural and spiritual benefits humans draw from the
ecological functions played by ecosystems (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005). Biodiversity provides raw
materials for food, health and shelter (e.g. agricultural products, fish, wood, medicine, wool, etc.) and in doing so, it
becomes the basic resource for many economic activities; it regulates and recycles the air, soil and water conditions
necessary for our survival; it forms the basis for cultural and recreational activities (such as ecotourism), scientific
and educational programmes, as well as spirituality, religion, ethics and emotions. Biodiversity is the result of both
natural processes and human practices. Biological diversity in agriculture, a natural subset of biological diversity,
is the result of such an interaction.
Biodiversity has, however, been increasingly negatively affected by human activity. In Europe, like elsewhere in the
world, biodiversity is deteriorating. 25% of marine mammals, 15% of terrestrial mammals and 12% of birds are
threatened with extinction (EEA, 2010). Moreover, 62% of European habitats and 52% of European protected species
included in the “Habitat” Directive have an unfavourable conservation status (EEA-ETC/BD, 2009).
The loss of variation in crops due to modernization has been described as genetic erosion, which is a complex process
and has been mostly associated with the introduction of modern cultivars (Van De Wouw et al., 2009 and 2010). In
Italy in the early years (1920-1950) a relatively high rate of genetic erosion was observed (13.2% p.a.) and from the
1950s until 1980s erosion rates between 0.48 and 4% p.a. were estimated (Hammer and Laghetti, 2005, Hammer
and Teklu, 2010, Heal et al. 2004).
The key pressures include rapid shifts in land use, which have been acknowledged as a major threat (IUCN, 2007,
2009, 2010). Extensive farming land declined by 2.6% between 1990 and 2006 across Europe
(1)
with natural grassland
areas also declining. Over the same period, built-up, industrial and artificial areas have gone up by 7.9%. Subsequent
threats of pollution and overexploitation come next. Cropland, forests and pastures cover almost 80% of the total
European land area, EU-25 plus Norway and Switzerland (EEA, 2007). Unsurprisingly, pressure from the twin trends
of the intensification of agricultural and forestry practices, together with land abandonment, plays a major role.
Furthermore, invading exotic species spread out, especially in aquatic ecosystems and in the context of a changing
climate: more than 10,000 non-native species have been observed in Europe, more than 10% of them having adverse
economic or ecological impacts
(2)
.
(1)
Figures related to land cover (agriculture, natural grassland, industrial areas) come from the latest available statistics from CORINE, a European
Environment Agency land cover database, accessible at http://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/COR0-landcover
(2)
See the European Invasive Alien Species Gateway from DAISIE (Delivering Alien Invasive Species Inventories for Europe), accessible at http://www.
europe-aliens.org
EUROPEAN LAND PLANNING AND BIODIVERSITY CHARTER
BIODIVERSITY IN EUROPE: CHALLENGES AND ACTIONS
8
(3)
More information on http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/legislation/habitatsdirective/index_en.htm
The legal and regulatory framework for biodiversity conservation at European level

Reversing biodiversity loss is a major challenge at global, regional and local levels. The European Union, among
other bodies, has actively committed its member states to biodiversity conservation for a number of years. Specific
legislation, strategies and plans have been set up to create a framework for policy action aimed at providing long-
term protection and conservation of nature. They all emanate from legally binding conventions at global level. A
selection of the most relevant official literature is provided below.
Along with international treaties, many policies including directives, regulations, strategies and action plans, have
been adopted at European level. The two central legal instruments are the Directive on the protection of wild birds
(known as the Birds Directive, 2009/147/EC, a codified version of Directive 79/409/EEC as amended) that was enacted
in 1979, and the Directive on the conservation of natural habitats and wild fauna and flora in 1992 (the Habitats
Directive, 92/43/EC). The Birds Directive was the first major EU law to address the issue of nature conservation
at European level. The Habitats Directive provided a more inclusive framework for other endangered habitats and
species of interest, and tackled the integration of nature protection requirements into other EU policies such as
agriculture, regional development and transport. The main EC funding tool supporting the implementation of both
Directives is the LIFE-Nature fund. As at today, over 1000 animals and plant species and over 200 habitat types that
are important to Europe are protected under the Directives
(3)
.
Reference
[ International conventions framing biodiversity protection in Europe
The
Convention of Biological Diversity
(CBD), is a United Nations legal instrument dated 1993 that all EU
members states have signed along with other European countries. Its objectives are i) the conservation of
biodiversity, ii) the sustainable use of its components and iii) the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits
arising from the use of genetic resources. Among many other requirements, contracting Parties have to
develop national strategies and integrate the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity into relevant
sector or cross-sector plans, programmes and policies. Held in Nagoya in 2010, the tenth Conference of the
Parties (CoP10) of the CBD led to the adoption of the EU 2020 Biodiversity Strategy, a global Strategic Plan
for biodiversity over the 2011-2020 period.
The
Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat
(the Ramsar
Convention), which was adopted in 1971 and came into force in 1975, provides a framework for international
cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands. Parties are to designate suitable wetlands for
inclusion in the List of Wetlands of International Importance, to formulate and implement their planning
so as to promote the conservation of wetlands included in the List and the wise use of all wetlands in their
territory. For a comprehensive approach to the national implementation of the Convention, many countries
have developed National Wetland Policies. In its 1994 work programme for the implementation of the 5
th

Environmental Action Programme, the European Commission included the Communication on the Wise Use and
Conservation of Wetlands (1995), providing the strategic basis for a wetland policy, spelling out the issues that
negatively affect wetlands and providing an outline of the actions that need to be taken. It was later replaced
by the Water Framework Directive.
The
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
(CITES), signed in
1973 and implemented in the EU nine years later, aims to ensure that international trade in species of wild
animals and plants does not threaten their survival. It affords varying degrees of protection to more than 30,000
species of animals and plants. CITES works by making international trade in specimens of selected species
subject to certain controls. These controls require that the import, export, re-export and introduction into the
sea of species covered by the Convention are authorized through a licensing system. The species covered by
CITES are divided into three categories, according to the degree of protection they need.
Adopted in 1979 and taking effect in 1982, the
Bern Convention
was the first comprehensive legal instrument
for pan-European nature conservation (it also extends to some African States). A keystone treaty for biodiversity
within the framework of the Council of Europe, it aims to conserve wild European flora and fauna and their
natural habitats (especially endangered habitats and vulnerable species). The preparation of the Birds Directive
and later the Habitats Directives is a direct result of the implementation of this Convention.
Since 1979, the
Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals
, also known as the
Bonn Convention, has aimed to conserve migratory species and their habitats by providing strict protection for
endangered migratory species, by concluding multilateral Agreements for the conservation and management of
migratory species that require or would benefit from international cooperation, and by undertaking cooperative
research activities.
Sources: see Appendix to access the source documents
]
EUROPEAN LAND PLANNING AND BIODIVERSITY CHARTER
BIODIVERSITY IN EUROPE: CHALLENGES AND ACTIONS
9
Created under the Habitats Directive, Natura 2000 is the main tool of EU nature & biodiversity policy, and is the
transposition of EC commitments under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. It is a European ecological network
of natural protection areas for the most valuable and endangered species and habitats. Applying to bird sites, habitat
sites and marine areas, it includes Special Areas of Conservation (under the Habitats Directive) and Special Protection
Areas (under the Birds Directive). While the network does not systematically ban human activities nor nationalize
land, requirements consist of sustainable management. Provided that some conservation measures are fulfilled, the
EU, through the LIFE-Nature fund, may assist member states with co-financing the network.
Several other European directives are indirectly concerned with biodiversity conservation. The Water Framework
Directive (2000/60/EC) and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (2008/56/EC) have established a framework for
Community action against the fragmentation of European water policy. They require all inland and coastal waters
to reach “good ecological status” by 2015 and by 2020 for marine ecosystems. Other directives relate to pollution
prevention, such as the Nitrates Directive (91/676/ EEC), the Groundwater Directive (2006/118/EC), and the Urban
waste water (91/271/EEC) Directive.
Contrary to many other environmental media, soil receives no legal protection although it is a major reservoir of
biodiversity. To bridge this gap, the Commission of the European Communities drafted a directive proposal in 2006
to establish a common strategy for the protection and sustainable use of soil (by integrating soil concerns into other
policies), preserving soil function, preventing threats to soil and mitigation of their effects, as well as restoring
degraded soils to a level of functionality at least consistent with their current and approved future use (CEC, 2006).
Alongside existing legislation, the EU has issued a series of successive strategies and plans that outline binding
actions for the member states in the coming years (e.g. the 1995 Pan European Biological and Landscape Diversity
Strategy). The latest EU Biodiversity Action Plan, dated 2006 (2006 Biodiversity Action Plan), draws from an EC
communication dedicated to “Halting Biodiversity Loss by 2010 - and Beyond: Sustaining ecosystem services for
human well-being”. In May 2011, having seen its failure to reach the 2010 target, the EC adopted the new EU
Biodiversity Strategy to 2020. Several targets have been set to address both the 2020 headline target and the overall
commitments agreed by the EU and its member states. They pursue three key orientations: protecting and restoring
biodiversity and associated ecosystem services, enhancing the positive contribution of agriculture and forestry, and
reducing key pressures on EU biodiversity and stepping up the EU’s contribution to global biodiversity.
Reference
[ The EU 2020 biodiversity strategy
The vision:
by 2050, European Union biodiversity and the ecosystem services it provides - its natural capital -
will be protected, valued and appropriately restored for biodiversity’s intrinsic value and for their essential
contribution to human well-being and economic prosperity, and so that catastrophic changes caused by the
loss of biodiversity are avoided.
2020 headline target:
halting the loss of biodiversity and the degradation of ecosystem services in the EU
by 2020, and restoring them in so far as feasible, while stepping up the EU contribution to averting global
biodiversity loss.
Source: European Commission, 2011
]
Reverse project - recommendations from European regions to improve European policy
Whereas biodiversity conservation certainly requires a legal framework and policy action, it cannot be effective without
relying on sustainable economic activity. In other words, biodiversity conservation and economic development must go
hand in hand. Experience shows that this is possible and replicable. Building on successful initiatives from a number
of European regions, this is the ambition of Reverse; a European project to protect biodiversity. Across three areas
closely linked to biodiversity - agriculture food production, land planning and tourism - using a bottom-up approach,
the 14 European Reverse Partners have worked together to identify local actions that should be easy to transpose
and to offer policy recommendations to improve biodiversity conservation.
The present charter is one of the key outputs of the Reverse project. It forms a set of sector policy recommendations
aimed at policy-makers at European level, to improve the effectiveness of regional policies in conserving biodiversity
while promoting economic development.
You can find the three Reverse charters focused on agriculture, tourism and land planning respectively, and the cross
disciplinary collection of 47 study cases on the Reverse website: www.reverse.aquitaine.eu

LAND PLANNING AND BIODIVERSITY:
COMPLEX AND INTERRELATED TOPICS
EUROPEAN LAND PLANNING AND BIODIVERSITY CHARTER
LAND PLANNING AND BIODIVERSITY: COMPLEX AND INTERRELATED TOPICS
10
(4)
Ecosystem goods and services are defined in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) as the ecological, social and economic benefits provided
by ecosystems and biodiversity that contribute to human well-being. Initiated by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2000, the objective
of the MA was to assess the consequences of ecosystem change for human well-being and the scientific basis for action needed to enhance the
conservation and sustainable use of those systems and their contribution to human well-being. (http://www.maweb.org/en/Index.aspx)
A. THE CRUCIAL ROLE OF LAND PLANNING IN BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION
Land planning continuously shapes the territory, as natural processes do. The territory is the physical setting of all
systems and processes, including ecosystems, landscapes and fundamental ecological processes, and of course
the medium of biodiversity. Grey infrastructures split the territory, which threatens biodiversity. But land planning
actions and strategies can also have a positive impact on biodiversity through conservation measures, for example
by designing natural protected areas and corridors.
On the other hand, policies on wildlife protection and the implementation of conservation plans for endangered
wildlife species need to be complemented with other policies and measures conducted in the territory. Many species
of fauna and flora, like most endangered habitats, have a significant proportion of their populations outside protected
areas. Furthermore, species establish functional relationships with broader territories. Conservation of their direct
habitat alone is not enough to guarantee their mid- to long-term conservation.
In some cases, policies on the protection of wildlife and natural areas can fail if a more comprehensive approach is
not implemented. This approach must include the whole territory and its ecological functions (for example, identifying
ecological corridors between core areas, establishing buffer zones and protecting them), which are highly influenced
by land uses, because land use changes – in particular landscape fragmentation - are one of the biggest threats to
biodiversity (EEA, 2011).
B. HOW BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION CAN FACILITATE LAND PLANNING
Biodiversity is the basis for a wide range of socio-economic goods and services
(4)
, which can be critical assets in
land planning if protected and managed effectively. Healthy ecosystems and biodiversity naturally contribute to land
organisation and management, by providing goods (such as food, wood and water) that fulfil the basic consumption,
production and labour needs of population pools by regulating natural cycles (air quality, floods, disease, etc.) that
create and maintain the necessary living conditions; and by supplying aesthetic landscapes, recreational activities
and educational tools that are the basis of cultural and social human development.
Integrating biodiversity into the strategic development of territories helps reduce future public costs, boosts
local economies, enhances quality of life, and secures livelihoods. Indeed, the loss of biodiversity and associated
ecosystem services would require costly alternatives for land planners and policy-makers. For instance, identifying
and maintaining wetlands around rivers regulates flooding. This ecological process naturally prevents damage to
people, infrastructures, buildings and agricultural soil. If it were to be lost, land planners and policy-makers would
have to build expensive replacement infrastructures whereas, at the moment, biodiversity provides this service to
society for free.
Moreover, carefully protecting biodiversity contributes to maintaining and creating cultural and social activities
that support the competitiveness, spatial coherence and cohesion, sectorial policies and economic development
of territories. For example, preserving, restoring and even creating parks and gardens in urban areas increases
the citizens’ well-being, favours social integration and diversity, and promotes recreational activities as well as
educational tools.
On the other hand, the new strategic objectives established by the EU for 2020 in order to stop biodiversity loss
should take into account the role of ecosystems and related services. Moreover, climate change will inevitably modify
the environment where plants, animals and microorganisms live. There is evidence of the urgency to enhance the
conservation and use of genetic diversity of the plant and animals that we grow or raise to consume as food. The
change in farming technologies, the introduction of modern varieties, with higher yields but greater water, fertiliser
and pesticide needs, to replace varieties that are naturally suited to local conditions, represents a serious case of
genetic erosion that should be compensated by supporting and diversifying local farming systems and promoting a
new role for farmers as key players in a multifunctional rural environment.
As a result, taking into account biodiversity in land planning is a key condition if land planners and policy-makers are
to succeed in developing the territory in a coherent and sustainable manner. However, since they are often unmarketed
and intangible, ecosystem goods and services lack visibility and are available for free. It is therefore crucial to identify
and promote them, to outline the costs and benefits of different policy options, and to highlight the best strategy for
enhancing human well-being and economic sustainability (TEEB, 2012).
EUROPEAN LAND PLANNING AND BIODIVERSITY CHARTER
LAND PLANNING AND BIODIVERSITY: COMPLEX AND INTERRELATED TOPICS
11
EUROPEAN LAND PLANNING AND BIODIVERSITY CHARTER
THE EUROPEAN LEGAL FRAMEWORK ON LAND PLANNING AND BIODIVERSITY
12
THE EUROPEAN LEGAL FRAMEWORK
ON LAND PLANNING AND BIODIVERSITY
EUROPEAN LAND PLANNING AND BIODIVERSITY CHARTER
THE EUROPEAN LEGAL FRAMEWORK ON LAND PLANNING AND BIODIVERSITY
13
A. EUROPEAN SCOPE IN SPATIAL PLANNING
The EU has no authority over spatial planning (organising the distribution of activities across a territory, structuring a
territory and the players in it around a vision of the desired development) per se. There is no connection between this
definition and that of the economic and social cohesion enshrined in Article 158 of the EC Treaty. The environment
is, however, an important field in which European authority may be exercised in matters of spatial planning.
The EU can only operate through incentives, and the limitations are evident. For example, the European Spatial
Development Perspective only offers guidelines about how to share responsibility for sustainable development in
the European region, but it has no operational content that might commit member states and territorial authorities.
As a result, the process of planning and managing the European region is characterized by the absence of any
Community competence in spatial planning (to avoid this situation, the term “territorial cohesion” has been used),
and the slow process of creating a common culture to plan land use among the member states (evolving process
with successive enlargements).
References
[ Basic biodiversity texts dealing with land planning
Articles 6.1 & 10 Habitats Directive
According to Article 6.1 of the Habitats Directive, 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 and the
species present on the sites. According to Article 10, member states shall endeavour, where they consider it
necessary, in their land-use planning and development policies and, in particular, with a view to improving
the ecological coherence of the Natura 2000 network, to encourage the management of features of the
landscape that are of major importance for wild fauna and flora. Such features are those which, by virtue of
their linear and continuous structure (such as rivers with their banks or the traditional systems for marking
field boundaries) or their function as stepping stones (such as ponds or small woods), are essential for the
migration, dispersal and genetic exchange of wild species. To get a real coherent system these corridors and
stepping stones should get the same legal conservation status as the sites themselves.
European Directives (EIA and SEA)
To devise methods and environmental tools to analyse the impact of proposed developments, the Directive on
Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) for projects and the Directive on Strategic Environmental Assessment
(SEA) for plans and programmes are the two main tools used in this task. These make sure significant
environmental impacts are identified, assessed and taken into account throughout the decision-making process.
The SEA Directive has been considered as the Community’s first fundamental step towards intervention in the
field of land and urban planning with the aim of conserving natural resources and landscapes.
The Sixth Environment Action Programme of the European Community 2002-2012
The 6
th
EAP is a decision of the European Parliament and the Council adopted on 22 July 2002. It sets out the
framework for environmental policy-making in the European Union for the period 2002-2012 and outlines
actions that need to be taken to achieve them. The 6
th
EAP identifies climate change, nature and biodiversity,
environment and health, as well as natural resources and waste, as the four priority areas. Regarding nature
and biodiversity, it includes, among others, conservation, appropriate restoration and sustainable use of the
marine environment, coasts and wetlands; conservation and appropriate restoration of areas of significant
landscape value, including cultivated as well as sensitive areas; and the conservation of species and habitats,
with special attention paid to preventing habitat fragmentation.
Green Infrastructure for Europe
The European Commission is developing a strategy for an EU-wide Green Infrastructure as part of its post-
2010 biodiversity policy. Whilst the term “Green Infrastructure” has been used in the past to describe natural,
connected habitats within urban areas, it has recently been launched as a new concept that is now included
within the European Commission’s EU 2020 European biodiversity headline target and 2050 vision. It designates
spatially and functionally connected areas that maintain ecological coherence as an essential condition for
healthy ecosystems.
Although core nature areas are now largely protected under the Natura 2000 Network, species still need to
be able to move between these areas if they are to survive in the long term. A green infrastructure will help
reconnect existing nature areas and improve the overall ecological quality of the broader countryside. This
contributes to minimising natural disaster risks, by using ecosystem-based approaches for coastal protection
through marshes/flood plain restoration rather than constructing dikes. It promotes integrated spatial planning
by identifying multi-functional zones and by incorporating habitat restoration measures and other connectivity
elements into various land-use plans and policies, such as linking peri-urban and urban areas or in marine
spatial planning policy. It contributes to the development of a greener and more sustainable economy by
investing in ecosystem-based approaches delivering multiple benefits in addition to technical solutions, and
mitigating the adverse effects of transport and energy infrastructures.
]
14
EUROPEAN LAND PLANNING AND BIODIVERSITY CHARTER
THE EUROPEAN LEGAL FRAMEWORK ON LAND PLANNING AND BIODIVERSITY
B. FOUNDATIONS OF THE EUROPEAN LAND PLANNING POLICY
1. The Community cohesion policy
The Commission’s interest in spatial planning started in the late 70’s and during the 80’s, with the establishment of
the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and the launch of the Community cohesion (or regional) policy.
Over the same period, the Council of Europe and the European Parliament played an important role. The Council of
Europe, a pan-European organisation created in 1949, was the driving force behind Community concern on spatial
planning. It initiated:
- The creation of the Conference of Ministers responsible for Regional Planning of the Council of Europe
(CEMAT), to organise ongoing coordination of spatial planning on the European continent, in 1968;
- The adoption of the European Outline Convention, to provide a legal framework for cross-border cooperation
between territorial authorities, in Madrid in 1980;
- The adoption by ministers of the European Spatial Planning Charter in Torremolinos in 1983. This represented
a decisive step forward, because it provided both for the creation of a European structure for spatial planning and
for the specific needs of the territories (urban, rural and frontier areas, mountains, islands, etc.) and the need
to organise sectorial policies on a territorial basis. It may be regarded as the precursor of territorial cohesion.
2. The European Spatial Development Perspective
Partly based on the work done by the CEMAT, the European Parliament recognised that intergovernmental efforts had
exhausted the possibilities for action, and that it was essential to incorporate spatial planning into the Community
framework. Thus, the member states and the European Commission adopted the European Spatial Development
Perspective (ESPD) initiative in Potsdam, in 1999. The ESDP was the first European policy document on spatial
planning, and was intended to promote a coordinated definition of the spatial development strategies and sector
policies of the member states at European level. It established three major priorities (or guiding principles for
sustainable development):
- Developing a polycentric and balanced urban system and strengthening the partnership between urban and
rural areas;
- Promoting integrated transport and communication concepts;
- Developing and conserving the natural and cultural heritage through intelligent management.
Despite its status and lack of operational focus, the ESDP has had a substantial influence in strengthening the
European dimension of several national and regional spatial planning strategies and projects.
3. The European Spatial Planning Observation Network
In 2002, the Commission and the member states established the European Spatial Planning Observatory Network
(ESPON), which was designed to improve understanding of the dynamics of the territories and the territorial impact
of sectorial policies. This network has evolved considerably; it has developed a forward-looking approach, added a
European dimension to national research into spatial planning and promoted the creation of a common scientific
culture in this area; it has also fostered closer links between scientists, administrations and political decision-makers.
C. CURRENT FRAMEWORK FOR TERRITORIAL COHESION AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN EUROPE
1. The Territorial Agenda of the European Union
The “Territorial Agenda of the European Union: towards a more competitive and sustainable Europe of diverse
regions” was agreed at the Informal Ministerial Meeting on Urban Development and Territorial Cohesion (TA, 2007).
This document, which defined an intergovernmental programme of work up to 2011, relaunched the ESDP by picking
up its objectives (balanced, sustainable development) and principles (territorial cooperation, coherence between
policies), and added two new priorities:
- To promote regional competitiveness and innovation clusters in Europe;
- To promote trans-European risk management including the impact of climate change, in order to face natural
hazards, reduce and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change.
The Territorial Agenda also puts forward the idea of basing territorial development policies around the realisation
of their individual potential (territorial capital).
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EUROPEAN LAND PLANNING AND BIODIVERSITY CHARTER
THE EUROPEAN LEGAL FRAMEWORK ON LAND PLANNING AND BIODIVERSITY
2. Leipzig Charter and the Action Programme
The Territorial Agenda was supplemented by the “Leipzig Charter on Sustainable European Cities”, adopted at
the same time by the Ministers responsible for urban development. A link between spatial planning and urban
development policies was thus established at European level.
In November 2007 in the Azores, the same Ministers took a further step by adopting an Action Programme to
implement the Territorial Agenda, from which two main strands of action can be highlighted: i) to influence the “big
European projects” and Community sectorial policies in order to give them a territorial and urban dimension; and
ii) to reinforce territorial governance in the EU and the member states. This represents a continuation of the ESDP,
as well as starting point to translate it into concrete actions.
3. The Green Paper on Territorial Cohesion
At request of the European Parliament, and in response to the request articulated in the Territorial Agenda for a
report from the Commission on territorial cohesion, the Commission adopted a Green Paper on the subject in October
2008. This “Green Paper on Territorial Cohesion: Turning Territorial Diversity into Strength”, was the result of a five-
month expert debate on territorial cohesion and the options for implementing it. As well as summarising the main
territorial trends, the Green Paper identified three methods of action:
- Overcoming differences in density by a “reasonable” concentration;
- Overcoming distances by connecting territories;
- Overcoming divisions by way of cooperation.
It identifies 22 questions, grouped into 6 sets to structure the debate:
- Defining territorial cohesion: balanced and sustainable development of the European territory, but also the
need to help all territories to realise their specific potential, to reverse unsustainable trends (urban sprawl,
urbanisation of coastlines, etc.), and to anticipate the effects of climate change;
- Defining the scale and scope of European action;
- Improving European territorial cooperation (across borders);
- Reinforcing coordination between territorial policies and sectorial policies that have a territorial impact
(“horizontal” coordination);
- Identifying new partnerships (e.g. the role of local players);
- Improving understanding of territorial cohesion (e.g. by measuring it).
4. The Territorial Agenda of the European Union 2020: Towards an Inclusive, Smart and Sustain
-
able Europe of Diverse Regions
The Ministers responsible for spatial planning and territorial development, in cooperation with the European
Commission and with the endorsement of the Committee of the Regions, have reviewed the Territorial Agenda
launched in 2007 and agreed upon the new Territorial Agenda of the European Union 2020 (TA2020) at the Informal
Ministerial Meeting of Ministers responsible for spatial planning and territorial development (TA2020, 2011).
The TA2020 is the EU action-oriented policy framework to support territorial cohesion in Europe as a new goal of
the European Union introduced by the Treaty of Lisbon (Art 3. TEU). Its objective is to provide strategic orientations
for territorial development, fostering territorial integration within different policies at all levels of governance, and
to ensure the implementation of the Europe 2020 Strategy according to the principles of territorial cohesion.
The TA2020 identifies the challenges and potential for territorial development, including the driving forces and their
territorial aspects. The driving forces related to biodiversity are climate change and environmental risks; together
with the loss of biodiversity, vulnerable natural landscapes and cultural heritage.
The Territorial Agenda defines six territorial priorities for the EU that can contribute to the successful implementation
of the Europe 2020 Strategy. With regard to biodiversity, the priority is “Managing and connecting the ecological,
landscape and cultural values of regions”. The TA2020 underlines that healthy ecological systems and the protection
and enhancement of cultural and natural heritage are important conditions for long-term sustainable development.
Joint risk management is particularly important, taking into consideration different geographical specificities. It
supports the integration of ecological systems and areas protected for their natural value into green infrastructure
networks at all levels.
On 26 January 2011, the Commission adopted the communication on ‘Regional Policy supporting sustainable
growth in Europe 2020 (COM-2011/17/Final, 2011). The communication is about what and how regions can invest in
sustainability through the ERDF/Cohesion Fund and builds on a number of best practices.
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This Communication proposes a two-pillar approach for increasing the contribution of the Regional Policy for
sustainable growth during the current programming period. In pillar one, “Investing more in sustainable growth”, one
of the priorities identified is “Ecosystem services: focus on preserving and maximising the potential of the natural
environment”. In this priority, the communication recommends that the managing authorities:
- Invest in natural capital as a source of economic development;
- Use Regional Policy funding for natural risk prevention as an element of preservation of natural resources
and adaptation to climate change;
- Prioritize the “Green Infrastructure”.
D. SPECIFIC LAND PLANNING INITIATIVES RELEVANT TO BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION
1. Landscape
Pan-European Biological Diversity and Landscape Strategy (PEBLDS) 1995
This Strategy represents Europe’s answer to the 1992 Rio Convention on Biodiversity. It proposes to combine ecological
and socio-economic aspects, enhancing local communities’ participation. Natural and cultural landscapes of pan-
European interest are defined therein according to the following aspects:
- The main geomorphologic features characterising the geological or climatic areas based on four criteria,
namely: rarity, uniqueness, representativeness, and natural character;
- Geological features including, but not limited to: river systems, pingos, eskers, dune systems of coastal
barrier, dolines, and fossil organisms;
- The combined application of ecologically safe processes and the sustainable utilisation of natural resources;
- The un-intensive management of semi-natural habitats for wildlife and plants;
- Distinct soil use and nature of habitats of specific regions or cultures and in particular those linked to field
architecture, terraces, historic mansions and estates. The cultural character may include the rural architecture,
historic parks, ancient trails and grazing routes, channels, ditches and waterways, aquaculture systems,
artificial channels, lodging systems and rural areas;
- The picturesque and exceptional character represented by the visual features of the continent’s natural and
cultural landscapes.
The European Landscape Convention
The European Landscape Convention - also known as the Florence Convention - aims to promote landscape protection,
management and planning, and to organise European co-operation on landscape issues. It was adopted on 20 October
2000 in Florence (Italy) and came into force on 1 March 2004 (Council of Europe Treaty Series no. 176). It is the first
international treaty to be exclusively concerned with all dimensions of the European landscape. It is in line with
the existing legal texts at international level in the field of the protection and management of natural and cultural
heritage, regional and spatial planning, local self-government, and trans-border co-operation.
For the purposes of the Convention, a “landscape” is defined as an area “as perceived by people, whose character
is the result of the action and interaction of natural and/or human factors”. The Convention, therefore, recognizes
the quality and diversity of European landscapes as having a heritage value derived from their natural configuration
and/or from human activity. As a key element of individual and social well-being, landscapes must be protected (i.e.
conserved and maintained), managed (i.e. sustainable development to guide and harmonise changes that are brought
about by social, economic and environmental processes) and planned (i.e. forward-looking action to enhance, restore
or create landscapes).
One of the major innovations of the European Landscape Convention is the definition of “landscape quality objectives”,
meaning, for a specific landscape, the formulation of the public’s aspirations with regard to the landscape features
of their surroundings by the competent authorities. As such, landscapes become a policy area in their own right.
As of February 2012, the convention has been signed by 39 member States of the Council of Europe, and ratified by
36, of which 23 belong to the EU.
2. Coastal and marine areas
Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM)
ICZM is a continuously improved suite of measures that was first developed in 1996. The objective of the strategy is
to promote an integrated and cooperation-based approach to the planning and management of European coastal
areas. It also aims to test the feasibility of an integrated approach to managing the problems encountered by
coastal areas, particularly conflicts between competing groups of uses – tourism, fishing and aquaculture, urban
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THE EUROPEAN LEGAL FRAMEWORK ON LAND PLANNING AND BIODIVERSITY
development, offshore energy, environmental protection, etc. In general, the strategy relies upon existing instruments
and programmes that are modified, if necessary, for coastal zone management. In 2000, this programme resulted in
a European strategy (Communication from the Commission “On integrated coastal zone management: a strategy for
Europe”), offering member states an integrated territorial “model” for managing coastal areas, heavily influenced by
the framework and the principles behind the ESDP. The main instrument for promoting this approach is the 2002 EU
Recommendation that urges member states to implement national strategies for ICZM. ICZM promotes an integrated
territorial approach that would also be beneficial for other areas such as mountains, wetlands and other sensitive
areas. All EU member states were given the task of developing their national ICZM strategy by 2006.
Marine Spatial Planning (MSP)
MSP is a general framework for balancing the impact of human activity that integrates policies and objectives from
different sectors. The concept of marine spatial planning enables the management of adversarial coastal zone uses
in line with environmental protection principles. Today, marine spatial planning is considered to be a continuous,
interactive process which is adjusted in response to new knowledge and experience gained. The concept of marine
spatial planning together with ICZM strategy provides an effective network and a basis for extensive ecosystem-based
marine management and development of management. The strategy of marine spatial planning is already applied
in many European countries, and it has a central position in several European Union and regional regulations and
recommendations. The main strength of this strategy is its transparent and participatory decision-making process.
The future of marine spatial planning will be built on a common marine space vision where the focus is on socio-
economic considerations, the integrated management of marine areas and spatial planning.
The European Code of Conduct for the Coastal Zone
It was prepared at the initiative of the European Coastal and Marine Union (EUCC). Originally (in 1993), the Code
was adopted with the aim of protecting nature and maintaining biological diversity, offering practical guidelines
for sustainable use of the coastal zone by citizens` associations, local authorities and other users of the coast.
Today, the Code focuses on the integration of biological and landscape diversity and socio-economic aspects. The
Code for the Coastal Zone provides a common partnership framework on eleven themes, including coastal and
marine ecosystems (Action Theme 5), and forms part of the implementation plan for this sector. The initiative unites
researchers, environmental protectors, planners and politicians and has grown into a large network of land planning
professionals and experts in Europe.
EUROPEAN LAND PLANNING AND BIODIVERSITY CHARTER
STEPS TOWARDS REVERSING BIODIVERSITY LOSS THROUGH LAND PLANNING
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STEPS TOWARDS REVERSING BIODIVERSITY LOSS
THROUGH LAND PLANNING
EUROPEAN LAND PLANNING AND BIODIVERSITY CHARTER
STEPS TOWARDS REVERSING BIODIVERSITY LOSS THROUGH LAND PLANNING
19
(5)
See, for example, the contents and outcomes of the Polish presidency’s “Planning for biodiversity” conference held in Warsaw in November 2011.
http://prezydencja.gdos.gov.pl/Articles/view/97/Materials
EUROPEAN LAND PLANNING AND BIODIVERSITY CHARTER
STEPS TOWARDS REVERSING BIODIVERSITY LOSS THROUGH LAND PLANNING
19
(5)
See, for example, the contents and outcomes of the Polish presidency’s “Planning for biodiversity” conference held in Warsaw in November 2011.
http://prezydencja.gdos.gov.pl/Articles/view/97/Materials
The relevance of land planning for the achievement of the EU target of stopping biodiversity loss by 2020 is being
increasingly highlighted
(5)
. Integration of biodiversity issues into land planning has to be both through policies and
legislation at European, member state and regional level, as much as at land planners’ and promoters’ level. The
EU may take action and suggest guidance at all levels. Here are a number of non-exhaustive recommendations that
seem critical to success.
The recommendations regarding Land Planning and Biodiversity are structured around three challenges or goals.
The first one deals with recommendations for protected areas where the conservation of biodiversity plays a leading
role. The second challenge is related to the rest of the European landscape, where biodiversity should be taken
into account along with many other factors. Both goals need to be fulfilled in order to maintain healthy ecosystems
that will deliver valuable services to European societies. And finally, the third challenge addresses a crucial aspect,
awareness, which needs to be improved so that the first two goals can be successfully reached.
IMPROVE THE COHERENCE AND FULL FUNCTIONALITY OF THE NETWORKS OF PROTECTED AREAS,
ESPECIALLY THE NATURA 2000 NETWORK
Urge member states to complete, improve and ensure good management of European protected
area networks, especially the Natura 2000 network
Encourage member states to identify corridors, and buffer zones between core areas,
especially Natura 2000 sites, and protect them at the same level as the sites themselves
CHALLENGE 1
20
21
20
INTEGRATE BIODIVERSITY IN THE EARLY STAGES OF LAND PLANNING PRACTICES,
POLICIES AND LEGISLATION BEYOND NATURA 2000 AND OTHER PROTECTED AREAS
Establish a functional European Green Infrastructure
Ensure the consideration of biodiversity in land planning policy-making
Facilitate the consideration of biodiversity by land planners and promoters
Establish conditional public funding for planning projects, depending on their positive effect on biodiversity
CHALLENGE 2
22
22
23
24
25
INCREASE KNOWLEDGE AND AWARENESS OF BIODIVERSITY
AMONG ALL LAND PLANNING STAKEHOLDERS AS WELL AS THE GENERAL PUBLIC
Increase, improve and share knowledge of biodiversity and on its role on the territory
Raise public awareness of biodiversity and encourage active involvement in its conservation
Promote stakeholder awareness regarding biodiversity and encourage their commitment
to biodiversity conservation
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26
27
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CHALLENGE 3
CHALLENGE 1
IMPROVE THE COHERENCE AND FULL FUNCTIONALITY
OF THE NETWORKS OF PROTECTED AREAS,
ESPECIALLY THE NATURA 2000 NETWORK.
The EU is aware that Europe’s landscape has faced more habitat loss and fragmentation than any other continent. Therefore,
great effort has been and continues to be devoted to the creation of networks of protected areas.
The Habitats Directive was approved two decades ago, and yet some important gaps remain in relation to its implementation
and full development. More specifically, additional effort is needed for the identification of important areas in terms of
biodiversity, and management plans still have to be carried out. Networks are, of course, much more than collections of
individual units, and that is where the concept of coherence comes in. Ecological coherence means that there are sufficient
habitats and species, which are needed to guarantee a favourable conservation status along the entire species natural
range. Article 10 of the Habitats Directive prompts member states to strengthen the coherence of the Natura 2000 network.
Furthermore, for many years, scientists have stressed that ecological coherence, together with habitat quality, plays a key
role in the long-term survival of numerous species and habitats.
Despite the successful establishment of Natura 2000 sites on land, much of Europe’s landscape is highly fragmented and
under intensive land use or heavily urbanised. Already, it is clear that there are many connectivity problems related to
Natura 2000 sites.
Moreover, this integration of Natura 2000 sites in the wider landscape could provide valuable environmental goods and
services, including the reduction of the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, while at the same time mitigating
the effects of extreme weather events, such as floods and droughts.
EUROPEAN LAND PLANNING AND BIODIVERSITY CHARTER
CHALLENGE 1
20
URGE MEMBER STATES TO COMPLETE, IMPROVE AND ENSURE GOOD MANAGEMENT OF EUROPEAN
PROTECTED AREA NETWORKS, ESPECIALLY THE NATURA 2000 NETWORK.
Even though there has been a wide development of protected area networks, namely the Natura 2000 network,
increasing knowledge on biodiversity proves that not all areas with outstanding biodiversity value have been identified
yet. This is especially true for those ecosystems, habitats and species that are less well known. Therefore, Europe
needs to pursue the conservation efforts of the last few decades.
On the other hand, effective conservation cannot rely solely on legal protection; appropriate management measures
and subsequent monitoring are needed to ensure that the values set out to protect are indeed maintained. Currently,
considerable effort is made in this direction, which needs to be continued and strengthened.
1
st
RECOMMENDATION
Urge member states and regions to identify all relevant areas of biodiversity value and to promote their
protection, paying special attention to marine-coastal areas.
Exhort member states to finalize the identification and designation of Natura 2000 sites, and to apply their
legal status.
Continue and expand co-funding for the management and monitoring of protected areas.
Press member states and regions to develop management plans, or equivalent tools, which will set out
conservation and restoration measures, and to implement them on time for all protected areas in the EU;
especially the Natura 2000 network.
Require member states and regions to allocate adequate financial, human and technical resources to the
development of management plans or equivalent tools.
ACTION PLAN
EUROPEAN LAND PLANNING AND BIODIVERSITY CHARTER
CHALLENGE 1
21
ENCOURAGE MEMBER STATES TO IDENTIFY CORRIDORS AND BUFFER ZONES BETWEEN CORE
AREAS, ESPECIALLY NATURA 2000 SITES, AND PROTECT THEM AT THE SAME LEVEL AS THE SITES
THEMSELVES.
The Habitats and Birds Directives include various connectivity conservation measures for safeguarding Europe’s
biodiversity, both within protected areas and in the wider environment. Article 10 of the Habitats Directive suggests
that conservation of landscape features is particularly important as a means of supporting the coherence of the
Natura 2000 network. Similarly, Article 3 of the Birds Directive indicates that habitat conservation and restoration
measures should be taken inside and outside protected areas.
The EU 2020 Biodiversity Strategy, which follows on from the 2006 Biodiversity Action Plan, places a high priority on
enhancing the coherence and connectivity of protected areas, incorporating both Natura 2000 and non-Natura 2000
sites. In particular, it recognises that as well as ‘structural tools’ (such as flyways, stepping stones and ecological
corridors), enhancing the connectivity and resilience of the Natura 2000 network requires actions that support
biodiversity in the wider environment.
2
nd
RECOMMENDATION
Assess connectivity needs through the application of existing guidance on the maintenance of landscape
connectivity.
Research, develop and establish at European level common standards and methodologies for both the
assessment of the needs and the identification of corridors and buffer zones, taking into account the
particularities of different biodiversity elements in the member states.
Encourage member states and regions to identify corridors and buffer zones between core areas, especially
Natura 2000 sites, and protect them at the same level as the sites themselves.
Continue and expand co-funding for the management of corridors.
Promote research on the effects of climate change on the Natura 2000 network and the ecological function of corridors.
ACTION PLAN
CHALLENGE 2
INTEGRATE BIODIVERSITY IN THE EARLY STAGES
OF LAND PLANNING PRACTICES, POLICIES AND LEGISLATION
BEYOND NATURA 2000 AND OTHER PROTECTED AREAS
The conservation of functional and healthy ecosystems that will guarantee that current and future generations of Europeans
are able to enjoy their valuable services cannot rely only on the existence of conservation havens, no matter how large or
numerous they may be. The common landscape where those core areas are located must have certain qualities, and land
planning can make a decisive contribution to this goal, integrating biodiversity into all administrative and spatial levels, as
well as reaching all players involved. The “no net loss” initiative set by the Commission by 2015, as part of the actions in the
context of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 (COM(2011) 244 final, 2011) summarises well the overall aim that planning
for biodiversity should seek.
There are useful tools, such as the Strategic Environmental Assessment, but their application often implies that biodiversity
is brought into the planning process far too late. This reduces efficiency and increases costs. Therefore, the need to take
biodiversity into account early in all planning aspects has to be stressed.
General measures, such as the creation of a Green Infrastructure
(6)
are needed together with more specific ones, such
as the integration of biodiversity as one of the factors that drive decision-making processes and in the everyday work of
planners and developers, or the consideration of biodiversity as a prerequisite for public funding of plans and projects. The
concept of Green Infrastructure emphasises the value of functionally and spatially connected, healthy ecosystems and the
importance of ensuring that they continue to provide their goods and services. Green Infrastructure has a vital role to play
in the conservation of the EU’s biodiversity and in tackling fragmentation, as it can encompass protected areas such as
Natura 2000 as well as unprotected green areas, High Nature Value Farmland (HVNF), natural ecotones, and other areas
(for instance “Common lands
(7)
”) that have less intensive land use. The concept highlights the importance of adopting a
joined-up approach to integrated spatial planning and a flexible approach to climate change adaptation.
On the other hand, soil is a finite resource and the way it is used is one of the principal reasons behind environmental change,
with significant impact on quality of life and ecosystems as well as on infrastructure management. In Europe, the change in
land cover and consumption of natural soil by inadequate land planning that doesn’t give priority to the reuse of soils is one
of the major causes of biodiversity loss. Finally, the fulfilment of this challenge requires a profound change of approach to the
planning process, involving cross-disciplinary collaboration among authorities, public participation and better governance.
EUROPEAN LAND PLANNING AND BIODIVERSITY CHARTER
CHALLENGE 2
22
ESTABLISH A FUNCTIONAL EUROPEAN GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE
Europe’s Green Infrastructure should serve the following purposes: combating biodiversity loss by increasing
connectivity between existing natural areas and increasing their ecological coherence; strengthening the functions
of ecosystems for delivering goods and services, as well as mitigating and adapting to climate change effects;
increasing the resilience of ecosystems by improving their functional and spatial connectivity; as well as promoting
integrated spatial planning by identifying multi-functional zones or by incorporating habitat restoration measures
and other connectivity elements into various land-use plans and policies.
One of the most effective ways to build up Green Infrastructure is through spatial planning. Policies that adopt a
spatial planning approach can improve spatial interactions over a large geographical area. Integrated spatial planning
can, for instance, guide future infrastructure developments away from sensitive sites, and help minimise the risk of
further habitat loss and fragmentation.
3
rd
RECOMMENDATION
Complete the EU strategy for a Green Infrastructure and define the necessary measures to enhance landscape
connectivity and functionality, including at regional level.
Urge member states and regions to implement the EU strategy and, once it has been completed, evaluate
threats and opportunities regarding a Green Infrastructure, including the evaluation of its economic value,
and create co-funding for the establishment of the Green Infrastructure.
Encourage member states and regions to identify the potential components of a Green Infrastructure, following
the criteria set by the EU strategy for a Green Infrastructure and with special emphasis on the immediate
protection of large un-fragmented areas, ecologically significant areas, wildlife corridors and HNVF.
Exhort member states and regions to integrate the Green Infrastructure in their spatial planning tools and documents.
ACTION PLAN
EUROPEAN LAND PLANNING AND BIODIVERSITY CHARTER
CHALLENGE 2
23
ENSURE THE CONSIDERATION OF BIODIVERSITY IN LAND PLANNING POLICY-MAKING
Territory is the substrate for social development, while land planning should stand guarantor for its functionality.
Policy-makers need to be aware of the multiplicity of aspects that the territory embodies. In other words, successful
land planning necessarily implies that very different views are taken into account during the planning process.
This can be achieved through the improvement of collaboration and cooperation between different authorities, the
encouragement of public participation, effective communication among all parties involved, and a cross-disciplinary
approach during the whole process.
Although land planning authority is held by member states and regions, some common guidance is needed regarding
the integration of various aspects of land planning policy-making. Traditionally, nature conservation policies and land
planning policies have been developed separately, even clashing at times, which means that there is still much to
be improved in the integration of both. The landscape approach, as defined in the European Landscape Convention,
could help a great deal in the achievement of this goal.
It should be noted that taking biodiversity into account in land planning not only benefits biodiversity itself, but it is
also directly and indirectly beneficial to society.
4
th
RECOMMENDATION
Prepare a European white/green paper about the integration of biodiversity into land planning.
Take into account the relationships between biodiversity and the cultural heritage of landscapes, analysing
historical transformations, the character of landscapes, the dynamics and the pressures modifying them, as
well as trends and future perspectives.
Evaluate and manage landscapes according to the various values upheld by the general public.
Promote cross-sectorial cooperation within authorities, in order to take advantage of synergies created by
the various skills and visions that each of them brings into land planning policy-making.
Improve governance by promoting the participation of the public, especially local communities, in the planning process.
ACTION PLAN
(6)
Information about the aim to develop a European Green Infrastructure Strategy and related documents are available at
http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/ecosystems/index_en.htm.
A technical report on Green Infrastructure and territorial cohesion by the EEA is available at
http://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/green-infrastructure-and-territorial-cohesion/
(7)
Thanks to the absence of fragmentation and to direct participation by local communities, the common lands are able to guarantee biodiversity
conservation and to maintain healthy ecosystems that will deliver valuable services to European societies. They are present in several European
countries, such as France, Italy, Spain, Romania, Sweden, and Great Britain. See http://www.commons-interreg.eu.
CHALLENGE 2
EUROPEAN LAND PLANNING AND BIODIVERSITY CHARTER
CHALLENGE 2
24
FACILITATE THE CONSIDERATION OF BIODIVERSITY BY LAND PLANNERS AND PROMOTERS
As well as adopting an adequate approach - a general conceptual and methodological framework - land planners and
promoters need specific tools that will allow them to integrate biodiversity in their everyday work. Provided there is
a real willingness to take biodiversity into account in the land planning process, land planners and promoters need
to be given answers on how to actually do so.
The general aim of producing no net loss of biodiversity will be most effectively accomplished by the combination
of a wide variety of tools, which will enable the land planner and/or promoter to adjust to the heterogeneity of real
situations; building proposals and solutions that will promote sustainability at social, economic and environmental
level.
Land planners and promoters also need feedback on the effectiveness of the instruments they apply; they need to
know whether the tools they use in fact result in the outcomes they planned and expected, regarding biodiversity
in this case.
5
th
RECOMMENDATION
Adopt an EU Soil Framework Directive that establishes criteria and promotes methodological guidelines with
common EU standards, contributing to the sustainability of land planning in terms of reducing soil sealing
and consumption of natural soil.
Urge member states and regions to set up criteria for the implementation of compensatory measures,
prioritizing the restoration of damaged ecosystems or ecological corridors that have disappeared.
Implement monitoring systems at European level in order to improve knowledge on the relevant values of
biodiversity and its evolution.
Implement a monitoring system for landscape fragmentation in Europe and apply the results as a tool for
transport and infrastructure planning, as well as regional land planning.
Encourage member states, as well as regional and local land planners to apply or adapt the available
biodiversity indicators (such as the SEBI - Streamlining European Biodiversity Indicators
(8)
) in order to have
an overview of local biodiversity trends and identify the areas where compensation measures are needed.
Encourage member states to ratify the European Landscape Convention, and develop the tools it provides.
ACTION PLAN
(8)
See the Pan-European SEBI initiative at: http://biodiversity.europa.eu/topics/sebi-indicators
EUROPEAN LAND PLANNING AND BIODIVERSITY CHARTER
CHALLENGE 2
25
ESTABLISH CONDITIONAL PUBLIC FUNDING FOR PLANNING PROJECTS, DEPENDING ON THEIR
POSITIVE EFFECT ON BIODIVERSITY
A key principle for sustainable land planning is not only to avoid, mitigate or compensate damage, but to seek ways
to actively enhance and restore biodiversity. Consequently, public funds should pay at least as much attention to the
latter as they do to the former.
In principle, all planning projects should seek to improve natural values, in one way or another. Encouraging planning
projects that receive public funding to explain and justify the positive effects they have on biodiversity is a way of
actually stimulating them to incorporate measures that will improve biodiversity. Public authorities should also
engage in exemplary projects that will help drive the private sector to respect biodiversity, and use public funds to
guide private activities towards a more ecologically coherent and connected territory.
6
th
RECOMMENDATION
Encourage promoters and environmental authorities to explain the positive effects on biodiversity among
the contents of plans and projects receiving public funding, at European, member state and regional levels.
Prevent infrastructure and urban development projects receiving public funding from degrading biodiversity
and areas of high landscape value through systematic environmental impact studies, carried out from the
initial stages, at European, member state and regional levels.
Minimize the impact of infrastructures receiving public funding for biodiversity, at European, member state
and regional levels.
Apply effective compensation measures, where applicable, for practices receiving public funding that contri
-
bute to biodiversity conservation and use the financial resources dedicated to compensation measures to
re-create natural sites or damaged corridors (goal: no net biodiversity loss).
Identify and reform public subsidies and incentives that are harmful to biodiversity, at European, member
state and regional levels.
ACTION PLAN
CHALLENGE 3
INCREASE KNOWLEDGE AND AWARENESS OF BIODIVERSITY
AMONG ALL LAND PLANNING STAKEHOLDERS
AS WELL AS THE GENERAL PUBLIC
Too often biodiversity is seen as an obstacle to development, even though experts confront us with proof of the contrary, as
opportunities for development decrease when biodiversity is lost. The evidence on biodiversity, together with many other
environmental, social and economic facts, challenges the conventional development model, thus making it an uncomfortable
companion. It shows the less attractive face of economic growth in the industrial era, but can also be seen as an opportunity
for sustainable development in the current information society. More effort is needed for the latter message to come across,
so biodiversity will be seen as an ally in land planning processes.
A shared view on why biodiversity is necessary and how it affects all our lives will lead European societies to demand its
protection and will effectively engage the stakeholders involved in its conservation. Therefore, it is important to increase
understanding and awareness of biodiversity, as this will increase public support for conservation measures and the costs
involved in their development, and it will also result in the commitment of all land planning stakeholders to the maintenance
of healthy ecosystems in Europe.
Awareness and knowledge about biodiversity also need to be improved among public authorities, as they are a prerequisite
for achieving collaboration and coordination among all sectorial authorities involved in planning processes.
Awareness should be based on knowledge, and it should lead to action at all levels, starting from simple and small individual
actions, down to strategic decisions that affect member states or the EU itself. On the other hand, knowledge has to be
based on scientific data and up-to-date information, and needs to be shared among all stakeholders. Common standards
and methodologies for the use of such scientific data about the environment are needed, such as those put forward by the
EEA – member countries partnership called EIONET through its numerous tools and services (Reportnet and SEIS, among
others), or by the INSPIRE Directive regarding spatial information on environmental issues.
EUROPEAN LAND PLANNING AND BIODIVERSITY CHARTER
CHALLENGE 3
26
INCREASE, IMPROVE AND SHARE KNOWLEDGE OF BIODIVERSITY AND ON ITS ROLE ON THE TERRITORY
Knowledge of biodiversity is very accurate and up-to-date for some aspects and elements, but patchy in other fields.
On the whole, we know more about the most conspicuous aspects of biodiversity and the most accessible ecosystems.
Hence, efforts to promote knowledge about biodiversity, its values and its wide functions, must be sustained.
Improving knowledge is not just about increasing the amount and scope of data on biodiversity; the quality of currently
available data should be upgraded first. Accordingly, evaluation of the quality of existing information will lead to the
improvement of knowledge. Better knowledge will also come from the establishment of new relationships on existing
data, from new views on old facts, and the chances of this happening increase with the exchange of information. For
this reason, the capitalization of existing knowledge should be accompanied by making it widely accessible through
common platforms, through initiatives like the INSPIRE Directive for the specific case of spatial data. Knowledge
and information should be shared not only at European level, but within member states also, where authority on
planning matters lies.
7
th
RECOMMENDATION
Facilitate and encourage the sharing of information related to biodiversity and land planning, at European,
member state and regional levels.
Support and encourage the use of common standards and methodologies, and facilitate the integration of
ecological data into platforms suitable for combining them with geographical, social and economic data on
the territory, at European, member state and regional levels.
Encourage member states and regions to set up networks of local observatories on biodiversity, active at local
(regional) level and with a central (national) coordination, with the aim of monitoring the state of biological
diversity in the territory concerned, together with the diversity of both landscape and cultures.
ACTION PLAN
EUROPEAN LAND PLANNING AND BIODIVERSITY CHARTER
CHALLENGE 3
27
RAISE PUBLIC AWARENESS OF BIODIVERSITY AND ENCOURAGE ACTIVE INVOLVEMENT IN ITS
CONSERVATION
Promoting governance and a more participatory approach to land planning implies a better informed public, so
individuals can take part in the decision-making process in a meaningful way. But it must be stressed that for the
public to actively seek out information, there needs to be a prior awareness of the issue, as public participation is a
voluntary process. So, only those who are aware about the challenges Europe faces regarding biodiversity will look
for information about it. The general public is not fully aware of how biodiversity influences our everyday lives, the
numerous goods and services healthy ecosystems deliver, and the tremendous cost of not making biodiversity part
of the land planning process.
As well as raising awareness and promoting public participation in the planning process, individuals can do a great
deal to favour biodiversity through everyday decisions in their roles as citizens, consumers, employees, and so on.
That is why it is important to offer guidance on how people can help biodiversity conservation, so awareness and
knowledge can lead to action.
8
th
RECOMMENDATION
Urge member states and regions to raise awareness of biodiversity among all land planning stakeholders as
well as the general public, especially on natural protected areas and the Natura 2000 network.
Evaluate and communicate on the economic value of biodiversity to society.
Develop and issue specific guidelines on how the general public can implement actions that will help
biodiversity conservation.
Integrate biodiversity into education programmes.
Improve public access to biodiversity-related data and information, at European, member state and regional
levels.
Evaluate the impact and effectiveness of actions carried out in the field of biodiversity communication and
education in terms of public awareness and involvement.
ACTION PLAN
CHALLENGE 3
EUROPEAN LAND PLANNING AND BIODIVERSITY CHARTER
CHALLENGE 3
28
PROMOTE STAKEHOLDER AWARENESS ABOUT BIODIVERSITY AND ENCOURAGE THEIR COMMITMENT
TO BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION
Raising awareness among the general public is very important and positive. Nevertheless, there are certain players
whose decisions have a greater influence on the territory than those belonging to the average citizen, for instance
those who directly shape our rural landscapes, promote urban development plans, or are responsible for planning
decisions at European, member state or regional level. Special attention must be paid to their awareness, as befits
their ability to modify landscapes and influence biodiversity.
Promoting the awareness of the numerous stakeholders involved in planning processes should result in their
commitment to the conservation of biodiversity. When it comes to stakeholders, benchmarking stands out as an
effective strategy for raising awareness, presenting the benefits of taking into account biodiversity in a convincing way.
9
th
RECOMMENDATION
Transfer applicable knowledge on biodiversity to stakeholders, as well as examples of best practices, at
European, member state and regional levels.
Communicate to decision-makers and to land developers on the foreseeable effects and impacts of both
taking and not taking biodiversity into account in land planning decisions.
Communicate to policy, planning and project managers, land owners, and so on, on the benefits of biodiversity
and the tools for integrating biodiversity into their daily work and decisions.
Disseminate information about ways of “working with nature” and not against it.
Evaluate the impact and effectiveness of actions taken in the fields of communication and education on
biodiversity, in terms of stakeholder awareness and commitment.
ACTION PLAN
EUROPEAN LAND PLANNING AND BIODIVERSITY CHARTER
CHALLENGE 3
29
APPENDIX
1. Glossary
EUROPEAN LAND PLANNING AND BIODIVERSITY CHARTER
APPENDIX
30
Biodiversity keywords
Description
Access and benefit-sharing
One of the three objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity, as set out
in its Article 1, is the “fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of
the utilization of genetic resources, including by appropriate access to genetic
resources and by appropriate transfer of relevant technologies, taking into account
all rights over those resources and to technologies, and by appropriate funding”.
The CBD also has several articles (especially Article 15) regarding international
aspects of access to genetic resources.
Accession
Word used in plant genetic resources’s collection and identified the entity collected
it is indicated with a number, a codex or a farmer’s name, collected person,
collected place, etc. In the case of seeds collection a distinct, uniquely identifiable
sample of seeds representing a cultivar, breeding line or a population, which is
maintained in storage for conservation and use.
Agrobiodiversity
The variability among living organisms associated with the cultivation of crops and
rearing of animals, and the ecological complexes of which those species are part.
This includes diversity within and between species, and of ecosystems.
Agro-ecological knowledge
Ecological knowledge refers to what people know about their natural environment,
based primarily on their own experience and observation. Agro-ecological
knowledge refers to farmers’ knowledge of ecological interactions within the
farming system.
Alien species
A species occurring in an area outside of its historically known natural range as
a result of intentional or accidental dispersal by human activities (also known as
an exotic or introduced species).
Ancestor
An organism from which later individuals or species has evolved.
Benchmarking
A management tool for comparing performance against an organisation that
is widely regarded as outstanding in one or more areas, in order to improve
performance.
Biodiversity
Short for biological diversity - means the diversity of life in all its forms - the
diversity of species, of genetic variations within one species, and of ecosystems.
Biome
A major portion of the living environment of a particular region (such as a fir forest
or grassland), characterised by its distinctive vegetation and maintained largely
by local climatic conditions.
Biotechnology
Any technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms, or
derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for specific use.
Breed
A grouping of animals of the same species having a common ancestor and the
same set of characteristics. Farmers use selective mating to produce offspring
(a breed) with the desired characteristics.
Buffer zone
The region adjacent to the border of a protected area; a transition zone between
areas managed for different objectives.
Centre of crop diversity
Geographical area containing a high level of genetic diversity for crop species in
in situ
conditions.
Centre of origin
Geographical area where a plant species, either domesticated or wild, first
developed its distinctive properties.
Collection
A collection of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture maintained
in situ
,
ex situ
, on farm,
in vitro
.
Compensation
Equivalent in money for a loss sustained; equivalent given for property taken or for
an injury done to another; recompense or reward for some loss, injury or service.
EUROPEAN LAND PLANNING AND BIODIVERSITY CHARTER
APPENDIX
31
Connectivity
Structural and functional connectivity is equal to habitat continuity and is measured
by analysing landscape structure, independent of any attributes of organisms.
This definition is often used in the context of metapopulation ecology. Functional
connectivity is the response of the organism to the landscape elements other than
its habitats (ie the non-habitat matrix). This definition is often used in the context
of landscape ecology.
Conservation
System of genetic resources maintained.
Conservation status
The sum of the influences acting on a natural habitat and its typical species that
may affect its long-term natural distribution, structure and functions as well as
the long-term survival of its typical species or the sum of the influences acting on
the species concerned that may affect the long-term distribution and abundance
of its populations.
Corridor (ecological)
A strip of a particular type of land that differs from the adjacent land on both
sides. Such corridors may have important ecological functions, including conduit,
barrier and habitat.
Crop
Cultivated plant or the yield of cultivated plant for a given season or harvest.
Cultivar
Cultivated variety (from cultivated + variety) (abbr: cv.). A category of plants that
are, firstly, below the level of a sub-species taxonomically, and, secondly, found
only in cultivation. It is an international term denoting certain cultivated plants
that are clearly distinguishable from others by stated characteristics and that
retain their distinguishing characters when reproduced under specific conditions.
Domesticated species
Species in which the evolutionary process has been influenced by humans to meet
their needs. Sin. Cultivated species.
Ecolabel
An ecolabel is a voluntary environmental performance certificate that is awarded
to products and services. These products and services have to meet specific,
identified criteria depending on the product groups, which reduce overall
environmental impact.
Ecological coherence of Natura
2000
Sufficient representation of habitats / species to ensure favourable conservation
status of habitats and species across their whole natural range. ‘Sufficient
representation’ is a function of patch quality, total patch area, patch configuration
and landscape permeability.
Ecology
A branch of science concerned with the interrelationship of organisms and their
environment; the study of ecosystems.
Ecosystem goods and services
The ecological, social and economic benefits provided by ecosystems and
biodiversity that contribute to human well-being.
Ecosystems
Dynamic complex of plant, animal and micro-organism communities and their
non-living environment interacting as a functional unit.
Ecosystems services
The benefits people obtain from ecosystems. These include provisioning services
such as food and water; regulating services such as flood and disease control;
cultural services such as spiritual and recreational benefits; and supporting
services such as nutrient cycling that maintain the conditions for life on Earth. The
concept “ecosystem goods and services” is synonymous with ecosystem services.
Ecotone
Zone / transition areas between two ecosystems where these two systems overlap.
Ecotones support species from both of the over lapping ecosystems and also
species found only in this zone. Consequently, the species richness in ecotones
might be higher than in surrounding areas. In principle, fragmentation causes
an increase in habitat edges, therefore increasing the proportion of ecotones
within a landscape. In this context, it has also been considered that habitat edges
have a negative influence on interior conditions of habitat (e.g. through increased
predation and invasion), i.e. the edge effect.
Ecotourism
Travel undertaken to witness sites or regions of unique natural or ecologic quality,
or the provision of services to facilitate such travel that have the least impact on
biological diversity and the natural environment.
Ecotype
A type or subspecies of life that is especially well adapted to a certain environment.
Emblematic species
Species that are closely associated by the public with a particular region, nation or
continent, or that seem to ‘sum up’ the region in question. For example, kangaroos
for Australia, pandas for China, or kiwis for New Zealand.
Endangered species
A technical definition used for classification referring to a species that is in danger
of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range. IUCN The World
Conservation Union defines species as endangeredif the factors causing their
vulnerability or decline continue to operate.
Endemic species
A species which is only found in a given region or location and nowhere else in the
world. This definition requires that the region that the species is endemic to, be
defined, such as a “site endemic” (e.g. just found on Mount Celaque),6 a “national
endemic” (e.g. found only in Honduras), a “geographical range endemic” (e.g. found
in the Himalayan region, which however covers several Himalayan countries and
therefore is not a national endemic), or a political region endemic (e.g. found in
countries of Central America). Taken to an extreme, a cosmopolite species is still
endemic to Earth! 
Evolution
Any gradual change. Organic evolution is any genetic change in organisms from
generation to generation.
Ex situ
(Conservation)
System of conservation of biological diversity outside their natural habitats.
Extinction
The evolutionary termination of a species caused by the failure to reproduce and
the death of all remaining members of the species; the natural failure to adapt to
environmental change.
Fauna
All of the animals found in a given area.
Flora
All of the plants found in a given area.
Habitat fragmentation
Normally encompasses two components, the loss (or change) of habitat and the
breaking up of the remaining habitat into smaller units (although the term is
commonly used to describe only the latter process).
Gene
The functional unit of heredity; the part of the DNA molecule that encodes a single
enzyme or structural protein unit.
Gene bank
A facility established for the
ex situ
conservation of individuals (seeds), tissues, or
reproductive cells of plants or animals.
Genetic diversity
The heritable variation within and among populations which is created, enhanced
or maintained by evolutionary or selective forces.
Genetic engineering
Changes in the genetic constitution of cells (apart from selective breeding) resulting
from the introduction or elimination of specific genes through modern molecular
biology techniques. This technology is based on the use of a vector for transferring
useful genetic information from a donor organism into a cell or organism that
does not possess it (gene cloning). A broader definition of genetic engineering also
includes selective breeding and other means of artificial selection.
Genetic erosion
Plant genetic diversity is threatened by “genetic erosion”, a term coined by
scientists for the loss of individual genes and of combinations of genes, such
as those found in locally adapted landraces. The main cause of genetic erosion,
according to FAO’s State of the World’s Plant Genetic Resources for Food and
Agriculture, is the replacement of local varieties by modern varieties. As old
varieties in farmers’ fields are replaced by newer ones, genetic erosion frequently
occurs because the genes found in the farmers’ varieties are not all contained in
the modern variety. In addition, the sheer number of varieties is often reduced
when commercial varieties are introduced into traditional farming systems.
Other causes of genetic erosion include the emergence of new pests, weeds and
diseases, environmental degradation, urbanization and land clearing through
deforestation and bush fires.
Genetic material
Any material of plant, animal, microbial or other origin containing functional units
of heredity.
32
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33
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APPENDIX
Genetic modification
Alteration of the genetic material of living organisms in order to make them
capable of producing new substances or performing new functions. The term is
often used in cases when biotechnological techniques have been used (referred
to as genetic engineering) that induce genetic changes that would not normally
occur in nature.
Genetic resources
Genetic material of actual or potential value.
Genetically Modified Organism
An organism into which has been inserted - through genetic engineering - one
or more genes from an outside source (either from the same species or from an
entirely different species) that contains coding for desired characteristics, such
as herbicide resistance or an antibacterial compound.
Good Agricultural Practices
Practices that address environmental, economic and social sustainability for on-
farm processes, and result in safe and quality food and non-food agricultural
products.
Green Infrastructure
Green Infrastructure is an interconnected network of green space that conserves
natural ecosystem values and functions and provides associated benefits to human
populations.
Green Revolution  
Name given by William Goud to the dramatic increase in crop productivity during
the third quarter of the 20th century, as result of integrated advances in genetics
and plant breeding, agronomy, and pest and disease control.
Habitat
The place or type of site where an organism or population naturally occurs.
Habitat conservation
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.
Hotspot
An area on earth with an unusual concentration of species, many of which are
endemic to the area, and which is under serious threat by people.
In situ
(Conservation)
System of conservation of biological diversity inside their natural habitats.
Indicator species
A species whose status provides information on the overall condition of the
ecosystem and of other species in that ecosystem.
Indigenous knowledge
Indigenous knowledge is the local knowledge that is unique to a given culture
or society. It contrasts with the international knowledge system generated by
universities, research institutions and private firms. It is the basis for local-
level decision making in agriculture, health care, food preparation, education,
natural-resource management, and a host of other activities in rural communities.
Indigenous information systems are dynamic, and are continually influenced by
internal creativity and experimentation as well as by contact with external systems.
Land (use) planning
The systematic assessment of land and water potential, alternative patterns of
land use and other physical, social and economic conditions, for the purpose of
selecting and adopting land-use options which are most beneficial to land users
without degrading the resources or the environment, together with the selection
of measures most likely to encourage such land uses. Land-use planning may be
at international, national, district (project, catchment) or local (village) levels. It
includes participation by land users, planners and decision-makers and covers
educational, legal, fiscal and financial measures.
Land use
Land use refers to how a specific piece of land is allocated: its purpose, need or
use (e.g. agriculture, industry, residential or nature).
Landrace
In plant genetic resources, an early, cultivated form of a crop species, evolved
from a wild population, and generally composed of a heterogeneous mixture of
genotypes.
Landscape character
A distinct, recognisable and consistent pattern of elements in the landscape that
makes one landscape different from another, rather than better or worse.
Marginal areas
Marginal areas are identified by the following four criteria: a) significantly lower per
capita incomes, b) low infrastructure equipment, c) cultural isolation, d) difficult
natural conditions.
Mitigating measures
Measures that allow an activity with a negative impact on biodiversity, but reduce
the impact on site by considering changes to the scale, design, location, process,
sequencing, management and/or monitoring of the proposed activity. It requires
a joint effort of planners, engineers, ecologists, other experts and often local
stakeholders to arrive at the best practical environmental option. An example is
the unacceptable impact on biodiversity of the construction of a certain road, that
is mitigated by the construction of a wildlife viaduct.
Native species
Flora and fauna species that occur naturally in a given area or region. Also referred
to as indigenous species.
Natural environment
The natural environment comprises all living and non-living things that occur
naturally on Earth. In its purest sense, it is thus an environment that is not
the result of human activity or intervention. The natural environment may be
contrasted to “the built environment”, and is also in contrast to the concept of
cultural landscape.
Natural habitat
Terrestrial or aquatic areas distinguished by geographic, abiotic and biotic features,
whether entirely natural or semi-natural.
On farm (conservation)
System of conservation of biological diversity trough farming.
Overexploitation
Overexploitation occurs when harvesting of specimens of flora and fauna species
from the wild is out of balance with reproduction patterns and, as a consequence,
species may become extinct.
Protected area
Geographically defined area which is designated or regulated and managed to
achieve specific conservation objectives.
Red List IUCN
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species provides taxonomic, conservation status
and distribution informationon taxa that have been globally evaluated using the
IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria. This system is designed to determine the
relative risk of extinction, and the main purpose of the IUCN Red List is to catalogue
and highlight those taxa that are facing a higher risk of global extinction (i.e. those
listed as Critically Endangered, Endangered and Vulnerable). The IUCN Red List
also includes information on taxa that are categorized as Extinct or Extinct in the
Wild; on taxa that cannot be evaluated because of insufficient information (i.e.
are Data Deficient); and on taxa that are either close to meeting the threatened
thresholds or that would be threatened were it not for an ongoing taxon-specific
conservation programme (i.e. are Near Threatened).
Resilience (ecological)
Ecological resilience can be defined in two ways. The first is a measure of the
magnitude of disturbance that can be absorbed before the (eco)system changes
its structure by changing the variables and processes that control behaviour. The
second, a more traditional meaning, is as a measure of resistance to disturbance
and the speed of return to the equilibrium state of an ecosystem.
Restoration
The return of an ecosystem or habitat to its original community structure, natural
complement of species, and natural functions.
Seedbank
A facility designed for the
ex situ
conservation of individual plant varieties through
seed preservation and storage.
Small-scale farming
Farmers grow food for themselves, their family and sometimes the local market
on a small piece of land with limited resources. Often, these farmers do not have
the money to buy resources they need.
Soil sealing (artificialisation)
Soil sealing refers to changing the nature of the soil such that it behaves as an
impermeable medium (for example, compaction by agricultural machinery). Soil
sealing is also used to describe the covering or sealing of the soil surface by
impervious materials by, for example, concrete, metal, glass, tarmac and plastic.
Species
A group of organisms capable of interbreeding freely with each other but not with
members of other species.
Species range (natural)
The spatial limits within which the habitat or species occurs. A natural range is
not static but dynamic: it can decrease and expand.
34
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APPENDIX
35
EUROPEAN LAND PLANNING AND BIODIVERSITY CHARTER
APPENDIX
Stakeholders
Stakeholders are those people or organisations which are vital to the success or
failure of an organization or project to reach its goals. The primary stakeholders
are (a.) those needed for permission, approval and financial support and (b.) those
who are directly affected by the activities of the organization or project. Secondary
stakeholders are those who are indirectly affected. Tertiary stakeholders are
those who are not affected or involved, but who can influence opinions either for
or against.
Strategic Environmental
Assessment
A similar technique to environmental impact assessment (EIA) but normally applied
to policies, plans, programmes and groups of projects. Strategic environmental
assessment (SEA) provides the potential opportunity to avoid the preparation and
implementation of inappropriate plants, programmes and projects and assists
in the identification and evaluation of project alternatives and identification of
cumulative effects. SEA comprises two main types: sectoral SEA (applied when
many new projects fall within one sector) and regional SEA (applied when broad
economic development is planned within one region).
Sustainable development
Development that meets the needs and aspirations of the current generation
without compromising the ability to meet those of future generations.
Sustainable farming
Type of farming that can make use of nature’s goods and services while producing
a sufficient yield in an economically, environmentally, and socially rewarding way,
preserving resources for future generations.
Sustainable use
Means the use of components of biological diversity in a way and at a rate that
does not lead to the long-term decline of biological diversity, thereby maintaining
its potential to meet the needs and aspirations of present and future generations.
Threatened species
A technical classification referring to a species that is likely to become endangered
within the foreseeable future, throughout all or a significant portion of its
range. 12,259 species are known by IUCN, the World Conservation Union, to be
threatened with extinction. IUCN keeps the world’s inventory of the conservation
status of animals and plants, compiling data from thousands of scientists and
conservationists worldwide.
Traditional knowledge
Information and learning processes developed over many years and passed down
from one generation to the next. Traditional knowledge is not static; it evolves or
changes over time.
Transgenic organism
An individual in which a transgene has been integrated into its genome. In
transgenic eukaryotes, the transgene must be transmitted through meiosis to
allow its inheritance by the offspring. / Any organism that has been genetically
engineered to contain a gene from another organism, usually a different species’.
Variety
Plant grouping, within a single botanical taxon of the lowest known rank, defined by
the reproducible expression of its distinguishing and other genetic characteristics.
Wetlands
Transitional areas between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in which the water
table is usually at or near the surface or the land is covered by shallow water.
Wetlands can include tidal mudflats, natural ponds, marshes, potholes, wet
meadows, bogs, peatlands, freshwater swamps, mangroves, lakes, rivers, and
even some coral reefs.
Wild species
Organisms captive or living in the wild that have not been subject to breeding to
alter them from their native state.
2. Acronyms
36
EUROPEAN LAND PLANNING AND BIODIVERSITY CHARTER
APPENDIX
AEGIS
A European Genebank Integrated System
AGR
Animal Genetic Resources
CBD
Convention on Biological Diversity
CGIAR
Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research
CGRFA
Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture
CITIES
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
CPVO
Community Plant Varieties Office
DUS
Distinct Uniform Stable
ECPGR
European Cooperative Programme for Plant Genetic Resources
ECST
European Charter for Sustainable Tourism
EDEN
European Destinations of Excellence
EEA
European Environment Agency
EFABIS
European Farma Animal Biodiversity Information System
EFES
European Farm Evaluation System
EURISCO
The European Plant Genetic Resources Search Catalogue, a web-based catalogue that provides
information about
ex situ
plant collections maintained in Europe.
FAO
Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations
GMO
Genetically Modified Organism
GSTC
Global Sustainable Tourism Council
HNV
High Nature Value
IES
Institute for Environment and Sustainability
IPGRI
International Plant Genetic Resouces Institute. Now Bioversity International
IUCN
International Union for Conservation of Nature
JRC
Joint Research Centre
LFA
Less Favoured Areas
NBSAP
National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan
PES
Payment for Ecosystem Services
PGR
Plant Genetic Resources
PPB
Participatory Plant Breeding
RDP
Rural Development Policy
SBSTTA
Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice
UAA
Agricultural Area in Use (effective agricultural land)
UNCED
United Nations Conference on Environment and Development - (Rio de Janeiro) (3-14 june 1992).
(Informal name: Earth Summit. Output: CBD)
UPOV
International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants
WSSD
Word Summit on Sustainable Development. (Johannesburg) (26 aug - 4 sept 200). (Informal name
Rio+10 Output: 2010 Biodiversity Objective)
3. Reference list
Commission of the European Communities, 2006.
Thematic strategy for soil Protection
COM(2006)231/final.
http://eur-lex.europa.eu
Convention of Florence, 2000.
European landscape convention
. European Treaty Series - ETS 176 Florence, 20.X.2000.
http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/cultureheritage/heritage/Landscape/default_en.asp
European Economic Community, 1985.
Council Directive 85/337/EEC of 27 June 1985 on the assessment of the effects
of certain public and private projects on the environment
.
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38
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APPENDIX
The Reverse project is based on sharing experience among 14 European partners who are aware of the major challenges linking biodiversity
and economic development. More specifically, it focuses on opportunities and insufficiencies in biodiversity conservation policies in three
sectors: Agriculture and food production, Land planning, and Tourism.
Reverse is a three-year European interregional cooperation project (January 2010 - December 2012). Lead by the Aquitaine Region, it
involves seven European countries: Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Slovakia and Spain. It is co-financed by the European Regional
Development Fund (ERDF) and made possible by the INTERREG IVC programme. As part of the European Territorial Cooperation Objective,
the INTERREG IVC Programme (2007-2013) is an EU programme that helps regions of Europe work together to share their knowledge
and experience.
Reverse partners comprise regional authorities, public establishments, associations, research institutes and universities, which contribute
to the conservation and development of wild and cultivated biodiversity. They work on various complementary subjects such as the
conservation of species in situ, gene banks, the management of natural areas, region-wide strategies for the conservation of biodiversity,
ecological corridors, local legislation for the protection of biodiversity, education, etc.
MORE ABOUT REVERSE PROJECT
Regions:
Specialised organizations:
Aquitaine Region (France)
www.aquitaine.fr
Bremen Region (Germany)
www.umwelt.bremen.de
Umbria Region (Italy)
www.regione.umbria.it
Euskadi Region (Spain)
www.euskadi.net
Mediterranean Agronomic Institute
of Chania (Greece)
www.maich.gr
Murcia Region (Spain)
www.murcianatural.carm.es
Bio d’Aquitaine (France)
www.bio-aquitaine.com
Estonian University of Life Sciences-EMU (Estonia)
www.emu.ee
Natural Areas Conservatory
of Aquitaine - CEN Aquitaine (France)
www.cen-aquitaine.fr
The Plant Production Research Center
Piešt’any - PPRC Piešt’any (Slovakia)
www.cvrv.sk
Regional Agency for the Development
and the Innovation of Agriculture in Lazio - ARSIAL (Italy)
www.arsial.it
Technology Transfer Centre
Bremerhaven
ttz Bremerhaven (Germany)
www.ttz-bremerhaven.de
Region of East Macedonia and
Thrace (Greece)
www.remth.gr
Decentralized Administration
of Crete-Forest Directorate of
Chania (Greece)
www.crete-region.gr
Photos credits: Region of Crete (Gr) - Forest Directorate of Chania - Estonian University of Life Sciences (Es). Printed on PEFC certified paper - Conseil régional d’Aquitaine - Internal Communication - Reprographics - August 2012
Find all Reverse documents on our website:
www.reverse.aquitaine.eu
This project is cofinanced by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
and made possible by the INTERREG IVC programme