Story In 2004 the 3 big biodiversity instruments in Europe are celebrating their 25th anniversaries - the EU Birds Directive and the Bonn and Bern Conventions

In 2004 3 very important international legal instruments to protect biodiversity are celebrating their anniversaries. In April 1979 the EU Birds Directive on the conservation of wild birds (79/409/EEC) was adopted. It now covers all EU-25 countries and aims at protecting the naturally occurring birds of EU. In June 1979 the global Bonn Convention on Migratory Species followed, working towards protection of threatened migrating species, not only birds, but also for example fish, whales and bats. In September 1979 the broader pan-European Bern Convention for the Conservation of the European Wildlife and Natural Habitats came onto the scene, aiming at protecting a large number of both animals and plants and their habitats. In 1992 the EU Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC)followed, to protect many species of plants and animals other than birds as well as habitat types. Together they form a family of important legal instruments, covering several thousand species and several hundred habitat types in Europe. They work via site protection and protection of species in general, and lately they also promote management plans for selected species. However, there is still along way to go, before there is a sustainable protection for the species and habitat types of these biodiversity instruments, and they will only ensure the continuing survival if there is a constant political and public will to maintain them. Also it took a long time before the conventions came into force: the Bern Convention in 1982 and the Bonn Convention in 1983. The following web sites contain a wealth of legal and status information: The European Commission on the Birds Directory 25th. Anniversary: . BirdLife International on the Birds Directive: The Eu Habitats directive: . The Bonn Convention on migratory species: . The Bern Convention:
Release date 11/11/2004
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