PORTUGAL: EC warning over incomplete site list for habitat protection

The European Commission has said that its patience has worn out and it has issued a formal warning to Portugal over that country's failure to submit a complete list of Natura 2000 sites.


Compliance with the EU Habitats Directive requires each EU member state to submit a list of sites for protection. The Natura 2000 network of sites across the EU should have been in place by 1998, but some member states have not kept pace with the schedule.

The EC warning allows for further measures against Portugal, including court action. Enforcement against Ireland and Germany for their failure to submit adequate Natura 2000 lists is already underway. Pressure last year from environmental organisations in the UK – including the World Wildlife Federation and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds – was successful in alerting the EC to shortcomings in the UK’s list (see related story). The country has since committed to revising and expanding it (see related story).

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