Biodiversity in Strategic Environmental Assessment - Quality of National transposition and application of the SEA Directive

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Courtesy of European Environmental Bureau

Biodiversity, as a key component of our ecosystems, is of vital importance for the services these ecosystems provide2. On top of that it has an intrinsic value, which cannot be overestimated.

The protection of biodiversity goes beyond the establishment of protected areas such as Natura 2000. It needs to be integrated into the wider environment and into the different sectoral policies of each country. With the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive 2001/42/EC, this integration is since 21 July 2004 legally required in all member states. Not surprisingly, the expectations of the directive are generally high among NGOs – not only in terms of environmental protection, but also in terms of simply improved and better informed planning.

With the loss of biodiversity continuing at an alarming rate, it is crucial that this directive is applied with the utmost urgency and consistency throughout the EU – with a central role for biodiversity. This is why we have decided to bring out this snapshot report to present a first assessment of the quality of transposition and application so far, and of the extent to which biodiversity is currently addressed.

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