Restricted area

Please enter your user ID,
to access the collaborative space

Forgotten password ?

Glossary

Terms in the glossary are classified in alphabetical order in English.

print pageexport as PDFsharesubscribe to RSS feedreduce font sizeEnlarge font size
'Birds' directive

Directive 2009/147/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 November 2009 on the conservation of wild birds (this is the codified version of Directive 79/409/EEC as amended) is the EU's oldest piece of nature legislation and one of the most important, creating a comprehensive scheme of protection for all wild bird species naturally occurring in the Union.

The directive recognizes that habitat loss and degradation are the most serious threats to the conservation of wild birds. It therefore places great emphasis on the protection of habitats for endangered as well as migratory species (listed in Annex I), especially through the establishment of a coherent network of Special Protection Areas (SPAs) comprising all the most suitable territories for these species. Since 1994 all SPAs form an integral part of the NATURA 2000 ecological network.

back to top

CBD

Convention on Biological Diversity

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) came into force on 29 December 1993. Its main objectives are threefold:

  • Conservation of biological diversity;
  • Sustainable use of components of biodiversity;
  • Fair sharing of the advantages derived from the use of genetic resources.

The national biodiversity strategies and action plans (NBSAP) are the main instruments of Convention application on a national scale. The Convention requires Governments to prepare a national biodiversity strategy (or a similar instrument) and to integrate this strategy into the planning and activities of all these sectors which may have (positive or negative) impacts on biodiversity.

www.cdb.int

back to top

CDDA or ECCDA

Common Database on Designated Areas or European Common Database on Designated Areas.

The European Environment Agency, together with UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Center and the Council of Europe have joined efforts in sharing procedures for the information included in the European Common Database on Designated Areas- the so called ECDDA. The European Common Database on Designated Areas- ECDDA, comprises information reported by countries which is made public by the EEA and it will be part of EUNIS. It covers the complete geographical area of Europe, the full geographical area under the responsibility of European countries, as well as other States and Territories related to key initiatives of the European region. ECDDA feeds into the World Database on Protected areas managed by UNEP/WCMC, ensuring that European countries report once and contribute to data sets at both European and global levels.

back to top

ETC

European Topic Center.

The ETC/BD is an international consortium working with the European Environment Agency under a framework partnership agreement. The main tasks of the topic centre are:

  • Assist the European Environment Agency in its task of reporting on Europe's environment by addressing state and trends of biodiversity in Europe.
  • Provide the relevant information to support the implementation of environmental and sustainable development policies in Europe in particular for EU nature and biodiversity policies (DG Environment: Nature and Biodiversity).
  • Build capacity for reporting on biodiversity in Europe, mainly through the European Information and Observation Network (Eionet).

bd.eionet.europa.eu/

back to top

IUCN

International Union for Conservation of Nature

back to top

MPA

Marine Protected Area

back to top

MSFD

Marine Strategy Framework Directive

The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) results from the European Commission's Marine Strategy proposal, contained in a blue paper approved by the European Council on 14 December 2007 which aims to promote an integrated marine policy for the European Union (Marine Strategy Framework Directive no. 2008/56/EC of the European Parliament and the Council of 17 June 2008). The objectives of the Directive require achieving or maintaining good ecological status of the marine environment by 2020.

European Union Member States are required to take all necessary measures to reduce the impacts of activities on the marine environment. This environmental directive develops an ecosystem approach to the marine environment, in connection with other European directives (Natura 2000, Water Framework Directive, etc.): it aims to maintain or restore the functioning of marine ecosystems (conservation of biodiversity, interactions between species and habitats, dynamic and productive oceans), while safeguarding uses of the sea by future generations, on a sustainable basis.

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/water/marine

back to top

OSPAR

The Convention for the conservation of the North-East Atlantic marine area ("OSPAR convention") was opened for signature at the ministerial meeting of the Oslo and Paris commissions on 22 September 1992 in Paris.

The OSPAR Convention came into force on 25 March 1998. It replaces the Oslo and Paris Conventions, but the decisions, recommendations and other agreements adopted under those conventions continue to be applicable and are legally unalterable, unless terminated by new measures adopted under the 1992 OSPAR Convention.

The OSPAR Convention includes a series of appendices addressing the following topics:

  • Appendix I on the prevention and elimination of pollution from land-based sources;
  • Appendix II on the prevention and elimination of pollution by dumping or incineration;
  • Appendix III on the prevention and elimination of pollution from offshore sources;
  • Appendix IV on the assessment of the quality of the marine environment.

www.ospar.org

back to top

Perimeters (main / sub-perimeter)

The boundary of a marine protected area is called the perimeter. The largest perimeter, which may comprise sub-perimeters, is the main perimeter. Sub-perimeters are areas that are classified, described and mapped in the official text designating the marine protected area.

These sub-perimeters have:

  • specific regulations (different from those of the main perimeter);
  • and possibly specific management objectives. 

Sub-perimeters are often areas in which protection is strengthened. A marine protected area may have one or more sub-perimeters.

Please also refer to: Understanding the complementary nature of the different perimeters

back to top

Protected area designation or category

Designations or categories of protected areas (whether marine or on land) are defined on a national basis. Although categories bearing the same name exist in different countries (such as national parks), they are not identical (the level of protection, management measures and governance, etc. may differ). A designation (or category) is established in a legal, formal manner and nationally recognized as such.

Please also refer to: Understanding the complementary nature of designations

back to top

"Fauna / Flora / Habitats" Directive

Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 concerning the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora.

This directive, also referred to as the "Habitats" Directive, aims to contribute to protecting biodiversity in Member States by defining a common framework for the conservation of habitats, plants and animals of community interest.

The "Habitats" directive establishes the Natura 2000 network comprising special conservation areas designated by the Member States under the directive. Moreover, it also includes special protection areas established under the "Birds" directive 2009/14/EC.

'Habitats' Directive

back to top

RAC

Regional Advisory Councils

The establishment of regional advisory councils, which are pillars of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) reform, aims to further fisheries sector stakeholder participation in policy making. Thanks to these permanent forums, all relevant parties will be able to communicate and cooperate in developing and applying the CFP. Each RAC has a general assembly and an executive committee.

RAC membership is as follows:

  • Representatives from the fisheries sector and other interest groups affected by the CFP. The latter are proposed by organisations representing the fisheries sector and other interest groups in the relevant Member States, which together choose the members of the general assembly;
  • Scientists are invited as experts to take part in the work of the RACs.

The following may also take part as active observers:

  • The European Commission;
  • National and regional authorities of the relevant Member States; 
  • A representative of the Advisory Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture (ACFA);
  • Representatives of the fisheries sector and other interest groups from third party countries by invitation from the RAC.

Baltic Sea Regional Advisory Council

Mediterranean Sea Regional Advosiry Council

North Sea Regional Advosiry Secretary

South Western Waters Regional Advisory Council

North Western Waters Regional Advisory Council

Pelagic Regional Advisory Council

High Seas / Long Distance Fleet Regional Advisory Council

back to top

SAC

Special Area of Conservation

Sites designated under the Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC), officially approved by the European Commission and officially designated by the national government.

They are named as follows:

  • SAC, in the UK;
  • ZSC, Zone Spéciale de Conservation, in France;
  • ZEC, Zona Especial de Conservación, in Spain;
  • ZEC, Zona Especial de Conservação, in Portugal.

Several steps are required to designate SACs and differ depending on the country.

In the UK:

  1. dSAC, draft SAC, the relevant authorities officially recommend site designation to the government;
  2. pSAC, possible SAC, site designation is approved by the government and the consultation begins;
  3. cSAC, candidate SAC, site designation is submitted to the European Commission;
  4. SIC, site designation is officially approved by the European Commission;
  5. SAC, the British government has officially designated the site.

From the "cSAC" stage onwards, the site is considered "designated". Before that, it is only "proposed".

In France:

  1. pSIC, proposition de Site d'Importance Communautaire (proposal of Site of Community Importance), site designation is officially submitted to the European Commission;
  2. SIC, Site d'Importance Communautaire (Site of Community Importance), site designation is officially approved by the European Commission
  3. ZSC, Zone Spéciale de Conservation (Special Area of Conservation), the French government has officially designated the site.

From the "SIC" stage onwards, the site is considered "designated". Before that, it is only "proposed".

In France, the ZNIEFF (Zones Naturelles d'Intérêt Ecologique Faunistique et Floristique, natural areas of ecological interest for fauna and flora) served as a basis for the inventory of the French natural heritage. These sites then served as a basis to identify and select sites which may be designated under the Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC).

In Spain:

  1. LIC, Lugar de Importancia Comunitaria, site designation is officially approved by the European Commission;
  2. ZEC, Zona Especial de Conservación, the Spanish government has officially designated the site.

From the "LIC" stage onwards, the site is considered "designated".

In Portugal:

  1. SIC, Sítio de Interesse Comunitário, site designation is officially approved by the European Commission;
  2. ZEC, Zona Especial de Conservação, the Portuguese government has officially designated the site.

From the "SIC" stage onwards, the site is considered "designated". Before that, it is only "proposed".

back to top

SCI

Site of Community Importance

Sites designated under the Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC), which have been officially approved by the European Commission but are yet to be designated by the national government.

They are named as follows:

  • SCI, Site of Community Importance, in the UK;
  • SIC, Site d'Importance Communautaire, in France;
  • LIC, Lugar de Importancia Comunitaria, in Spain;
  • SIC, Sítio de Interesse Comunitário, in Portugal.

Once designated nationally, these "SCI" sites become:

  • SAC, Special Area of Conservation, in the UK;
  • ZSC, Zone Spéciale de Conservation, in France;
  • ZEC, Zona Especial de Conservación, in Spain;
  • ZEC, Zona Especial de Conservação, in Portugal.

back to top

SPA

Special Protection Area

Sites designated under the "Birds" Directive (2009/147/EC), officially designated by the national government.

They are named as follows:

  • SPA, Special Protected Areas, in the UK;
  • ZPS, Zone de Protection Spéciale, in France;
  • ZPS, Zona de Protección Especial, in Spain;
  • ZPE, Zona de Protecção Especial, in Portugal.

back to top

WCMC

World Conservation Monitoring Centre.

The UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) is a collaboration between the United Nations Environment Programme, the world's foremost intergovernmental environmental organization, and WCMC (UK), a UK-based charity. UNEP-WCMC is UNEP's specialist biodiversity assessment arm, and the Centre for UNEP's collaboration with WCMC 2000.

www.unep-wcmc.org

back to top

WDPA

World Database on Marine Protected Areas.

Since 1981, UNEP-WCMC, through its Protected Areas Programme, has been compiling this information and making it available to the global community. The WDPA is a joint project of UNEP and IUCN, produced by UNEP-WCMC and the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas working with governments and collaborating NGOs.

The World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) is the most comprehensive global spatial dataset on marine and terrestrial protected areas available.

www.wdpa.org

back to top

back to top

Logos Atlantic AREA et European Union