- BirdLife International has congratulated the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats, better known as the Bern Convention, which has just turned 30.
Created on 19 September 1979, the Convention has now been signed by all Member States of the Council of Europe - except San Marino and Russia - as well as by the European Union, Burkina Faso, Morocco, Tunisia and Senegal.
The Bern Convention was the first international instrument aiming to ensure conservation and protection of wild plant and animal species and their natural habitats, to increase cooperation between contracting parties and to regulate the exploitation of those species (including migratory species).
“It is one of the few legal instruments for biodiversity conservation at Pan-European level with an enforcement mechanism to bite when necessary” - Boris Barov, European Conservation Manager of the BirdLife European Division
To implement it in the European Union, the European Community adopted the Birds Directive in 1979, and the Habitats Directive in 1992. With the political support of the Council of Europe, the Bern Convention developed the Pan-European Ecological Network, in which the European Union's Natura 2000 programme and the Emerald network of Areas of Special Conservation Interest (ASCIs) established in the countries that are not EU members, co-exist.
“Over the past 30 years, the Bern Convention has been the principal factory where many of the conservation successes we know today were forged”, commented Boris Barov, European Conservation Manager of the BirdLife European Division. “It is one of the few legal instruments for biodiversity conservation at Pan-European level that has an enforcement mechanism to bite when necessary”.
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