Effectiveness of the Wild Birds and Habitats Directives in the Wadden Sea area: will the tiger loose its teath?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Almost the entire Wadden Sea area has been designated by Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands as a Special Protection Area under the Wild Birds Directive and as a Special Area of Conservation under the Habitats Directive. The new Water Framework Directive will, eventually, also have consequences for the area. What are the consequences of EU Directives aimed at protecting the Wadden Sea area? Provide these Directives effective protection against harmful activities? These questions have been dealt with through a case study on the decision-making process with regard to mechanical cockle fisheries in the Dutch part of the Wadden Sea in 2004. Also, data obtained from other European research projects into the effectiveness of the Directives have been analyzed. These studies indicate that especially the Wild Birds and Habitats Directives can be very effective tools for legal protection of the area. Especially case law by the European Court of Justice has rendered the Directives strong teeth. The Directives offer opportunities to protect the area, without neglecting economic interests, although the effectiveness still very much depends on the political will to take the Directives seriously, and/or on NGOs that go to court, invoking the provisions of the Directives. According to some, the Directives are too effective! Evaluation and amendments of the Wild Birds and Habitats Directives are to be expected within the next few years. The tiger may lose its teeth in this process.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMonitoring and Assessment in the Wadden Sea area. Proceedings from the 11th Scientific Wadden Sea symposium, Esbjerg, Denmark 4-8 april 2005
EditorsK. Laursen
Place of PublicationRoskilde
PublisherNational Environmental Research Institute
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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