Assessment of impacts on Natura 2000 sites

Natura 2000 is a network of protected areas established in all EU member states according to unified principles. The goal of this network is to provide protection for those animal and plant species and their habitats that are in the European perspective the most valuable, threatened, rare or endemic (limited in their geographical occurrence to a certain area). The establishment of the Natura 2000 network is based on two important EU directives on nature protection: the Bird’s Directive 2009/147/ES and the Habitat’s Directive 92/43/EHS. The Bird’s Directive defines the designation of Special Protection Areas (SPA). The Habitat’s Directive defines the designation of Sites of Community Importance (SCI). The Special Protection Areas together with the Sites of Community Importance form the Natura 2000 network.

As the existence of some habitats and species protected by Natura 2000 is closely bound to human activities, the goal of Natura 2000 is not to eliminate human influence completely. Appropriate management of these habitats is in fact necessary for their existence. Only activities with a proven negative effect on the protected habitats and species are prohibited. Any activity affecting the interest of conservation has to be evaluated in terms of its impact on the conservation interest.  Activities adversely affecting the conservation interest can be permitted only for imperative reasons of the overriding public interest, under the condition that mitigation measures are adopted.

Assessment of impacts on Natura 2000 sites is based on Article 6 of the Habitat’s Directive 92/43/EHS and regulated by the national legislation of the Czech Republic.