The CLA has responded to the European Commission consultation on the Birds and Habitats Directives and the extent to which they remain fit for purpose.
The CLA represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses. CLA Director of Policy and Advice Christopher Price said: “We wholly support the objectives of both Directives. Our view is that the way they are applied across the Member States must improve. This is why we welcome this review, which can deliver better nature conservation.
“In our response we have suggested the way that Member States implement the Directive has to be more flexible and take into account changing circumstances, such as climate change. At present Member States are too inflexible preferring strict protection regimes to more dynamic and more effective approaches developed in constructive consultation with landowners. There is also a continued need for roll out of more practical guidance, such as the Commission’s Guide to Sustainable Hunting under the Birds Directive.
“Above all we need clarity on the need for nature conservation to be adequately funded. It is clear from the vast amount of published literature on the point that the amount of money being made available to implement the Directives is well short of the sums required. This means that the funding dedicated to this via the common agricultural policy must be maintained and effectively channelled”
The CLA set out its views to the consultation as part of the response of the European Landowners Organization. The Commission will consider consultation responses and set out recommendations later in the year.