Berne Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats

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For other uses of "Berne Convention", see Berne Convention (disambiguation).
Bern Convention or Berne Convention
Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats
Signed 19 September 1979
Location Bern
Effective 1 June 1982
Condition 5 ratifications
Parties 51
Depositary Council of Europe
Language English, French, Italian, Russian and German

The Bern Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats, also known as the Bern Convention (or Berne Convention), is a binding international legal instrument in the field of Nature Conservation, it covers the natural heritage in Europe, as well as in some African countries. The Convention was open for signature on 19 September 1979 and came into force on 1 June 1982. It is particularly concerned about protecting natural habitats and endangered species, including migratory species.

Aims and objectives[edit]

The convention has three main aims, which are stated in Article 1:[1]

  • to conserve wild flora and fauna and their natural habitats
  • to promote cooperation between states
  • to give particular attention to endangered and vulnerable species including endangered and vulnerable migratory species

Structure[edit]

The convention is divided into:

  • Preamble

Because this convention has a special nature, which is to include the maximum number of signatures possible, it included the eventual signing by non-members of the Council of Europe: "the member States of the Council of Europe and the other signatories hereto, Considering that the aim of the Council of Europe is to achieve a greater unity between its members,...”[2]

  • Chapter I – General provisions

It contains three articles, where it is stated the three aims of the Convention and general obligations of the Contracting Parties.

  • Chapter II – Protection of habitats

Here are set out the obligations of the Contracting Parties concerning the conservation of the habitats.

  • Chapter III – Protection of species

It contains the obligations of the Contracting Parties regarding the Appendices I, II, III and IV and the exceptions of these obligations.

  • Chapter IV – Special provisions for migratory species

It contains the obligations of the Contracting Parties regarding migratory species.

  • Chapter V – Supplementary provisions

It contains supplementary obligations of the Contracting Parties, concerning co-operation, research, reintroduction and introduction of species.

  • Chapter VI – Standing Committee

It settles the functioning procedure of the Standing Committee and their tasks.

  • Chapter VII – Amendments

Contains the procedure of amendments regarding articles and Appendices of the Convention.

  • Chapter VIII – Settlement of disputes

It contains the procedure of the arbitration of any disputes that could arise between Contracting Parties.

  • Chapter IX – Final provisions

It contains the final arrangements of the Convention.

  • Appendices:

Four appendices set out particular species for protection. They are regularly updated by the Standing Committee, who are advised by a number of Expert Groups:

  • Appendix I – Strictly protected flora species
  • Appendix II – Strictly protected fauna species
  • Appendix III – Protected fauna species
  • Appendix IV – Prohibited means and methods of killing, capture and other exploitation

Ratifying states[edit]

States that have ratified the Bern Convention

Member States of the Council of Europe [3]

State Signature Ratification Entry into force
Albania 31 October 1995 13 January 1999 1 May 1999
Andorra 11 May 2000 13 October 2000 1 February 2001
Armenia 13 March 2006 14 April 2008 1 August 2008
Austria 19 September 1979 2 May 1983 1 September 1983
Azerbaijan 28 March 2000 a 1 July 2000
Belgium 19 September 1979 24 August 1990 1 December 1990
Bosnia and Herzegovina 17 November 2008 17 November 2008 1 March 2009
Bulgaria 31 January 1991 a 1 May 1991
Croatia 3 November 1999 3 July 2000 1 November 2000
Cyprus 21 October 1981 16 May 1988 1 September 1988
Czech Republic 8 October 1997 25 February 1998 1 June 1998
Denmark 19 September 1979 8 September 1982 1 January 1983
Estonia 3 August 1992 a 1 December 1992
Finland 19 September 1979 9 December 1985 1 April 1986
France 19 September 1979 26 April 1990 1 August 1990
Georgia 18 May 2009 19 November 2009 1 March 2010
Germany 19 September 1979 13 December 1984 1 April 1985
Greece 19 September 1979 13 June 1983 1 October 1983
Hungary 16 November 1989 a 1 March 1990
Iceland 17 June 1993 17 June 1993 1 October 1993
Ireland 19 September 1979 23 April 1982 1 August 1982
Italy 19 September 1979 11 February 1982 1 June 1982
Latvia 23 January 1997 23 January 1997 1 May 1997
Liechtenstein 19 September 1979 30 October 1980 1 June 1982
Lithuania 28 September 1994 5 September 1996 1 January 1997
Luxembourg 19 September 1979 23 March 1982 1 July 1982
Malta 26 November 1993 26 November 1993 1 March 1994
Moldova 24 May 1994 a 1 September 1994
Monaco 7 February 1994 a 1 June 1994
Montenegro 3 March 2009 1 October 2009 1 February 2010
Netherlands 19 September 1979 28 October 1980 1 June 1982
Norway 19 September 1979 27 May 1986 1 September 1986
Poland 24 March 1995 13 September 1995 1 January 1996
Portugal 19 September 1979 3 February 1982 1 June 1982
Romania 18 May 1993 a 1 September 1993
Serbia 9 January 2008 9 January 2008 1 May 2008
Slovakia 28 April 1994 23 September 1996 1 January 1997
Slovenia 20 October 1998 29 September 1999 1 January 2000
Spain 19 September 1979 27 May 1986 1 September 1986
Sweden 19 September 1979 14 June 1983 1 October 1983
Switzerland 19 September 1979 12 March 1981 1 June 1982
Republic of Macedonia 17 December 1998 17 December 1998 1 April 1999
Turkey 19 September 1979 2 May 1984 1 September 1984
Ukraine 17 August 1998 5 January 1999 1 May 1999
United Kingdom 19 September 1979 28 May 1982 1 September 1982

Non-member states of the Council of Europe

State Signature Ratification Entry into force
Belarus 19 February 2013 a 1 June 2013
Burkina Faso 14 June 1990 a 1 October 1990
Morocco 25 April 2001 a 1 August 2001
Senegal 13 April 1987 a 1 August 1987
Tunisia 12 January 1996 a 1 May 1996

International Organisations

Organisations Signature Ratification Entry into force
European Union 19 September 1979 7 May 1982 1 September 1982

Algeria, Cape Verde, the Holy See, San Marino and Russia are among non-signatories that have observer status at meetings of the committee.

The convention led to the creation in 1998 of the Emerald network of Areas of Special Conservation Interest (ASCIs) throughout the territory of the parties to the convention, which operates alongside the European Union's Natura 2000[4] programme.

Duties of Contracting Parties[edit]

All countries that have signed the convention must:[5]

  • promote national conservation policies
  • promote measures against pollution
  • promote educational and informative measures
  • co-ordinate efforts to protect migratory species
  • establish legislative and administrative measures

Monitoring the implementation of the convention[edit]

To achieve successfully the aims of this Convention, a number of monitoring devices were implemented.

Reporting system[edit]

  • Compulsory biannual reports
  • Voluntary general reports (every four years)
  • Legal reports (one country per year)
  • National reports
  • Follow-up of recommendations

[6]

Groups of experts[edit]

The chosen experts are in charge of monitoring the implementation of the Standing Committee recommendation regarding species and habitats, as well as doing their own recommendations about specific conservation problems.[7]

Case-file System[edit]

The system is based in complaints for possible non-compliance or other problems related with the provisions of the Convention. These complaints are processed by the Secretariat, the Bureau and the Standing Committee and when they feel there is the need for further information, on-the-spot visits by independent experts can be arranged.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Council of Europe, 1979. Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Heritage. Bern, Switzerland. Available at: http://conventions.coe.int/Treaty/EN/Treaties/Html/104.htm
  2. ^ Council of Europe, 1979. Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Heritage. Bern, Switzerland. Available at: http://conventions.coe.int/Treaty/EN/Treaties/Html/104.htm
  3. ^ Treaty Office on http://conventions.coe.int
  4. ^ http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/page-1364
  5. ^ Council of Europe, 1979. Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Heritage. Bern, Switzerland. Available at: http://conventions.coe.int/Treaty/EN/Treaties/Html/104.htm
  6. ^ Council of Europe. Nature Convention on the conservation of European wildlife and natural habitats. Available at: http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/cultureheritage/nature/bern/default_en.asp
  7. ^ Council of Europe. Nature Convention on the conservation of European wildlife and natural habitats. Available at: http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/cultureheritage/nature/bern/default_en.asp
  8. ^ Council of Europe. Nature Convention on the conservation of European wildlife and natural habitats. Available at:http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/cultureheritage/nature/bern/default_en.asp

External links[edit]