Statutory instrument on conservation

Amends regulation transposing the EU’s Habitats Directive and Wild Birds Directive into English law to maintain existing protections after Brexit; changes definition of wild birds to include birds existing only in the UK and not the EU

Document title: Conservation of Habitats and Species (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019

Summary: Amends regulation transposing the EU’s Habitats Directive and Wild Birds Directive into English law to maintain existing protections after Brexit; changes definition of wild birds to include birds existing only in the UK and not the EU, sets out that DEFRA/devolved administrations would take on European Commission’s role for judging imperative reasons of overriding public interest in developments impacting protected sites, with cost recovered through fees to persons applying for consent to undertake such projects, and consultation expected from other devolved administrations and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee; creates a national site network to replace the EU’s Natura 2000 network of protected sites; requires relevant public authorities to report publicly on implementation of nature regulations within six years of Brexit, with subsequent reports every six years, to replace previous reporting requirement to the European Commission; gives national authorities right to assess designation of new protected sites on advice of Joint Nature Conservation Committee, with possibility left open that sites currently undergoing assessment would not complete the assessment process after Brexit; establishes management objectives for national site network.

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