Member States fail to implement Habitats Directive

WWF publishes unique snapshot on state of implementation of EU's nature conservation law

The WWF ranked the 15 Member States in their report according their progress on the implementation of the Habitats Directive. Denmark leads with almost 2/3 of the Directive implemented. The Netherlands is not far behind Demark. Austria and the United Kingdom are close behind. The rest are ranked accordingly: Finland, Italy, Sweden, Belgium, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Ireland.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) published a report on Thursday (28 June) indicating that Europe may lose the race to protect its threatened species and habitats unless Member States start to implement the Habitats Directive. The report reveals that all 15 Member States are no closer to implementing the Directive than when it was adopted in 1992. Every deadline for implementing the Directive has been broken.


The Habitats Directive was adopted in 1992, with transposition into national law supposed to be completed in 1994. A full list of sites to be protected under the Directive were due to submitted by Member States in 1995 and finalised at EU level in 1998. To date, nearly all Member States have failed to fully transpose the Directive into national law and even less have completed the site selection process and submitted a complete list to the Commission. The Directive lists some 700 threatened animal and plant species, and 168 threatened habitats to be protected.


Life Terra

Funded by the LIFE Programme of the EU

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