The need to assess progress in the implementation of the Bern Convention
Reply to Recommendation
| Doc. 12807
| 12 December 2011
- Committee of Ministers
at the 1129th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies (7 December 2011). 2012 - First part-session
- Reply to Recommendation
- : Recommendation 1964
The Committee of Ministers has taken
note of Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1964 (2011)
on “The need to assess progress in the implementation
of the Bern Convention” and brought it to the attention of the governments
of the member States. It has also forwarded this recommendation
to the Standing Committee of the Bern Convention, whose comments
are taken into account in the present reply.
2. Wild fauna and flora constitute a natural heritage of major
interest which must be preserved and passed on to future generations.
Beyond the preservation of remarkable heritage, the conservation
and sustainable use of nature and biodiversity are an essential
contribution for ensuring a safe environment for all and fostering sustainable
development. The Committee of Ministers welcomes the co-operation
efforts undertaken in this area by the States Parties to the Bern
Convention and encourages them to make activities under the convention
more visible internationally. It notes in particular the work carried
out by the groups of experts set up by the Standing Committee under
the Bern Convention to address specific threats and conservation requirements
of different species, habitats, sites and processes, as well as
to monitor the implementation of the Standing Committee’s recommendations.
3. It informs the Assembly that co-operation with the European
Union and the European Environment Agency has been stepped up in
2011 and is to be maintained, particularly for the harmonisation
of the Emerald Network of Areas of Special Conservation Interest,
set up within the Bern Convention framework, with the Natura 2000
ecological network resulting from the European Union's Habitats
and Birds Directives.
4. Furthermore, it recalls that the Bern Convention has concluded
Memoranda of Co-operation with the Convention on Biological Diversity
(in 2008) on the one hand and with the International Union for Conservation of
Nature (IUCN, 2010) on the other hand. These agreements are tools
for promoting exchanges of information and experience regarding
implementation of those institutions' respective work programmes.
They also help to foster institutional and technical co-operation
on issues of common concern such as protected areas and ecological
networks, ecosystems services, invasive alien species, biological
diversity and climate change.
5. The Bern Convention has played a pioneering role in environmental
protection by encouraging co-operation among States, promoting legislative
harmonisation and providing the Parties with the tools for implementation.
The Committee of Ministers recognises the importance of efficient
enforcement of environmental legislation, including the implementation
of the Standing Committee’s recommendations and also efforts aimed
at communication, education and public awareness regarding the work
of the Bern Convention.
6. It encourages the Russian Federation and the Republic of San
Marino to consider signing and ratifying the Bern Convention.
7. In reply to the Parliamentary Assembly's recommendation that
the activities of the Bern Convention be made one of the priorities
of the Council of Europe, the Committee of Ministers reiterates
that the core mission of the Council of Europe is to safeguard and
promote human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The Committee
of Ministers recalls its commitment towards the Bern Convention
and encourages the Standing Committee and its groups of experts
to continue their work for the protection and sustainable use of
biological biodiversity, in order to ensure a safe environment for
all. In this perspective, the Standing Committee will have to take
account of the current context of refocusing of activities and resources.
For this reason, the Committee of Ministers supports that analysis
is strengthened of the ways of ensuring a sustainable and meaningful
future for the work of the Bern Convention.