Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife
and Natural Habitats

Standing Committee

Recommendation No. 16 (1989) of the standing committee on areas of special conservation interest

(Adopted by the Standing Committee on 9 June 1989)

            The Standing Committee of the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats, acting under the terms of Article 14 of the convention,

            Having regard to Article 4 of the convention and to Resolution N° 1 (1989) on the provisions relating to the conservation of habitats;

            Desirous of establishing common criteria for the identification of areas to be conserved;

            Desirous also of ensuring that the conservation and management of such areas have regard to certain minimum requirements,

            Recommends that Contracting Parties:

1.         take steps to designate areas of special conservation interest to ensure that necessary and appropriate conservation measures are taken for each area situated within their territory or under their responsibility where that area fits one or several of the following conditions;

            a. it contributes substantially to the survival of threatened species, endemic species, or any species listed in Appendices I and II of the convention;

            b. it supports significant numbers of species in an area of high species diversity or supports important populations of non or more species;

            c. it contains an important and/or representative sample of endangered habitat types;

            d. it contains an outstanding example of a particular habitat type or a mosaic of different habitat types;

            e. it represents an important area for one or more migratory species;

            f. it otherwise contributes substantially to the achievement of the objectives of the convention;

2.         review regularly or continually in a systematic fashion their performance in the implementation of paragraph 1 above;

3.         take such steps, either by legislation or otherwise, to ensure wherever possible that :

            a. areas referred to in paragraph 1 above are the subject of an appropriate regime, designed to achieve the conservation of the factors set out in that paragraph;

            b. the agencies responsible for the designation and/or management and/or conservation of such areas or any one of them have available to it sufficient manpower, training, equipment and resources (including financial resources) to enable them properly to manage, conserve and survey the areas;

            c. appropriate ecological and other research is conducted, in a properly co-ordinated fashion, with a view to furthering the understanding of the critical elements in the management of such areas and to monitoring the status of the factors giving rise to their designation and conservation;

            d. activities taking place adjacent to such areas or within their vicinity do not adversely affect the factors giving rise to the designation and conservation of those sites;

4.         take steps, as appropriate, in respect of areas referred to in paragraph 1 above, to:

            a. draw up and implement management plans which will identify both short-and long-term objectives (such management plans can relate to individual areas or to a collection of areas such as heathlands);

            b. regularly review the terms of the management plans in the light of changing conditions or of increased scientific knowledge;

            c. clearly mark the boundaries of such areas on maps and, as far as possible, on the ground;

            d. advise the competent authorities and landowners of the extent of the areas and their characteristics;

            e. provide for the monitoring of such areas and especially of the factors for which their conservation is important;

5.         determine those areas which remain inadequately provided for under existing mechanisms and improve the conservation status of such areas, using whatever mechanisms are appropriate in order to meet the requirements of the convention.