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International legal possibilities and obligations for nature conservation in ports
Cliquet, A. (2005). International legal possibilities and obligations for nature conservation in ports, in: Herrier, J.-L. et al. (Ed.) (2005). Proceedings 'Dunes and Estuaries 2005': International Conference on nature restoration practices in European coastal habitats, Koksijde, Belgium 19-23 September 2005. VLIZ Special Publication, 19: pp. 393-404
In: Herrier, J.-L. et al. (Ed.) (2005). Proceedings 'Dunes and Estuaries 2005': International Conference on nature restoration practices in European coastal habitats, Koksijde, Belgium 19-23 September 2005. VLIZ Special Publication, 19. Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee (VLIZ): Oostende. XIV, 685 pp., more
In: VLIZ Special Publication. Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee (VLIZ): Oostende. ISSN 1377-0950, more

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Document type: Conference paper

Keywords
    Harbours; Nature conservation; Marine

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Abstract
    Ports are often situated in valuable nature areas. In the past, large areas of coastal land and sea were claimed for port development without taking into account the nature values in that area. With the development of international nature conservation law new possibilities for nature conservation and nature development were developed. Although several instruments exist, this article focuses on the Ramsar Convention on the one hand and on the Birds and Habitat Directive on the other. Ramsar sites and protected areas under the Birds and Habitat Directives can be designated in or near port areas. For the designation only scientific criteria are taken into account (and no economic criteria). There are legal requirements for the conservation of these protected sites in both the Ramsar Convention and the directives. Similar provisions exist on the reduction of the size or the deletion of the protected area. Several conditions have to be fulfilled, such as reasons of public interest. Both instruments require compensation matters. The legal requirements are more precise and strict in the EC directives than in the Ramsar Convention. Enforcement is much better organized in the framework of the EC directives. New challenges exist to put the provisions of the directives into practice. If correctly applied these nature conservation instruments can lead to a more sustainable policy in finding a balance between ecology and economy.

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