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Seas and Oceans: Environment Protection

Volume 475: debated on Tuesday 13 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 21 April 2008, Official Report, columns 1371-2W, which (a) special areas of conservation with marine components and (b) special protection areas with marine components in UK inshore waters listed on the Joint Nature Conservation Council website are not included on the European Commission's equivalent lists; and for what reasons in each case. (204477)

Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Special Protection Areas (SPAs) together form a network of Natura 2000 sites to protect habitats and species of European importance. SACs are designated under the EC Habitats Directive (Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora) and SPAs are designated under the EC Wild Birds Directive (Council Directive 79/409/EEC on the conservation of wild birds).

Sites in the UK that meet the qualifying criteria under the relevant directive are identified by the Joint Nature Conservation Council (JNCC) and are recommended to the Government for submission to the EC for adoption as SACs or SPAs respectively. The lists of Marine SACs and SPAs which appear on the JNCC website therefore correspond with those held on the EC's equivalent lists.