Regional development and Natura 2000 in Accession Countries by 3CVp5o2Z

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									                                                             final report




                               Financing Natura 2000
                                in an Enlarged Europe

               Synthesis and country reports for the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary,
                                         Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, and Slovakia


Nature Trust
   Malta
TABLE OF CONTENTS

   Acknowledgements……………………………………………………… 2
   Executive summary……………………………………………………… 3
   Introduction……………………………………………………………… 4
   Comments and synthesis of country reports……………………………... 7
   Conclusions and recommendations………………………………………17
Appendix 1: Country reports
Appendix 2: Contacts


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

A number of people and organisations from across Europe have cooperated to make
this report possible.

Authors of National reports

Czech Republic
Vlastimil Karlík, Arnika; input from Mojmir Vlasin, Veronica Ecological Institute
Estonia
Kärg Kama, Eerik Leibak, and Robert Oetjen, Estonian Fund for Nature
Hungary
Brigitta Bozso, WWF-Hungary
Latvia
Ints Mednis, WWF-Latvia
Lithuania
Pranas Mierauskas and Edmundas Greimas, Lithuanian Fund for Nature
Malta
Vincent Attard, Malta Nature Trust
Poland
Katarzyna Nowak, WWF-Poland
Slovakia
Eva Viestova, Daphne Institute of Applied Ecology
(see appendix for contact information)

Synthesis and editing
The synthesis report was drafted by Andreas Beckmann, Sandra Jen and Ellen
Townsend, WWF-European Policy Office. Special thanks to Clare Coffey, Institute
for European Environmental Policy, and Elizabeth Guttenstein, WWF-European
Policy Office, for their helpful comments and input, and to Pieter de Pous for
assistance with editing.




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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
By May 1, 2004, the first ten Accession countries must present their draft list of proposed
Natura 2000 sites to the European Commission. Experience from the existing 15 EU Member
States has demonstrated that inadequate attention to financing for Natura 2000 can undermine
and delay implementation of the Natura 2000 network. Therefore, after a first report, Progress
on Preparation for Natura 2000 in Future EU Member States, published in January 2003,
WWF and partner organisations1 have chosen to focus on the issue of financing for
implementation of Natura 2000 and to examine in particular the forthcoming opportunities for
co-financing from the EU Regional Funds.
The Regional Funds, which include both Structural and Cohesion funds, represent a
significant proportion of EU total expenditure for these countries (22 billion EUR for the
period 2004-2007). This Community support presents a singular opportunity for moving
toward sustainable development and contributing to halting loss of biodiversity in Europe by
2010, as called for by Heads of States and Governments at the Gothenburg European Council.
WWF and its partners believe that the introduction of Structural and Cohesion Funds to the
accession countries should be seized as an opportunity to contribute substantially to secure
funding for Natura 2000 and avoid any delay in the process of implementing the conservation
network in the acceding countries, which contain a significant part of Europe’s remaining
wilderness areas and cultural landscapes. In addition, the Regional Funds must be invested in
such a way as to encourage patterns of socio-economic development that enhance and profit
from, rather than destroy, the rich natural capital that the newest Members States contain.
Current information on national plans for financing Natura 2000 reveals that initial steps have
been taken by governments to earmark funds for Natura 2000 in their national budgets.
However, given the challenge that the successful implementation of Natura 2000 presents,
WWF and its partners believe that these efforts must be undertaken using a more strategic and
integrated approach in order to make the most of existing, if limited, opportunities for using
EU co-financing for the establishment of Natura 2000. Experience so far with EU pre-
accession funds has shown that scarcely any support has been allocated for nature
conservation. This missed opportunity means that it has now become all the more urgent to
prioritise funding for this purpose.
WWF and its partners therefore call on accession country governments to make full use of EU
funds, particularly Structural and Cohesion Funds as well as support for agriculture and rural
development, to implement the Natura 2000 network. We draw attention to the potential
substantial socio-economic benefits of nature conservation through implementation of Natura
2000.
WWF and its partners call on the European Commission to ensure thatn no EU funds are
allocated to infrastructure and other projects which endanger present or future potential
Natura 2000 sites. Moreover, all necessary steps should be taken to ensure that the acceding
countries plan support for Natura 2000, including specific objectives and targeted measures,
in the development and implementation of their sectoral operational programmes and Rural
Development Plans. The low priority that conservation generally has in Accession Countries
gives the European Commission an extra responsbility in this matter.




1
 Partner organisations include: Arnika and Veronica in the Czech Republic; the Daphne Institute of
Applied Ecology in Slovakia; the Estonian Fund for Nature; the Lithuanian Fund for Nature; and Malta
Nature Trust.


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INTRODUCTION

Natura 2000
In 1992, in response to the significant and ongoing deterioration of many habitat types
and the growing number of threatened species, EU member states adopted the
Directive on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Fauna and Flora
(CE/92/43), also known as the "Habitats Directive". The Habitats Directive aims to
contribute to the protection of biodiversity by establishing a European-wide network
of protected areas, called Natura 2000, as well as by protecting threatened species in
their natural range. The Habitats Directive complements the 1979 Birds Directive,
which establishes protected areas for threatened bird species that are included in the
Natura 2000 network.
Natura 2000 is a key element of the EU’s strategy for achieving Sustainable
Development. The measures contained in the Habitats and Birds Directives are
particularly relevant to the EU’s objective of halting biodiversity loss in Europe by
2010.2
In the existing fifteen EU Member States, the site identification and designation
process has been long and difficult. However, after more than five years of delay, the
Natura 2000 network is at last beginning to take shape. The sites proposed so far for
the network represent around 18% of the territory of the fifteen EU member states.3 A
similar percentage of the territory of the present twelve future member states would
add more than 180,000 km2 to the Natura 2000 network. The added area – more than
twice the size of Austria – would include many of the most pristine and valuable
natural areas in Europe.
This is not a distant vision. By their date of accession to the European Union on May
1, 2004, the first ten accession countries must submit to the European Commission
their draft lists of proposed Natura 2000 sites (the so-called list of “proposed Sites of
Community Importance”, or pSCI’s). Those for Romania and Bulgaria could follow
within several years.

Financing Natura 2000
With the Natura 2000 network becoming reality, the European Commission,
governments and stakeholders have started looking more closely at the financial
implications of effectively protecting and managing the Natura 2000 sites. Financing
for the management and protection of the Natura 2000 sites is a responsibility shared
by national governments and the European Community. In application of Article 8 of
the Habitats Directive, a proper European mechanism should be established to provide
for EU co-financing of measures required for the implementation and ongoing
management of Natura 2000 sites.
To date, however, no real instrument has been established to this end. To address this
shortcoming at the European level, the European Commission established in 2002 a
Working Group (the so-called “Article 8 Working Group”) to explore solutions to the
question of co-financing for the Natura 2000 network as a whole. Taking a

2
 Presidency Conclusions, Goteborg European Council, June 15-16, 2001 (SN 200/1/01 REV 1).
3
  Final report on financing Natura 2000, Working Group on Article 8 of the Habitats Directive
(November 2002), http://europa.eu.int/comm/environment/nature/final_report_en.pdf.



                                                                                           4
conservative approach, the Working Group has estimated that between 3.4 billion
EUR and 5.7 billion EUR (and possibly as much as 8.8 billion EUR) per year is
needed between 2003 and 2013 for the implementation of Natura 2000 in the existing
fifteen EU Member States.4
Although the Article 8 Working Group has acknowledged the financial burden that
the site selection and designation process imposes, they have not considered the
special conditions and financing needs faced by the accession countries. For the first
ten acceding countries5 that are expected to submit to the European Commission their
lists of proposed Sites of Community Importance by May 2004, issues of financing
for the future Natura 2000 network are becoming increasingly pertinent, even acute.
Experience in the existing EU Member States has shown how inadequate attention to
the issue of financing can undermine the Natura 2000 process as a whole, causing
unnecessary anxiety among various stakeholders. In some countries, competent
authorities have been in a situation where they have been unable to provide answers to
questions of landowners and land-users that are concerned about the implications of
site designation and the lack of financial schemes for sites management. In many
cases, this has affected the consultation process as a whole and lead to opposition to
Natura 2000 site designation. Indeed, first signs of these problems are already
appearing in acceding countries like Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

Options for financing Natura 2000
It is therefore essential that the acceding countries develop their plans for financing
implementation of Natura 2000 as quickly as possible. Though there is still no
adequate instrument for Community co-financing for implementation of Natura 2000,
the accession countries do have a number of opportunities to cover some of the
current costs related to Natura 2000 through existing funding programmes, including
the LIFE programme, pre-accession funds, as well as the Structural and Cohesion
Funds (see table – EU funding for Natura 2000, present experience).
At the same time, it is important that the needs of the accession countries are taken
into account in the ongoing consideration of how to secure future EU co-financing for
Natura 2000, particularly as discussion and planning begins for the next financial
perspective 2007-2013. The European Commission is now developing a proposal,
originally expected in September but two times delayed, on EU co-financing for
Natura 2000. It is critical that this proposal is not further delayed, as this could
jeopardize inclusion of financing for Natura 2000 in the broader discussion regarding
the future of EU funding programmes, principally the Structural and Cohesion Funds.
WWF and its partners have welcomed the recommendations of the Article 8 Working
Group regarding future financing for Natura 2000. In particular, we welcome the
Group’s recognition of the need to further integrate requirements of environmental
legislation in sectoral policies and their related funding mechanisms. However, WWF
still considers that a dedicated instrument is required to ensure efficient EU co-
financing of Natura 2000. This should take the form of an enhanced and strengthened
LIFE instrument that continues to play the innovative and poineering role it has done
so far. Considering the small proportion of the total funding needs LIFE covers (0.06
4
  Ibid, page 14.
5
  Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuanian, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and
Slovenia will join the European Union on May 1, 2004; Bulgaria and Romania are currently expected
to follow in 2007.


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billion EUR for a bill of at least 5 billion EUR of which a large proportion needs to be
co-financed by EU funds) this enhanced LIFE instrument will need to be
complemented by a contribution from Structural funds and Rural Development
Regulation after substantial review and modification of EU funding instruments prior
to the next financial perspective, 2007-2013. In the meantime, pressing needs to take
measures to maintain the favourable conservation status of sites remain. WWF and its
partners therefore believe that every opportunity for co-financing arrangements with
existing EU funding mechanisms, including the EU LIFE programme, must be used.
This applies for both existing and future Member States alike. In this light WWF and
its partners welcome the recent extension of the LIFE program, for the period 2005-
2006.
EU funding for Natura 2000 -- Present experience
Fund                   Comments on use by EU Member States (MS)
EAGGF – pillar 2 Used by all Member States, mostly for agri-environmental management payments to farmers,
(Rural Development where this is relevant. Some MS have also used other RDR measures: forests (Articles 30 and
Regulation, RDR)   32); rural development (Article 33 – protection of the environment sub measure); areas with
                       environmental restrictions (Art 16 ); and training (Art 9) to support Natura 2000 management
                       actions on sites, and some also used similar measures under the former Objective 5b EAGGF
                       guidance funds.
ERDF (European         Used by a large number of Member States, especially for funding site plans and other
Regional               preparation, also for funding staff posts and facilitating interpretation /public enjoyment of
Development Fund)      sites, for a minority of sites
LEADER            Used by a handful of Member States to support both survey work, management planning,
                       management action and the promotion of Natura 2000 sites
Interreg               This Community iniative has been used especially to promote enhanced management of
                       trans-boundery between MS and for those affected it has proved an important source of
                       funds, althouhg time limited
LIFE-Nature            Used by all Member States, mainly for time limited, pump-priming investment activities
                       related to site set-up and experiments in restoration and new management techniques. About
                       8% of all sites have been supported
LIFE-                  Less common source than LIFE-nature, used in a few MS for habitats where other
Environment            environmental functions are also relevant (e.g wetlands), also mainly for time limited
                       investment, not ongoing management.
Intergrated Med        Cited as used by only one MS, for actions similar to those supported by ERDF funds
Programme
Source: Final report on financing Natura 2000, Working Group on Article 8 of the Habitats Directive
(November 2002), http://europa.eu.int/comm/environment/nature/final_report_en.pdf



This report
After a first report on Progress in Preparation for Natura 2000 in Future EU Member
States (published in February 2003), WWF and its partners have chosen to focus the
present report on the issue of funding for Natura 2000, including the forthcoming
opportunities to co-finance the Natura 2000 process through EU Structural and
Cohesion Funds as well as the threats that these and other funding sources can pose to
Natura 2000 sites.
This paper is based on the analysis of information provided through national
questionnaires submitted for the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania,
Malta, Poland, and Slovakia. Answers to the questionnaire have been provided by
staff of WWF and partner organisations who are closely monitoring and, in most
cases, are actively involved in preparation for Natura 2000 in those countries.
The paper has been used to inform discussion particularly at the conference,
Financing for Natura 2000 in an Enlarged EU, organised by WWF-Hungary with the


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sponsorship of the Hungarian Ministry of Environment and the Visegrad Fund on
October 28 in Budapest6. The results of this conference have, in turn, been used to
shed light on some of the questions raised in this report and highlight issues that need
clarification.
Our aim with both the conference and paper is to raise attention to and examine the
issue of financing for Natura 2000 in the accession countries and the broader,
enlarged European Union.




6
 Financing Natura 2000 in an Enlarged Europe - report from Conference on Financing Natura 2000,
October 28, 2003 Budapest (WWF Accession Initiative, December 2003). Available on the Internet at:
http://www.panda.org/downloads/europe/n2000conferencereportfinal.doc



                                                                                                 7
COMMENTS AND SYNTHESIS OF COUNTRY REPORTS


I.     Estimating costs

Estimating the cost of implementing Natura 2000 in the accession countries is
probably even more difficult than establishing such a figure for existing EU Member
States. The broad-based estimate of the Article 8 Working Group for the fifteen
existing EU Member States puts the figure at between 3.4 and 5.7 billion EUR per
year between now and 2013. The amount, which is probably a conservative estimate,
was reached through a combination of calculating actual known costs for sites and
extrapolating these costs where no such figures presently exist.
The estimate is based on a standard questionnaire that was sent to EU Member States
and that covered a range of costs related to Natura 2000, from pre-designation of sites
and management planning and administration; to ongoing management actions and
incentives as well as occasional management costs such as restoration or land
purchase.
A similar, comprehensive estimate of the overall costs for Natura 2000 in the
accession countries as a whole is not currently available, and is very much needed.
The country reports do note initial estimates made by individual governments. But
these figures vary widely in their approach and comprehensiveness, and are almost
certainly at least a degree of magnitude lower than what will realistically be needed
for the implementation.


II.    Plans for financing Natura 2000

Answers to the questionnaire indicate that all accession countries have earmarked at
least some funds from their national budgets for the financing of Natura 2000.
Costs of site identification and designation have been covered by national budgets as
well as contributions from Government Aid Agencies (especially Dutch PIN-
MATRA, Danish DANCEE) and PHARE Twinning projects. In Estonia, for example,
63,911.49 EUR from the national PHARE programme were earmarked for Natura
2000 in 2003. In Poland, a PHARE Twinning project with a total budget of ca
211,581.00 EUR is being carried out in partnership with French authorities. The
project is focused on developing management plans for seven pilot areas. A total of
155,902 EUR has been invested by the Polish authorities in this project.
However, to date only Lithuania and Estonia have elaborated a plan to finance the
establishment of the network for the 2003-2007 period. And even then Estonia’s plan
is a very general one with no plans to make a more detailed one for the entire period.
In Latvia, work is continuing on the preparation of a biodiversity implementation plan
that should provide clear calculations and a financing scheme combining allocations
from the state budget as well as EU funds. Poland has no comprehensive plan for
financing Natura 2000, but has identified some sources of financing for the network,
including the national budget (with the amount for Natura 2000 included in the annual
Budget Act) as well as additional sources including the National Fund for
Environmental Protection and Water Management; the Voivodship Funds for
Environmental Protection; and the Ecofund.


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In Hungary, the National Conservation Plan for Nature makes reference to specific
costs connected with the implementation of Natura 2000, but no resources have yet
been allocated for this purpose. As a result, Hungary cannot take full advantage of
Community funding measures, including the LIFE programme, Structural and
Cohesion Funds, as these all require co-financing from national sources. This will
apply to other acceding countries as well. In general, the questionnaires point to a lack
of political will on the part of national authorities to take financing of Natura 2000
seriously.
It is interesting to note that while the Article 8 Working Group considered
compensation for rights foregone and loss of land value as “occasional” management
costs, these costs are anticipated by several accession countries. In Slovakia and
Latvia, according to national legislation, national budgets should provide for
compensation measures for restriction of farming and changes in agricultural
practices. In the Czech Republic, a proposed amendment to the National Constitution
could establish rules to provide financial compensations to landowners.
WWF and its partners welcome the initial steps that have been taken by governments
to earmark funds for Natura 2000 in their national budgets. However, given the
challenge that the successful implementation of Natura 2000 presents, we believe that
costs estimates are still very much under-estimated and efforts must be undertaken for
a more strategic, committed and integrated approach in order to make the most of
existing opportunities for using EU co-financing for the establishment of the
conservation network.



III.    Options for financing Natura 2000: EU Pre-Accession funding

Over the past thirteen years, some 20 billion EUR has been provided by the EU in
Pre-Accession funding to the ten accession and candidate countries in Central and
Eastern Europe. Virtually none of this support has been used for nature conservation.
Despite growing threats posed by unchecked and imbalanced infrastructure
development, and in the face of the EU’s commitments to achieving sustainable
development and preserving biodiversity, both future Member States and the
European Commission itself have given low priority to the protection and
preservation of the accession countries’ prodigious natural wealth.
In fact, of the three EU Pre-Accession funds, PHARE, ISPA, and SAPARD7, only a
small percentage of the PHARE funding for twinning projects has been allocated for
preparing the EU accession countries for implementation of Natura 2000, e.g. the
PHARE supported Twinning programme in Poland in which French conservation
authorities are assisting their Polish counterparts to develop management plans for
seven pilot areas (total project cost of 211,581 EUR); or support for five projects
related to wetlands and meadows restoration in the Morava river floodplain, a likely
Natura 2000 site, in southwestern Slovakia.


7
  PHARE – Poland Hungary Assistance in Restructuring their Economies. Originally included
infrastructure investment, and later was focused on strengthening democratic institutions and public
administration; ISPA – Instrument for Structural Policies for Pre-Accession – dedicated to large-scale
investment in transportation and environment; SAPARD – Special Accession Programme for
Agriculture and Rural Development.


                                                                                                    9
The ISPA pre-accession fund, half of which is dedicated to major investments related
to the environment, and whose regulation even includes explicit reference to nature
protection, has not provided any support to Natura 2000. Support from ISPA for
environmental projects in 2000 were divided among sewage water collection and
treatment (64.38%); drinking and sewage water (5.98%); and solid waste (20.4%);
with nothing for nature conservation.8

EU expenditure on enlargement – Pre-accession funding
In millions of EUR, at 2000 prices

Programme                                                         1990-1999          2000-2003
PHARE (Strengthening democratic institutions and                    6,767.16           6,240.00
public administration)
ISPA (Transport and environmental infrastructure)                          --          4,160.00
SAPARD (agricultural and rural development)                                --          2,800.00
Total                                                               6,767.16          13,200.00
Annual average                                                        676.72           3,300.00
Total as % of 1999 EU-GNP                                               0.08               0.16
Annual average as % of 1999 EU-GNP                                     0.008               0.04
Source: Compiled by Kok, W. (2003:46) from European Commission Documents. Kok, W. (2003)
Enlarging the European Union: Achievements and Challenges, European University Institute Florence.


IV.      Structural and Cohesion Funds

The Structural and Cohesion Funds are the European Union’s instrument of solidarity with
less prosperous regions and countries. Their main purpose is to strengthen the EU’s social and
economic cohesion. From 1999, a central aim of the Structural and Cohesion Funds has also
been the promotion of sustainable development and a high level of protection and
improvement of the natural environment.
The Cohesion Funds were established in 1994 to assist the poorest Member States to comply
with the requirements of the Economic and Monetary Union by granting subsidies for large-
scale investments in the area of transport and environment.
The Structural Funds usually finance multi-annual programmes drawn up in partnership with
administrations at national and regional level and aim at enhanced regional growth,
competitiveness and job creation. Co-financing rates vary, but can be up to 75% in many parts
of the accession countries. The Structural Funds include the following individual funds:
     European Regional Development Fund (ERDF);
     European Social Fund (ESF);
     Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG);
     The Guidance Section of the European Agriculture Guidance and Guarantee Fund
      (EAGGF-Guidance) – also a Structural Fund, its use is now largely governed by the Rural
      Development Regulation (RDR), the so-called “second pillar” of the Common
      Agricultural Policy.
     Community Initiatives – more localised funding frameworks targeting specific issues in
      development. They include LEADER +, which promotes innovative actions in rural
      development; and INTERREG III, which supports cross-border partnerships and
      initiatives.

8
 WWF Briefing Paper on ISPA (Instrument for Structural Policies for Pre-Accession). WWF European
Policy Office, January 2001.


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Structural Funds and environment
The rules agreed in 1999 for the Structural Funds make environment and sustainable
development one of the three horizontal themes to be “mainstreamed” across all other
funding areas. However, weak reference to environment and nature conservation in
the rules of the various funds failed to create a real incentive to use these funds in this
way. Structural funding for nature conservation has remained ad-hoc and far too
subject to chance.
The Communication of the European Commission for “Revised indicative guidelines
on the Structural Funds and their co-ordination with the Cohesion Funds” published at
the end of August 2003 has partially addressed these shortcomings and makes direct
reference to the establishment of Natura 2000 and the implementation of other
directives for environment protection. This potentially opens some more direct
possibilities to use Structural funds to co-fund “investments and measures aimed at
protecting the Natura 2000 sites”.9
WWF and others have encouraged existing EU Member States to use Structural Funds
for funding nature conservation projects as part of the sustainable development of
European regions. Opportunities to contribute to sustainable local development and to
create jobs with nature conservation projects have been highlighted for example with
case studies in Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal,
Spain, Sweden and the UK (see EU Structural Funds 2000-2006 Conserving Nature,
Creating Jobs, IEEP London 1999). Together with the Institute for European
Environmental Policy (IEEP), WWF has carried out a project to promote the socio-
economic benefits of Natura 2000 and thus encourage further investments in the
protection and management of the sites as an asset for sustainable local and regional
development10.
Financial investments are critical for the establishment of Natura 2000 and the
maintenance of the network. But they can also been seen as a sound investment in
local economies and communities. Benefits resulting from enhanced nature protection
include economic opportunities such as avoided costs for pre-treating drinking water
or flood control resulting from ecosystem services. There are also economic benefits
from increased revenues from tourism, development of ecological farming and other
forms of sustainable resource use. Activities related to the establishment of Natura
2000 can also help in diversifying employment, lengthening employment period by
extending the time span for some tourism activities, and retaining youth, labour and
skills in a given region. Natura 2000 sites may also be used as centres for education
and training, attract volunteer support, and generate health and amenities benefits.11
Such features offer opportunities to link implementation of Natura 2000 with projects
eligible for EU financing under the European Regional Development Funds, Cohesion
Funds, and under the Rural Development Regulation.


9
  Communication from the Commission COM (2003) 499 final. The Structural Funds and Their
coordination with the Cohesion Fund, Revised Indicative Guidelines, p. 10
http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex/en/com/cnc/2003/com2003_0499en01.pdf
10
  Background Report for European Conference on Promoting the Socio-Economic Benefits of Natura
2000, Brussels, 28-29 November 2002, ISBN 1 873906 44 7.
11
     Promoting the Socio-Economic Benefits of Natura 2000: Conference proceedings, page 5.


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Accession countries and Structural Funds
Following agreement by Heads of State and Government at the Copenhagen Summit
in 2002, expenditure ceilings have been set at 22 billion EUR for the 2004-2006
period. The accession countries have had to compile a number of programming
documents outlining the use of these funds. Negotiations with the European
Commission regarding the adoption of the plans are to be completed by the end of
2003. The main document under negotiation, the National Development Plan (NDP),
provides an overview of all the planned spending related to a given country’s social
and economic development. The National Development Plan is augmented by a
number of Sectoral Operational Programmes (SOP’s), devoted to individual
programming areas such as agriculture, transportation, etc.

EU Agriculture and Structural support for the ten acceding countries, 2004-2006

In millions of Euros                        2004              2005            2006
Agriculture                                 1.897             3.747           4.147
   1a CAP                                  327               2.032           2.322
   1b Rural Development                    1.570             1.715           1.825
Structural Actions                          6.095             6.940           8.812
Structural Fund                             3.478             4.788           5.990
Cohesion Fund                               2.617             2.152           2.822

Total appropriations for commitments        9.952             12.657          12.959
Source: Presidency Conclusions: Copenhagen European Council, December 2002.

Initially, each accession country planned to present ten or more Sectoral Operational
Programmes according to different policy sectors and funding needs. But the
European Commission has been strict in reducing the number of Sectoral Operational
Programmes to a minimum, pointing to the need to simplify the planning and
programming in order to ensure a smoother accession process. This has led to the
incorporation of environmental measures into different Sectoral Operational
Programmes such as agriculture and transport. As a consequence, most accession
countries have ended up with 5-7 Sectoral Operational Programmes. Unfortunately,
integration of planning and programming for these sectors – which from an
environmental and planning perspective should generally be applauded, and is in
keeping e.g. with the EU’s own Cardiff process – has apparently led in some cases to
reductions in budgets available for environmental projects.
In addition to the Sectoral Operational Programmes, Regional Operational Plans must
be developed at the sub-national level (regional or, according to EU statistical
standards, NUTS 2). It is clear that the scope and performance of all of the resulting
Operational Programmes will have a major influence on future funding decisions, and
subsequently will have far-reaching ramifications – either positive or negative – for
the unique natural heritage in these countries as well as for sustainable development
across Europe.




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One of the greatest challenges facing the accession countries has been their lack of
experience working with a number of new financing instruments and programmes as
well as their need to build up capacity in administering these funds. The first ten
accession countries face a double challenge in having to prepare and then
operationalise programming documents for the 2004-2006 period, while
simultaneously participating in discussions and planning for the new EU budgetary
period of 2007-2013.
WWF and its partners share the view of the European Commission that institutional
capacity building is still a clear priority for all accession countries, especially to
ensure coherence between programmes and instruments as well as increase respect
for the legal requirements for environmental integration and sustainable
development.

Provisions for the use of the Structural and Cohesion Funds for Natura 2000
With the exception of Poland, most National Development Plans (NDPs) and Sectoral
Operational Programmes (SOPs) with environmental elements – notably those
concerning agriculture and infrastructure – explicitly mention Natura 2000. However,
at the time of writing, it appears that only Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia
and Estonia have made arrangements to substantially finance Natura 2000 from these
sources.
In Lithuania, arrangements have been made for Structural Funds to finance projects
related to the management of habitats and species that are of European importance,
the designation of areas related to implementation of the Birds and Habitats
Directives, or endangered ecosystems such as grasslands.
Estonia and the Czech Republic have also gone into greater detail on eligible
measures. However, in Estonia, the budget allocated for 2004-2006 is only
488,560.00 EUR. In the Czech Republic, the Sectoral Operational Programme for
infrastructure development includes proposals for river restoration and other
environmentally sound flood prevention measures with a priority in Natura 2000 sites.
The Sectoral Operational Programme for Agriculture includes measures for changes
in land ownership, which among other things can improve conditions for nature
protection and measures for landscape protection. Moreover, joint Regional
Operational Programmes in the Czech Republic include measures that can be used for
supporting sustainable tourism, including links to Natura 2000 sites. In Malta, a
Natura 2000 pilot project on the Filfla Island and the setting up of a nursery for ex situ
conservation may be funded with Structural Funds money.
As mentioned earlier, virtually none of the EU’s Pre-Accession funds have been used
for nature conservation. This missed opportunity means that there is now an urgent
need to prioritise funding for this purpose. However, the decision to reduce the
number of individual Sectoral Operational Programmes (SOPs) and especially
incorporate those for environment into other SOPs, e.g. for transport infrastructure
and agriculture, makes it difficult to estimate the proportion of EU funds which will
be allocated for the development of the Natura 2000 network. Our evaluation
indicates that the potential to use EU funds for implementing Natura 2000 certainly
exists. WWF and its partners will continue to monitor the use of EU Structural and
Cohesion funds for nature conservation in the 2004-2006 period and beyond.




                                                                                       13
V.      Natura 2000 and the Rural Development Plans

The Rural Development Plans (RDPs) are instruments that are used to implement
the European Agriculture Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF). Governed by the
Rural Development Regulation, they can include a number of measures that have a
specific environmental focus.
Agri-environment schemes are the only compulsory measures that all countries must
implement to some degree.
Less Favoured Areas are considered less favoured from an agricultural point of view
and include e.g. mountainous areas subject to a considerable limitation of land use
and a significant increase in input costs; areas threatened with abandonment and
where maintenance of the landscape is necessary; and other areas affected by specific
handicaps and in which the maintenance of agriculture is necessary to ensure the
conservation or improvement of the environment, the management of the landscape or
its tourism value.
Areas subject to environmental constraints, besides Less Favoured Areas, are areas
subject to environmental constraints, where farmers can receive payments aimed at
compensating the losses resulting from the implementation of Community measures
on environmental protection, to the extent that payments are necessary to resolve the
specific problems arising from these measures.
Source: CAP Reform: Rural development – European Commission Directorate General for Agriculture
3rd edition 08/99

WWF and its partners welcome the fact that Natura 2000 has been recognised as a
relevant component of the Rural Development Plans that are being prepared by the
accession countries. The rural development plans of all the accession countries
considered make reference to Natura 2000 in sections on Agri-Environment Schemes
or Less Favoured Areas (LFA).
In Lithuania, the Rural Development Plan calls for agri-environmental schemes to
prioritise payments in Natura 2000 sites and protected areas of national importance. In
Slovakia, agri-environmental schemes broaden the scope of agriculture to include
landscape maintenance. The schemes include a comprehensive list of objectives (see
questionnaire), the main objective of which is to harmonize food production and
environmental protection as well as contribute to the maintenance of rural
communities. A number of sections of the Hungarian Rural Development Plan,
including those concerning afforestation, agri-environment, Environmentally
Sensitive Areas, make reference to Natura 2000. Reference is missing with regard to
Less Favoured Areas as the areas have still not been identified.
However, in Estonia, Natura 2000 measures will be eligible under the LFA scheme
only from 2007. In Latvia, Natura 2000 requirements are being included as conditions
for good farming practices.


VI.     EU funds and projects threatening Natura 2000

Given that provisions for financing Natura 2000 had to be included in the Sectoral
Operational Programme for Infrastructure, it is interesting to note the number of



                                                                                            14
infrastructure projects, especially roads and inland waterways, which may be funded
with EU funds, and which could damage potential Natura 2000 sites. These include
plans for:
    the development of a bridge or tunnel at Saaremaa in Estonia, which, in case a
     bridge is built, would impact pre-selected Natura 2000 sites;
    construction of a section of the Via Baltica motorway in Poland, which
     according to current plans would lead from Bialystok through a number of
     potential Natura 2000 areas, including the Biebrza National Park and wetland
     area;
    the D8, D11, D47, and R35 motorways in the Czech Republic;
    shipping developments along the upper Tisza river in Hungary;
    the Danube-Oder-Elbe waterway.

With regard to the Morava river, it is important to note that EU funds have already
been invested in the conservation of the potential Natura 2000 sites. Five projects on
wetland and meadow protection and restoration have already been undertaken in
Slovakia with support from the EU’s PHARE programme. The lower part of the
Morava river floodplain is also a pilot area under measure 6 (“Agricultural production
methods designed to protect the environment and maintain the landscape”) of the
SAPARD pre-accession programme. Farmers in this pilot area are able to propose
projects for several types of agri-environmental schemes till March 2004. The
achievements made with this EU support could well be lost if construction of the
planned Danube-Oder-Elbe canal proceeds.
The most unsettling is the European Commission’s new proposal to develop the
Trans-European Networks for Transport (TEN-T).12 The proposal, which was
released by the European Commission on October 1 2003 as the central piece of a
“European Growth Initiative”, proposes focusing Community and member state
resources to the tune of 220 billion EUR on development of 29 transport
infrastructure projects of “European interest”. The projects include plans to unplug
“blockages” along the Danube which, if undertaken, could damage or destroy a host
of likely Natura 2000 sites, including the most valuable stretches of the river between
Bulgaria and Romania. Natura 2000 is mentioned in the “Van Miert report” that
serves as the basis for the Commission’s proposal, but has clearly played little or no
role in the selection of priority projects. The exact, legal implications of projects that
are ofin the “European interest” has not yet been made clear. There is clearly a risk,
however, that the designation could be used to override environmental objectives,
including those of the Habitats and Birds Directives.
If adopted in its present form, and if the “European Interest” is indeed used to
override Community environmental legislation, the proposal could make a mockery
of EU commitments to achieving Sustainable Development and integrating
environmental concerns across all sectoral policy areas, including transport. A number
of planned projects and their potential impact on existing and potential Natura 2000
areas have been highlighted by NGOs in a recent publication on Conflict Areas
between the TEN-T and Nature Conservation13.
12
   European Commission, Amended proposal on Community guidelines for the development of the
Trans-European transport network (October 1 2003) COM (2003) 564 final
13
   Conflict between the TEN-T and Nature Conservation” Birdlife International, CEE Bankwatch
Network, Friends of the Earth Network, Transport and Environment, WWF 2003 (available at:
www.panda.org/epo)


                                                                                               15
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Extending Natura 2000 to twelve or more future EU member states is a crucial
challenge for the enlarged EU in meeting its goal of halting biodiversity loss by 2010.
This ambitious goal needs to be reflected in equally ambitious financing schemes at
national and European levels.
While some improvements have been made in the regulations and guidelines for the
use of Structural Funds and Rural Development Funds that could contribute to the
establishment of Natura 2000, WWF and its partners believe that these instruments
are still far from being adequate to co-finance the necessary conservation measures
for Natura 2000 sites. We consider that a dedicated instrument is required for this aim.
This should take the form of an enhanced and strengthened LIFE instrument to be
complemented by contributions from Structural Funds and through the Rural
Development Regulation following substantial changes in the Structural Funds
regulation (for the 2007-2013 financial period).
In the meantime, WWF and its partners believe that the introduction of Structural and
Cohesion Funds to the accession countries should be used as an opportunity to secure
substantial funding for Natura 2000 and avoid any delay in the process.
   WWF and its partners call on accession country governments to make full use of
    EU funds, particularly Structural and Cohesion Funds as well as support for
    agriculture and rural development, for implementation of Natura 2000. It is
    essential that governments secure sufficient support for Natura 2000 from national
    sources as co-financing for EU funds and to cover all needs for financing the
    conservation network, responsibility for which ultimately lies with the member
    states themselves. We draw attention to the potential socio-economic benefits of
    nature conservation through implementation of Natura 2000.
   While most Sectoral Operational Programmes prepared for the period 2004-2006
    contain some measures that could contribute to the financing of Natura 2000,
    these fall short of making use of the full potential of the Structural Funds for this
    goal.
   WWF and its partners recommend that DG Environment and DG Regio take the
    necessary steps to encourage acceding countries to use EU funds for nature
    conservation and sustainable development in their evaluation of the operational
    programmes presented by these countries. The planned use of the Structural and
    Cohesion funds as specified in the National Development Plans and Sectoral
    Operational Programmes must provide for funding of projects that contribute to
    the implementation of Natura 2000 with specific objectives and targeted
    measures. In particular, additional resources are still needed for completing the
    scientific work to ensure that all potential Natura 2000 sites be identified.
   WWF and its partners urge DG Regio and DG Environment to draw attention in
    the future Member States to the opportunities to finance through Structural and
    Cohesion Funds projects that contribute to the development and implementation
    of Natura 2000. Raising awareness of the importance of fully implementing EU
    nature conservation legislation and ensuring optimal use of opportunities for EU




                                                                                      16
       co-financing of Natura 2000 must be part of the institutional capacity building in
       future EU Member States.14
      We call on acceding countries and the European Commission to ensure that Rural
       Development Plans make full use of potential measures such as Agri-Environment
       Schemes; Less Favoured Areas subsidies; afforestation; training and education;
       and even marketing and processing schemes to add value to products from Natura
       2000 sites.
      WWF and partners call on the European Commission to ensure that no EU funds
       are allocated to infrastructure and other projects, which endanger present or future
       potential Natura 2000 sites.
      Beyond the 2004-2006 period, WWF and its partners strongly advocate the
       revision of Structural Funds regulation in order to make sustainable development
       the overarching objective of EU regional policy, and to address current
       weaknesses in terms of supporting the measures and investments for establishing
       Natura 2000.
      Beyond the 2004-2006 period WWF and its partners also call for extension and
       expansion of the LIFE-Nature instrument as a tool to secure core EU co-financing
       for Natura 2000 conservation measures.




…Sustainable development – to meet the needs of the present generation without
compromising those of future generations – is a fundamental objective under the
Treaties. That requires dealing with economic, social and environmental policies in a
mutually reinforcing way. Failure to reverse trends that threaten future quality of life
will steeply increase the costs to society or make those trends irreversible…

…Clear and stable objectives for sustainable development will present significant
economic opportunities. This has the potential to unleash a new wave of technological
innovation and investment, generating growth and employment. The European
Council invites industry to take part in the development and wider use of new
environmentally friendly technologies in sectors such as energy and transport. In this
context the European Council stresses the importance of decoupling economic growth
from resource use.

Source: Presidency Conclusions: Goteborg European Council, June 15-16, 2001.




14
     See WWF’s report on the “Structural Funds in an enlarged EU 14” on: www.panda.org/epo


                                                                                             17
CZECH REPUBLIC                            Financing Natura 2000: Questionnaire for country reports


1.   Has your government made an estimation of the cost of financing Natura 2000 your country?
     Yes
     What is the estimation?
     According to the reasoned report to the amendment of the Acton on Nature Conservtion, the cost
     will be a total of ca. 151.52 million EUR for the period 2004-2007. 2004: 814.20 million CZK
     (25.58 million EUR); 2005: 1,060.10 million CZK (33.30 million EUR); 2006: 1,389.70 million
     CZK (43.66 million EUR); 2007: 1,558.90 million CZK (48.98 million EUR). More specific data
     is available.
     No
     Why not?


2.   Does a plan exist for financing Natura 2000?
     Yes
     Please give outline and figures

     No

3.   Does the national legislation for Natura 2000 clearly provide for financing measures?
     Yes
     In which form?
     Proposed ammendment to National Conservation Act established rules for financial compensations
     for landowners.
     Do you consider these provisions to be adequate?
     No.
     No
     What is the possibility of introducing such provisions into national legislation?


4.   Are there any national sources of support for financing Natura 2000?
     Yes
     What are they? (please be as specific as possible)
     State Environmental Fund; Programs for Landscape Protection (River Restoration Program and
     Program of Landscape Management)
     No
5.   Rural Development plans:
          Is Natura 2000 included in your country’s Rural Development Plan? If not, why not?
     Partially, in the form of Agri-Environment Scheme and Less Favoured Areas subsidies.
          What are specific objectives regarding Natura 2000?
     For example: limitation of use of fertilizers and pesticides, management of grasslands and wet
     meadows, special measures for protection of the corncrake (Crex crex).
          What are provisions for nature conservation more generally in the Rural Development Plan?
     Among the measures mentioned above, there are provisions for reforestation, restoration of belts of
     trees around fields, support for local sub-species of cattle and plants, etc.
6.   Structural and Cohesion Funds




                                                                                                       18
        In your country, is nature conservation included in the planned use of Structural Funds
         (National Development Plan, and/or Sectoral Operational Programmes) in a way that can
         contribute substantially to financing N2000?
         Partially, in the Sectoral Operation Programme for infrastructure (which includes
         envrionmental protection) and in the Joint Regional Development Plan and Sectoral
         Operational Programme for Agriculture.
        If yes, in which way?
         In the Sectoral Operational Programme for Infrastructure, river restoration and other
         environmentally sound flood prevention measures have a priority in Natura 2000 sites. In the
         Joint Regional Operational Program there are measures which can be used for support of
         sustainable tourism, including in Natura 2000 sites. In the Sectoral Operational Programme for
         Agriculture there is a measure for changes in land ownership, which could improve conditions
         for nature protection, as well as measures for landscape management (forests, flood prevention
         measures, enhancement of biodiversity -- however, some of these measures can be
         controversial).
7.   Are there specific objectives and measures targetting Natura 2000 in the Sectoral and
     Regional Operational Programmes? If yes, which ones?
     See above, nothing else
8.       Are you aware of any infrastructure projects to be supported by EU funds (Structual
     and Cohesion Funds) that will threaten implementation of Natura 2000?
     There are a number of planned motorways that could have a negative impact on potential Natura
     2000 areas. They include the D8, D11, and D47 motorways as well as the R35 and R55 highways,
     which could eventually receive support from the EU's Cohesion Funds.
     SPAs that could be directly impacted by highways and motorways include the following. D47
     motorway: current plans for the motorway have it cutting through the SPA Hermanske stavy a
     Poolzi in three places, twice across the Odra river, and once across the Olza river); also adjacent
     roads are partially-situated in the SPA. The planned route for the R35 highway would affect the
     Komarov SPA. The most important conflict concerns current plans for the R55 highway, which
     would pass through core areas of the Bzenecka Doubrava - Straznicke Pomoravi SPA.
     Regarding the D8 motorway, affecting the Vychodni Krusne Hory SPA: In this case, there are
     different opinions regarding the impact this project could have on potential Natura 2000 sites. The
     Czech Ornithological Society does not consider this highway to pose a danger to the site; other
     NGOs (Children of the Earth, Ecological Law Service) disagree and have already lodged a formal
     complaint concerning the motorway with the European Commission.
     It is not possible to say whether all of these motorways will indeed be financed from Cohesion
     Funds, as the application for financing will be made after the Czech Republic's accession to the
     European Union. However, the rules regulating use of Cohesion Funds say that all projects
     included in the Trans-European Network for Transportation may apply for support -- this would
     certainly apply to the D47 and D8 motorways, and probably the R35 and R55 highways as well.
     Some measures in the Sectoral Operational Programme for Agriculture could have a negative
     impact on potential Natura 2000 sites, including for example liming of soil in forests, amelioration,
     intensification of fish production, etc.
9.   Are you aware of any EU funds (LIFE, SAPARD, Phare..) that have already been invested in
     these potential Natura 2000 sites?
     SAPARD: pilot Agri-Envirnmental Scheme in 5 Landscape Protected Areas started in 2003;
     PHARE: a larger project supporting preparation of management plans and communication with
     stakeholders should start at the end of 2003



General comments on prospects for financing the establishement of Natura 2000 in your country and
the steps taken by your government so far.




                                                                                                       19
Planning for use of Structural Funds for the financial period 2004-2006 represents a missed opportunity
to support development of the Natura 2000 network. Even in the Rural Development Plan, the most
promising measures (area-specific Agri-Environmental Schemes) were skipped at the last moment. It is
necessary to change this in planning for the next financial period. Discussion regarding the future
Sectoral Operational Programmes, Regional Operational Programmes, and Redgional Development
Plans for the 2007-2013 financial period will probably begin in 2004.




ESTONIA                                   Financing Natura 2000: Questionnaire for country reports


1.   Has your government made an estimation of the cost of financing Natura 2000 your country?
     Yes
     What is the estimation?
     According to government order from May 6, 2003, the overall costs for the implementation of
     Natura 2000 for the years 2003-2007 (2nd Natura implementation period) is foreseen to be 20
     million EEK (1.3 million EUR).
     No
     Why not?


2.   Does a plan exist for financing Natura 2000?
     Yes
     Please give outline and figures
     The official action plan and budget for the years 2003-2007 are very general and will probably be
     specified by the Ministry of Environment, as done for the years 2000-2002.
     No

3.   Does the national legislation for Natura 2000 clearly provide for financing measures?
     Yes
     In which form?
     The government order mentioned above provides 20 million EEK (1.3 million EUR) for the years
     2003-2007. Of this, 19 million EEK has already been Guaranteed or will be applied for from the
     state budget; 1 million will be financed in 2003 under the PHARE national programme. According
     to government order from July 25, 2000, the overall budget for the first implementation period for
     Natura 2000 (2000-2002) was planned to be 18.3 million EEK (1.2 million EUR), of which 10.4
     million EEK (664,000.00 EUR) was financed from the state budget.
     Do you consider these provisions to be adequate?
     There are no possibilities to check the real detailed use and efficiency of Natura 2000 national
     funds.
     No
     What is the possibility of introducing such provisions into national legislation?


4.   Are there any national sources of support for financing Natura 2000?
     Yes
     What are they? (please be as specific as possible)
     The state budget. (Some specific projects which are also contributing activities in some Natura
     2000 sites are financed by the Centre for Environmental Investments, but no special financial
     measures are provided for this.)




                                                                                                    20
     No
5.   Rural Development plans:
         Is Natura 2000 included in your country’s Rural Development Plan? If not, why not?
     Yes, but only generally. Natura 2000 is mentioned in the general introduction to the draft Rural
     Development Plan, but there is not mention of specific financial measures connected with this.
     With regard to Less Favoured Areas (LFAs) measure, it is said that the relevant Natura 2000 sub-
     measure will not be started until the next programming period (after 2006).
         What are specific objectives regarding Natura 2000?
     Some activities applied from the Agri-Environment measure in the Rural Development Plan will
     be supported with 15% "stimulus" financing in case the activities occu in Natura 2000 sites
     (nature-friendly management, organic agriculture, maintenance of traditional stone fences,
     management of semi-natural grasslands).
         What are provisions for nature conservation more generally in the Rural Development Plan?
     The Rural Development Plan provides support for management of semi-natural grasslands and
     valuable landscapes, establishment of "feeding fields" for some migratory birds, protection of
     endangered amphibians and the establishment of small secondary wetlands.
6.   Structural and Cohesion Funds
         In your country, is nature conservation included in the planned use of Structural Funds
          (National Development Plan, and/or Sectoral Operational Programmes) in a way that can
          contribute substantially to financing N2000?
     Yes. The nature conservation activities are part of the Environmental Infrastructure Investments
     measure in the National Development Plan.
         If yes, in which way?
     The nature conservation activities should clearly target existing protected areas (many of which
     coincide with pre-selected Natura 2000 sites), future Natura 2000 sites or species protection.
     Unfortunately, the budget for 2004-2006 is declared to be not more than 488,560.00 EUR
     (including financing for infrastructure buildings in protected areas), so the benefit for Natura 2000
     areas cannot be significant.
7.   Are there specific objectives and measures targetting Natura 2000 in the Sectoral and
     Regional Operational Programmes? If yes, which ones?
     No. In Estonia there are no Sectoral and Regional Operational Programmes included in the
     National Development Plan as the relatively small country contains only one NUTS 2 region.
8.   Are you aware of any infrastructure projects to be supported by EU funds (Structual and
     Cohesion Funds) that will threaten implementation of Natura 2000?
     The project "South-East Estonian Waste Managment", which is being financed by EU pre-
     accession funding through the ISPA programme, is establishing a new landfill in Tartu county,
     Nõo commune, Laguja village. In addition to threatening the health of the people living in this
     village, the project also threatens two nearby Natura 2000 pre-selected sites: Vitipalu pSCI and
     Otepää pSCI and SPA. At the moment, the detailed development plan of the landfill has been
     confirmed by the local municipality and the EIA approved by the Minister of Environment. The
     local people are applying to court with the help of environmental NGOs
     There is a development project going on of the Saaremaa bridge/tunnel through a pre-selected
     Natura 2000 site, the Väinameri pSCI and SPA. The final feasibility study is being co-financed by
     the ISPA programme. Construction of a bridge would seriously threaten the intensively used
     migration route for arctic waterfowl as well as the local population of seals.
     We have no complete overview of infrastructure planning financed by EU pre-accession funds
     through the PHARE programme, which may also include some possible threats to the future
     implementation of Natura 2000.
9.   Are you aware of any EU funds (LIFE, SAPARD, Phare..) that have already been invested in
     these potential Natura 2000 sites?



                                                                                                       21
     Yes. Some activities in the national Natura 2000 implementation programme are co-financed
     through the PHARE national programme (0,8 MEUR in 2001 for a twinning project with Finland).
     Five projects have been financed since 2001 under the LIFE-Nature programme, which also have
     contributed to the establishment of Natura 2000 sites. Two new LIFE projects are beginning
     activities at the end of 2003.



HUNGARY                                   Financing Natura 2000: Questionnaire for country reports


1.   Has your government made an estimation of the cost of financing Natura 2000 your country?
     Yes
     What is the estimation?
     According to the National Nature Conservation Plan (2003-2008), adopted 6 June 2003:
     792,000.00 EUR for the establishment of SPAs (2003-2004)
     1,312,500.00 EUR for the establishment of SACs (2003-2004)
     For monitoring and research in 2003-2008: 1,812,833.00 EUR (i.e. in 2003: 250,000.00 EUR; in
     2004: 292,000.00 EUR; in 2005: 312,500.00 EUR; in 2006: 312,500.00 EUR; in 2007: 312,500.00
     EUR; in 2008: 333,333.00 EUR).
     For preparation of detailed national reports to the EU (research) in the period 2003-2008:
     437,500.00 EUR (in 2003: 104,166.00 EUR; in 2004: 83,333.00 EUR; in 2005: 62,500.00 EUR; in
     2006: 62,500.00 EUR; in 2007: 62,500.00 EUR; in 2008: 62,500.00 EUR).
     For communications and awareness raising: 2003-2008: 416,666.00 EUR (i.e. in 2003: 83,333.00
     EUR; in 2004: 83,333.00 EUR; in 2005: 62,500.00 EUR; in 2006: 62,500.00 EUR; in 2007:
     62,500 EUR; in 2008: 62 500 EUR).
     For managing Natura 2000 sites in the period 2003-2008: 39,584,333.00 EUR (i.e. in 2003: 0
     EUR; in 2004: 4,167,000.00 EUR; in 2005: 8,334,000 EUR; in 2006: 8,750.000 EUR; in 2007:
     9,166,666.00 EUR; in 2008: 9,166,666.00 EUR).
     No
     Why not?


2.   Does a plan exist for financing Natura 2000?
     Yes
     Please give outline and figures

     No

3.   Does the national legislation for Natura 2000 clearly provide for financing measures?
     Yes
     In which form?

     Do you consider these provisions to be adequate?

     No
     What is the possibility of introducing such provisions into national legislation?
     The new legislation (governmental decree) on Natura 2000 is being drafted at the moment. An
     evaluation of financial provisions is being undertaken and will be part of this legal document.

4.   Are there any national sources of support for financing Natura 2000?




                                                                                                 22
     Yes
     What are they? (please be as specific as possible)
     Annual state budgets of the Ministry of Environment and State Nature Conservancy -- mainly
     covering the work of the National Park Directorates working on the Natura 2000 site selection
     process (monitoring, data processing, maps, staff costs, fieldwork, office expenses).
     "Green Source" fund (formerly Central Environmental Fund) for measures of protection and
     development of potential Natura 2000 sites
     National Agri-Environmental Programme - where appropriate (sustainable agriculture, extensive
     farming methods, etc.)
     No
5.   Rural Development plans:
      Is Natura 2000 included in your country’s Rural Development Plan? If not, why not?
     Yes, Natura 2000 is mentioned in the Rural Development Plan and in the National Development
     Plan.
         What are specific objectives regarding Natura 2000?
     Afforestation of agricultural areas: Natura 2000 and enhancement of biological diversity should be
     a priority. Apart from this, the Rural Development Plan mentions the following:
     1. Under the afforestation chapter:
         No afforestation (i.e. “plantations”) of those areas which would suffer from biodiversity loss
          as a result of afforestation (specifically Natura 2000);
         “Natural” afforestation with the special aim of enhancing biodiversity, specifically aimed at
          Natura 2000 areas;
     2. Under the agri-environmental chapter:
         Ecological management of grasslands helps preserve the natural values of Natura 2000 sites;
         Proper management and use of wetland areas is very important for Natura 2000;
     3. With regard to Environmentally Sensitive Areas:
         Thematic targeted (management) programmes in ESAs, also in order to contribute to Natura
          2000, the Water Framework Directive, Nitrate Directive, and soil protection goals;
     4.   Regarding Less Favoured Areas:
         Natura 2000 was not considered in selection of LFAs as the Natura 2000 site selection process
          has not yet been completed.
     What are provisions for nature conservation more generally in the Rural Development Plan?
     Under the biodiversity and landscape protection chapter of the Rural Development Plan:
      The RDP gives a short description of the rich biodiversity of Hungary
      The RDP mentions the establishment of Natura 2000 and national biosphere reserves, Ramsar
        sites, and protected areas such as caves.
      The RDP takes note of the harmful process of land abandonment (since man-made landscapes
        host most of Hungary's natural values.
6.   Structural and Cohesion Funds
         In your country, is nature conservation included in the planned use of Structural Funds
          (National Development Plan, and/or Sectoral Operational Programmes) in a way that can
          contribute substantially to financing N2000?
          No*
         If yes, in which way?
     * In the National Development Plan (NDP), under Environmental and Infrastructure Development
     Operational Programme: the Natura 2000 network and the National Ecological Network must be
     established in order to protect and maintain the country's rich biodiversity and valuable landscape.




                                                                                                           23
     HOWEVER, this will not ensure financing Natura 2000 from Structural Funds as there are
     insufficient funds secured from national sources to provide the necessary co-financingand. The
     government's plans (i.e. to finance Natura 2000 from existing EU funds) are highly questionable
     without actual strong inclusion of Natura 2000 in the appropriate plans.
7.   Are there specific objectives and measures targetting Natura 2000 in the Sectoral and
     Regional Operational Programmes? If yes, which ones?
     No.
8.   Are you aware of any infrastructure projects to be supported by EU funds (Structual and
     Cohesion Funds) that will threaten implementation of Natura 2000?
     The National Development Plan contains plans for development of shipping on the Upper-Tisza
     River, including modification of the riverbed accompanied by flood protection measures. No
     concrete plans or measures have yet been taken, but according to information received from the
     Ministries of Finance and Transport, the intention is to develop the river Tisza into an international
     waterway (an international agreement is being drafted with Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania and
     Yugoslavia in this matter). According to the Ministry of Transport, this conversion will not cause
     major changes in the river system. WWF-Hungary disagrees, maintaining that these plans, together
     with other plans for flood prevention (Improvement of the Vásárhelyi Plan), could have significant
     impact on the river's ecology. Planned modifications (dredging of the riverbed, destruction of
     riverbanks) could seriously affect the freshwater ecosystem.
9.   Are you aware of any EU funds (LIFE, SAPARD, Phare..) that have already been invested in
     these potential Natura 2000 sites?
     The planned modifications are probably going to take place north of a Tisza project managed by
     WWF-Hungary with financial support from the LIFE programme, but secondary and cumulative
     impacts could cause problems.
10. General comments on prospects for financing the establishement of Natura 2000 in your country
    and the steps taken by your government so far.
The National Nature Conservation Plan does make reference to specific costs connected with
implementation of the Natura 2000 network in Hungary, but the financial resources that are needed
have not yet been secured. No budget has been allocated for financing of the network.
There is generally lack of political commitment in the government to Natura 2000. The government
does not seem aware of the magnitude of the financing needs for the establishment of the network.
There is a lack of staff capacity for work on Natura 2000 in the National Park Directorates and in the
Ministry of Environment and Water.
Hungary cannot take full advantage of existing EU funds (LIFE, Structural Funds, Cohesion Funds)
due to lack of national funds needed for co-financing for Community support. New funds should be
allocated to enable co-financing from national sources.




LATVIA                                    Financing Natura 2000: Questionnaire for country reports


1.   Has your government made an estimation of the cost of financing Natura 2000 your country?
     Yes
     What is the estimation?
     The Latvian Ministry of Environment estimates costs at 14 million EUR per year for the period
     2003-2008, including financing for institutions, management practices, etc. This estimation is only
     approximate as total the number of Nature 2000 sites will be clear only in year 2007.
     No
     Why not?


2.   Does a plan exist for financing Natura 2000?



                                                                                                        24
     Yes
     Please give outline and figures
     There is ongoing work on preparation of the Biodiversity Implementation Plan, which will provide
     clear calculations and financing schemes, based on available financial sources.
     No

3.   Does the national legislation for Natura 2000 clearly provide for financing measures?
     Yes
     In which form?
     It is planned to finance implementation of Natura 2000 through the state budget and special EU
     funds.
     Do you consider these provisions to be adequate?
     Only in part. The government is mostly focussing on compensation measures, which will cover
     only a portion of financing needs related to Natura 2000. To date, compensation are rather weak
     tools as there are no clear socio-economic estimates where such measures should be implemented,
     nor alternatives proposed. Generally, subsidies will be introduced to renew grazing and mowing
     activities in the areas where such practices are not taking place due to economic reasons (e.g. no
     supply chain or demand for meat, etc). Introduction of such practices could cause problems in
     future, as there are no guarantees that farmers will continue environmentally-friendly practices in
     the absence of compensation.
     No
     What is the possibility of introducing such provisions into national legislation?
     WWF-Latvia considers it unlikely that such provisions will be introduced as there is still lack of a
     clear vision. For example, there are 0,5 million hectares of abandoned agricultural land, but no
     clear strategies or statements from government authorities regarding the best way to manage this
     land, i.e. how many hectares will be grazed, how many afforested, etc.

4.   Are there any national sources of support for financing Natura 2000?
     Yes
     What are they? (please be as specific as possible)
     Nationally it is planned to finance Nature 2000 through the state budget (mostly compensation),
     the Environmental Protection Fund (though it is possible that this fund will not exist in the future),
     and through the newly established Nature Protection Board (mostly management and monitoring).
     Unfortunately, there are no clear mechanisms yet.
     No
5.   Rural Development plans:
           Is Natura 2000 included in your country’s Rural Development Plan? If not, why not?
     Yes.
           What are specific objectives regarding Natura 2000?
     Natura 2000 is part of two measures: Agro-Environment Schemes (Sub-measure: Preservation of
     Biological Diversity in Grasslands); and Less-Favoured Areas and Areas with Environmental
     Restrictions.
           What are provisions for nature conservation more generally in the Rural Development Plan?
     Natura 2000, or its components, are also referred to with regard to performance of Good Farming
     Practices.
6.   Structural and Cohesion Funds
           In your country, is nature conservation included in the planned use of Structural Funds
            (National Development Plan, and/or Sectoral Operational Programmes) in a way that can
            contribute substantially to financing N2000?




                                                                                                        25
     In Latvia's National Development Plan, potential funding is possible under the measure
     "Promotion of Environmental and Infrastructure Quality" (priority: Promotion of sustainable
     development).
         If yes, in which way?
     Natura 2000 is not specifically mentioned in the National Development Plan, but it is possible that
     some support can be used for implementation of the network, though only for infrastructure
     development.
7.   Are there specific objectives and measures targetting Natura 2000 in the Sectoral and
     Regional Operational Programmes? If yes, which ones?
     Latvia comprises only one (NUTS 2) planning region, and so only has a National Development
     Plan.
8.   Are you aware of any infrastructure projects to be supported by EU funds (Structual and
     Cohesion Funds) that will threaten implementation of Natura 2000?
     Possibly the Via Baltica (part of the Trans-European Network for Transportation), which is going
     to be financed through the Cohesion Funds.
9.   Are you aware of any EU funds (LIFE, SAPARD, Phare..) that have already been invested in
     these potential Natura 2000 sites?
     There have been 5 LIFE projects implemented and 3 more pending which are going to be
     implemented on potential Nature 2000 sites. Also SAPARD programme on Conservation of
     biological diversity is ongoing.
     General comments on prospects for financing the establishement of Natura 2000 in your country
     and the steps taken by your government so far.
It is difficult to estimate the total costs of implementation of Nature 2000 in Latvia as the list of
proposed sites has not yet been approved. There are going to be 60-70 new sites in addition to ca 70%
of existing protected territories which could be part of the network. At present, some protected areas
are undergoing preparation of management plans, partly funded by the Nature Protection Board, local
municipalities, State Forests (a State-owned company) and other funds. Approaches used for financing
and criteria are not clear; compensation alone will not solve problems regarding the future management
of Natura 2000 sites.




LITHUANIA                              Financing Natura 2000: Questionnaire for country reports


1.   Has your government made an estimation of the cost of financing Natura 2000 your country?
     Yes
     What is the estimation?
     It is estimated to be up to 6 million EUR per year.
     No
     Why not?


2.   Does a plan exist for financing Natura 2000?
     Yes
     Please give outline and figures
     5.9 million EUR for 2004. These are the estimated costs for the next period, but have not yet been
     finalised.
     No

3.   Does the national legislation for Natura 2000 clearly provide for financing measures?




                                                                                                      26
     Yes
     In which form?
     Very general provisions on biodiversity and protected areas conservation.
     Do you consider these provisions to be adequate?

     No
     What is the possibility of introducing such provisions into national legislation?
     National legislation should more clearly stress the importance of finansing Natura 2000. In the
     meantime there is some provisions that government should provide financial resources to protect
     rare and endangered species and ecosystems but it does not mention whether they should be
     national or EC importance

4.   Are there any national sources of support for financing Natura 2000?
     Yes
     What are they? (please be as specific as possible)
     The State Environmental Protection Fund is relatively focused on reducing pollution (co-finacing
     waste water treatment plants, waste management systems, etc.), and less on to nature conservation.
     The Forest Protection Fund provides support mostly for replanting forests and afforestation of
     abandoned lands, but is sometimes used for financing protected areas -- usually for development of
     related infrastructure, but sometimes for nature management as well.
     The Rural Development Fund theoretically could be used for agri-enviromental schemes, but has
     not done so to date.
     The Transport Development Fund could use money for fencing highways, but to date has not been
     used for this purpose (PHARE-supported construction of the new Via Baltica highway is drawing
     on support from this fund to fence in the more dangerous parts of the road).
     The Fishing Fund finances restoration of fish stocks, and there have been some cases where it has
     been used for recovery of fish species that are of Community importance.
     In general, all funds could allocate financial resources for implementation of Natura 2000 if this
     was considered a priority issue.
     No
5.   Rural Development plans:
      Is Natura 2000 included in your country’s Rural Development Plan? If not, why not?
        Yes
      What are specific objectives regarding Natura 2000?
          Natura 2000 sites could be financed from Agri-Environmental Schemes. The priority of Agri-
          Environmental schemes payments should be allocated to Natura 2000 sites and protected areas
          that are of national importance.
      What are provisions for nature conservation more generally in the Rural Development Plan?
          In general, conservation of biodiversity is among the priorities
6.   Structural and Cohesion Funds
         In your country, is nature conservation included in the planned use of Structural Funds
          (National Development Plan, and/or Sectoral Operational Programmes) in a way that can
          contribute substantially to financing N2000?
          Yes
         If yes, in which way?
          Nature conservation is considered one of the main issues or problems which are eligible to
          receive Structural Funds. These are management of EC important habitats, species,
          designation of SPA's and SAC's, or endangered ecosystems such as grasslands throughout the
          country.




                                                                                                    27
7.   Are there specific objectives and measures targetting Natura 2000 in the Sectoral and
     Regional Operational Programmes? If yes, which ones?
     Natura 2000 sites are included in some regional plans, but there is no reference to them in
     Lithuanian National Development Plan. In general, the Sectoral and Regional plans are not
     targeted very much or not at all at Natura 2000.
8.   Are you aware of any infrastructure projects to be supported by EU funds (Structual and
     Cohesion Funds) that will threaten implementation of Natura 2000?
     ISPA pre-accession funding has recently become available for projects. They are targeted at waste
     management and wastewater treatment systems or developing road infrastructure. Waste
     management and wastewater treatment plants that are now being built do not impact potential
     Natura 2000 sites, nor does reconstruction of roads. Construction of new roads, however, could
     negatively impact potential Natura 2000 sites.
9.   Are you aware of any EU funds (LIFE, SAPARD, Phare..) that have already been invested in
     these potential Natura 2000 sites?
     Lithuania is not participating in the LIFE programme at present. The SAPARD pilot agri-
     environmental areas can be expected to benefit potential Natura 2000 areas, but other SAPARD
     investment projects will likely have a negative effect. There is still no full list of potential Natura
     2000 sites, nor have the borders and size of many sites been defined. It is therefore too early to
     comment on negative effects of these projects.
     Some PHARE projects have been undertaken to develop protected areas, which are nominated as
     Natura 2000 sites.



General comments on prospects for financing the establishement of Natura 2000 in your country and
the steps taken by your government so far.
The main problem of financing Natura 2000 in Lithuania is likely to be the limited political will for this
in Government and Parliament -- a stance that is evident for example in the fact that the country is not
presently participating in the EU's LIFE-Nature programme. At the moment, the Lithuanian
Government has allocated an extremely small budget for nature conservation in general. This is very
much in keeping with experience from the past ten years, during which Ministry of Environment
budgets for nature conservation has steadily decreased.
A CLEAR SIGNAL FROM THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION WITH OPPORTUNITIES FOR CO-
FINANCING OF NATURA 2000 IN APPLICATION OF ARTICLE 8 OF THE DIRECTIVE WILL
THEREFORE BE CRUCIAL TO PRODDING ACTION AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL.
Another problem is that State Protected Service allocates money not for protection of habitats and
species or their management, but for the development of infrastructure and recreation facilities in
protected areas, even when these are potential Natura 2000 sites. Another problem is that financial
resources are allocated for spatial planning but not nature management in protected areas.




MALTA                                   Financing Natura 2000: Questionnaire for country reports


1.   Has your government made an estimation of the cost of financing Natura 2000 your country?
     Yes
     What is the estimation?

     No
     Why not?
     Although this has not yet been done, once the Natura 2000 sites are formally adopted, the
     necessary assessment of financing costs will be made depending on the priority for protection
     afforded to each site.



                                                                                                         28
2.   Does a plan exist for financing Natura 2000?
     Yes
     Please give outline and figures

     No

3.   Does the national legislation for Natura 2000 clearly provide for financing measures?
     Yes
     In which form?
     The current draft legislation, which is awaiting final clearance before being published, provides for
     the management of the Natura 2000 sites and this naturally involves a financial commitment. Such
     funding may be made available from the Malta Environment & Planning Authority's own funds or
     from funds accruing to the Environment Fund recently set up under the provisions of the
     Environment Protection Act..
     Do you consider these provisions to be adequate?
     No
     No
     What is the possibility of introducing such provisions into national legislation?


4.   Are there any national sources of support for financing Natura 2000?
     Yes
     What are they? (please be as specific as possible)
     There are a number of sources, including:
     1. Government funds, directly assigned for the preparation of managment plans and also indirectly
     paid to NGOs for the managemnt of such sites;
     2. Funds derived from planning gain, such as the calling in of bank Guarantees;
     3. The drawing up of projects to be submitted in connection with outside assistance such as:
     i. LIFE projects;
     ii. Structural Funds;
     iii. SMAP projects.


     No
5.   Rural Development plans:
      Is Natura 2000 included in your country’s Rural Development Plan? If not, why not?
          Yes
      What are specific objectives regarding Natura 2000?
     Natura 2000 was included in Malta's draft Rural Development Plan (2002). With respect to the
     selection of projects for assistance under the Agri-environment Measure, the RDP highlights that
     "the highest scores will be given to those applications where the land lies in or adjacent to
     nationally- or internationally-designated protected areas (e.g. designated Level 1- 3 AEI/SSI,
     SACs, SPAs etc.)
     All protected areas and sites, including Areas of Ecological Importance (AEIs), Sites of Scientific
     Interest (SSIs), Areas of Archaeological Importance (AAIs) and Sites of Archaeological
     Importance (SAIs), will be identified during the preparation of the Whole Farm Conservation Plan.
     Farmers are required to notify the relevant authority of any intended operations that are likely to
     damage the ecological or archaeological value of these sites, and must not proceed with such
     operations until they have obtained prior approval from the relevant authority.
     On a more general note, Chapter 9 (section 9.1) of the Draft Rural Development Plan (2002) on
     "Compatibility with EU Policies" highlights that the proposed measures of the Draft Rural



                                                                                                       29
     Development Plan are in accordance with and support the achievement of Malta's obligations to
     the EU with respect to the environment, namely (amongst other Directives):
     The Birds and Habitats Directives (79/409/EEC) (92/43/EEC), linked to the RAMSAR and Bern
     Conventions and contributing to Natura 2000.
        What are provisions for nature conservation more generally in the Rural Development Plan?
     The main objectives of the RDP with respect to Natura 2000 focuses on compliance with
     environmental requirements. These environmental requirements are established by the Malta
     Environment and Planning Authority through environmental legislation connected with Natura
     2000. These are considered to be the minimum standards for the Agri-environmental measure.
     The Agri-Environment Measure will consist of a number of voluntary undertakings that
     participating farmers will agree to follow in return for annual payments for a minimum period of
     five years. The resulting “management agreement” will take the form of a contractual obligation
     signed between the farmer and Ministry for Rural Affairs & the Environment (MRAE). Each
     management agreement signed with the MRAE will be specific to the participating farmer. All
     farmers participating in the agri-environment measure will be required to:
     - Prepare a “Whole Farm Conservation Plan” for all of the agricultural land they manage.
     - Keep appropriate farm records to a minimum standard
     - Comply with verifiable standards of Good Farming Practice
     - Undertake to maintain a basic level of “Environmental Stewardship” (e.g. rubble wall
     maintenance, avoidance of rubbish etc.) during the duration of their management agreement that
     goes beyond Good Farming Practice
     Undertake AT LEAST one of the following supplementary sub-measures:
     - Restoration of Rubble Walls, Terraces and Other Traditional Features
     - Approved Tree Planting
     - Protection of the Environment in Connection with Agriculture and Landscape (this is offered as
     a sub-measure to the Agri-environment Measure)
     Sub-measure A: Restoration of Rubble Walls, Terraces and Other Traditional Features
     Sub-measure B: Planting of Approved Trees
6.   Structural and Cohesion Funds
        In your country, is nature conservation included in the planned use of Structural Funds
         (National Development Plan, and/or Sectoral Operational Programmes) in a way that can
         contribute substantially to financing N2000?

        If yes, in which way?
         1. Structural Funds for the pilot project of one of the Natura 2000 sites (Filfla); and
        2. Plans for the establishment of a nursery to be used for ex situ conservation projects.
7.   Are there specific objectives and measures targetting Natura 2000 in the Sectoral and
     Regional Operational Programmes? If yes, which ones?
     Not applicable -- Malta is too small to have NUTS 2 regions.
8.   Are you aware of any infrastructure projects to be supported by EU funds (Structual and
     Cohesion Funds) that will threaten implementation of Natura 2000?
Such infrastructure projects are referred to the Nature Protection Unit for their evaluation and
comments with regards to Natura 2000 sites. At the moment, there are no such projects which are
being assessed which might have an impact on tentative list of Natura 2000 sites.
9.   Are you aware of any EU funds (LIFE, SAPARD, Phare..) that have already been invested in
     these potential Natura 2000 sites?
Yes. In fact, one or two projects have been or are being drafted for submission for funding, while
another one is awaiting the EU's decision -- mainly Dwejra Gozo. Conservation projects include:
1. Buskett LIFE Project proposal in hand);
2. Protection of Filfla Island and its inclusion in the Emerald Network (LIFE Project)




                                                                                                     30
POLAND                                Financing Natura 2000: Questionnaire for country reports


10. Has your government made an estimation of the cost of financing Natura 2000 your country?
    Yes
    What is the estimation?
    The approximate costs of conservation of Natura 2000 sites is estimated to be 112,503.70 -
    225,032.89 EUR per year. The cost of preparation of management plans for the five coming years
    is estimated to be 360,246.12 EUR per year .
    No
    Why not?


11. Does a plan exist for financing Natura 2000?
    Yes
    Please give outline and figures

    No

12. Does the national legislation for Natura 2000 clearly provide for financing measures?
    Yes
    In which form?

    Do you consider these provisions to be adequate?

    No
    What is the possibility of introducing such provisions into national legislation?
    There is a possibility to introduce the annual amount for financing Natura 2000 into the Budget
    Act, but there are not any binding agreements to ensure the inclusion of the necessary amount of
    money for Natura 2000 in the Budget Act.

13. Are there any national sources of support for financing Natura 2000?
    Yes
    What are they? (please be as specific as possible)
    While there is no comprehensive plan for financing Natura 2000 in Poland, some potential sources
    of financing have been identified. Natura 2000 will be financed from the national budget and the
    amount of money for Natura 2000 will be included in the annual Budget Act. The proposals for
    funding will also be sent to the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water
    Management, the Voivoidship Funds for Environmental Protection, and to the Ecofund to obtain
    the future financing for Natura 2000.
    In fact, the amount of money available for Natura 2000 in 2003 is ca. 211,581.00 EUR, of which
    155,902.00 EUR constitues the Polish portion of financing for the PHARE twinning project
    (PL.0105.02). All of these financial resources come from the National Fund for Environmental
    Protection and Water Management.
    No
14. Rural Development plans:
     Is Natura 2000 included in your country’s Rural Development Plan? If not, why not?
    At the moment there are no clear references to Natura 2000 in the Rural Development Plan. Agri-
    environmental measures can be a source of financing for Natura 2000 sites which are in rural
    areas.
        What are specific objectives regarding Natura 2000?




                                                                                                 31
       What are provisions for nature conservation more generally in the Rural Development Plan?
    Measure 4 in the Rural Development Plan, called the "Agri-environmental Programme", aims at
    the protection of the environment and the conservation of the natural values of rural areas. The
    objectives of this programme are:
    - the promotion of environmentally-friendly rural production
    - biodiversity maintenance in semi-natural sites and the maintenance of genetic resources in
    agriculture
    - maintance and restoration of rural landscape elements that have cultural, landscape and
    ecological value
    - raising environmental awareness among rural communities
15. Structural and Cohesion Funds
       In your country, is nature conservation included in the planned use of Structural Funds
        (National Development Plan, and/or Sectoral Operational Programmes) in a way that can
        contribute substantially to financing N2000?
    There are no provisions that can contribute to financing Natura 2000 in the National Development
    Plan and Sectoral Operational Programmes.
       If yes, in which way?

16. Are there specific objectives and measures targetting Natura 2000 in the Sectoral and
    Regional Operational Programmes? If yes, which ones?
    No.
17. Are you aware of any infrastructure projects to be supported by EU funds (Structual and
    Cohesion Funds) that will threaten implementation of Natura 2000?
    The General Directorate of Roads and Highways is planning to obtain financial support from the
    EU (possibly from the Structural Funds) for construction of the Via Baltica motorway for the
    Bialystok - Suwalki route. This section would threaten future Natura 2000 sites and the present
    Biebrza National Park. However, no proposal concerning this section has been submitted to the
    European Commision so far. The proposals for financing 15 investment projects within the
    framework of the Oder 2006 investment plan have been prepared for financing from the Cohesion
    Funds, including for example large reservoirs in Raciborz and Kamieniec Zabkowicki. There are
    also plans to build a Danube-Oder-Elbe canal that would also be financed from EU sources. The
    Oder 2006 investment plan and the Danube-Oder-Elbe canal could threaten 26 potential Natura
    2000 sites on the Polish side of the Oder river, and at least two sites on the Czech side of the
    border.
18. Are you aware of any EU funds (LIFE, SAPARD, Phare..) that have already been invested in
    these potential Natura 2000 sites?
    At the moment, the PHARE twinning project between the Polish Ministry of Environment and the
    Ministry of Ecology and Sustainable Development of the French Republic (PL/IB/2001/EN/02) is
    in the process of realisation. The title of this project is: "The Implementation of the European
    Network Natura 2000 in Poland". The PHARE Access project on "Identification of Natura 2000
    Sites in the Odra Valley" has been completed, and another project supported by PHARE Access,
    on nature protection in trans-boundary sites in the Czech Republic and neighbouring countries
    through a network of NGO's, will be completed in September 2003.



General comments on prospects for financing the establishement of Natura 2000 in your country and
the steps taken by your government so far.
The Polish Government has undertaken a preliminary estimation of potential costs for management of
the future Natura 2000 network in Poland, including the preparation of management plans and salaries
for personnel. The costs of preparation of the managment plans are different depending on the Natura
2000 site in question. It is assumed that the total cost of preparing management plans for 400 Natura
2000 sites will be 1,802,037.48 EUR. The process of preparing management plans will start in 2004
and is expected to last five years. According to expected amendments to the Act on Environmental




                                                                                                    32
Protection Law, it is assumed that 80% of the costs for preparing management plans for Natura 2000
sties will be financed by the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management.
There is as of yet no comprehensive plan for financing Natura 2000 under preparation within the
Ministry. It is assumed that the costs of maintaining the rural economy adjusted to the requirements of
the conservation of Natura 2000 sites will be covered by agri-environmental schemes. Main efforts to
elaborate the future financial plans should be especially focussed on sites which are not included in the
existing forms of nature conservation in Poland and which have no plans for nature conservation
already prepared. Plans for financing Natura 2000 in Poland can be developed fully as soon as the list
of SCI's is known as well as the possible financial contribution to Natura 2000 from the EU.




SLOVAKIA                                Financing Natura 2000: Questionnaire for country reports


1.   Has your government made an estimation of the cost of financing Natura 2000 your country?
     Yes
     What is the estimation?
     According to government estimate, 3.690 million EUR per year (129.6 million EUR for 35 years)
     No
     Why not?


2.   Does a plan exist for financing Natura 2000?
     Yes
     Please give outline and figures

     No

3.   Does the national legislation for Natura 2000 clearly provide for financing measures?
     Yes
     In which form?
     The new Act No. 543/2002 on Nature and Landscape Protection includes two paragraphs on the
     financial aspects: financial contribution and compensation for restriction of common cultivation.
     Do you consider these provisions to be adequate?
     Yes, the provisions are adequate, but their implementation will probably be problematic due to the
     lack of earmarked financial resources for their implementation.
     No
     What is the possibility of introducing such provisions into national legislation?


4.   Are there any national sources of support for financing Natura 2000?
     Yes
     What are they? (please be as specific as possible)
     Annual state budgets of the Ministry of Environment and State Nature Conservancy.
     In 2003, the following activities have been financially supported:
     - analysis of databases and GIS layers and selection of Specially Protected Areas (Birds Directive)
     and Sites of Community Importance;
     - specification of proposed sites to the plot of land;




                                                                                                      33
     - filling of Natura 2000 standard data forms for those proposal to be sent to DG Environment;
     - public awareness raising, preparation of monitoring methodology.
     The amount of financial resources allocated for Natura 2000 is increasing, but is still insufficient.
     No
5.   Rural Development Plans:
      Is Natura 2000 included in your country’s Rural Development Plan? If not, why not?
     Yes, Natura 2000 is mentioned in the Rural Development Plan.
         What are specific objectives regarding Natura 2000?
     Natura 2000 is partly included under Measure 6 - agricultural production methods designed to
     protect the environment and maintain landscape features.
      What are provisions for nature conservation more generally in the Rural Development Plan?
     - to reduce anthropogenic pressure on the environment in these areas,
     - to maintain and to increase the biodiversity of agricultural areas, to conserve significant
     ecosystems which increase ecological stability and biological diversity, to conserve endangered
     types of flora and fauna, and to conserve the genetic diversity of crops and seeds,
     - to enhance the protection of land (soil) against degradation, especially erosion,
     - to maintain an appropriate condition of the land, to gradually revitalize the traditional village
     landscape, and to maintain, renew, and increase ecological stability through the implementation of
     stabilizing elements in the rural areas;
     - to support sustainable agricultural methods in areas with high natural value;
     - to decrease the negative effect of chemical plant protection on the environment;
     - to increase the socio-economic development of the villages through compensation payments for
     environmentally-friendly management.
6.   Structural and Cohesion Funds
         In your country, is nature conservation included in the planned use of Structural Funds
          (National Development Plan, and/or Sectoral Operational Programmes) in a way that can
          contribute substantially to financing N2000?
          Yes
         If yes, in which way?
     In the National Development Plan (NDP), Natura 2000 is mentioned as one of the key projects in
     the field of nature and landscape protection.
     In the Sectoral Operational Programme (SOP) for Environment, Natura 2000 is only partially
     mentioned, but the final version of the programme is still in preparation - it was returned twice by
     the European Commission. The SOP for environment will be combined with the SOP for
     development and transportation.
     In the SOP for Agriculture and Rural Development, nature and biodiversity protection is
     mentioned, especially in connection with the new Act No. 543/2002 on Nature and Landscape
     Protection.
7.   Are there specific objectives and measures targetting Natura 2000 in the Sectoral and
     Regional Operational Programmes? If yes, which ones?
     No, for the moment there are no specific objectives or measures targetting Natura 2000 in any
     Sectoral or Regional Operational Programmes. Thus while there is a formal reference to Natura
     2000 in the NDP, DAPHNE recommends that the revised/combined SOP for environment,
     development, and transportation include specific objectives and measures targeted at the
     implementation of the provisions of Act 543/2002 on Nature and Landscape Protection. This
     would be the only real garantee that Structural Funds money will be allocated for implementation
     of Natura 2000.




                                                                                                         34
8.   Are you aware of any infrastructure projects to be supported by EU funds (Structual and
     Cohesion Funds) that will threaten implementation of Natura 2000?
     Yes, the Oder-Elbe-Danube canal is mentioned in the proposed strategy for Cohesion Funds. In
     Slovakia, the Morava river floodplain will be particularly affected. At present, this area is
     designated as a large part of the Zahorie Protected Landscape Area, as well as the Morava river
     floodplain Ramsar Site and Important Bird Area. This area also qualifies to be included in the
     Natura 2000 network. Several species of flora and fauna, birds and habitats, legally protected
     under the national legislation (annexes of Directives included) would be threatened by the project.
     The construction of the canal would destroy and alter habitats and fragment populations of species,
     leading to loss of biodiversity. Important nesting areas of birds would be disturbed and destroyed
     by the construction. The canal would divert water from sections of the Morava river, the water
     resources of which are already limited. Disruption of hydrological regimes threatens unique
     flooplains, meadows, and forests, and negatively impacts wetlands that are dependent upon river
     hydrology.
     The DOE canal will also breach the provisions of the EU Water Framework Directive. The
     provisions of this Directive set requirements for integrated and international river basin
     management on the Morava river, aiming at environmental objectives that will deliver ecological
     quality improvements for freshwater ecosystems in this area.
9.   Are you aware of any EU funds (LIFE, SAPARD, Phare..) that have already been invested in
     these potential Natura 2000 sites?
     Yes, protection of the Morava river floodplain, one of the possible Natura 2000 sites, has already
     been supported by several EU funds. DAPHNE has realised about five projects supported from
     PHARE in this area with the objective of protecting and restoring wetlands and meadows. The
     Morava river flooplain is also a pilot area under Measure 6 (agri-environmental schemes) of the
     SAPARD pre-accession programme.
10. General comments on prospects for financing the establishement of Natura 2000 in your country
    and the steps taken by your government so far.
The Ministry of Environment of the Slovak Republic prepared in 2001 an "Approximation Strategy for
EU Environmental Legislation in Slovakia", which included calculations regarding the costs of
implementation for Natura 2000. The overall budget exceeds the possibilites of the Slovak state budget.
For the future planning of Natura 2000, it is very important to combine all state support with the
possible EU financial resources and elaborate a clear strategy including all steps necessary for
succesful implementation of Natura 2000 as well as resources available.
The Ministry of Environment, Department of Nature and Landscape Protection should complete the
Concept of Nature and Landscape Protection and describe here all financial steps for proper
management of future Natura 2000 sites. This Concept should also be part of the Sectoral Operational
Programme for Environment, Development and Transportation. This is the only way forward if there is
no loner a distinct SOP for the environment.




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CONTACTS
Czech Republic                                 Poland
Arnika                                         WWF Poland
Vlastimil Karlik                               Katarzyna Nowak, Natura 2000 Officer
Hudeckova 1, 405 01 Decin                      ul. Wisniowa 38
Czech Republic                                 02-520 Warszawa
Phone: +420 412 510 650                        tel. +48 22 849 84 69
Mobile: + 00420 737 55 11 08                   Fax. +48 22 646 36 72
Email: priroda@arnika.org                      Email: knowak@wwf.pl
                                               http://www.wwf.pl
Veronica Ecological Institute
Dr Mojmír Vlasín                               Slovakia
Panská 9, 602 00 Brno, Czech Republic
Phone: +4205 422 183 51                        DAPHNE – Institute of Applied Ecology
Fax: +4205 422 105 61                          Eva Viestova, Natura 2000 Officer
Email: mojmir.vlasin@een.cz                    Hanulova 5/D, 84440 Bratislava,
http://www.veronica.cz                         Slovak Republic
                                               Phone/Fax: +421 7 654 121 33
Estonia                                        Email: viestova@changenet.sk
                                               http://www.daphne.sk
Estonian Fund for Nature
Karg Kama, Natura 2000
Robert Oetjen, Director                        General
Riia 185A, Tartu, Estonia
P.O. Box: Pk 245, Tartu 50002, Estonia         WWF Accession Coordinator
Tel: +372 7 428 443, Fax: +372 7 428 166       Andreas Beckmann
Email: elf@elfond.ee                           c/o WWF Austria
http://www.elfond.ee                           Ottakringerstr. 114-116, A-1160 Wien, Austria
                                               Phone: +43/1/48817-238
Hungary                                        Mobile: 0676/83488/238
                                               Fax: +43/1/48817-277
WWF Hungary                                    Email: andreas.beckmann@wwf.at
Brigitta Bozsó, Natura 2000 Officer            http://www.panda.org/accession
Németvölyi ùt 78/b, 1124 Budapest. Hungary
Phone: +36 1 214 55 54, Fax: +36 1 212 93 53
                                               WWF Ecological Networks Policy Officer
Email: brigitta.bozso@wwf.hu                   Sandra Jen
http://www.wwf.hu                              WWF European Policy Office
                                               36 avenue de Tervuren Box 12, 1040 Brussels, Belgium
Latvia                                         Tel: +32-2-743-8813, Fax: +32-2-743-8819
WWF Latvia                                     Email: sjen@wwfepo.org
Ints Mednis                                    http://www.panda.org/epo
Elizabetes Str. 8-4, 1010 Riga, Latvia
Tel.: +371 7 505 640, Fax: +371 505 651        BirdLife International
Email: IMednis@wwf.org.lv                      Zoltan Waliczky, Accession co-ordinator
http://www.wwf.lv                              c/o RSPB, The Lodge
                                               Sandy, Bedfordshire
Lithuania                                      SG19 2DL, UK
                                               tel: 44 1767 680551
Lithuanian Fund for Nature                     Email: zoltan.waliczky@rspb.org.uk
Dr Pranas Mierauskas, Executive Director
Klaipedos Street 5 - 16                        CEEWEB Policy Office
LT-2001 Vilnius                                Dorottya Papp, Natura 2000 co-ordinator
Tel./Fax.: +370 5 2625152                      Ulloi ut 91/B
Email: info@glis.lt.                           1091 Budapest, Hungary
http://www.glis.lt                             Tel./Fax: +36-1 217 0803.
                                               http://www.ceeweb.org
Malta
Nature Trust (Malta)
Vincent Attard
P.O. Box 9, Valletta CMR 01, MALTA
Tel/Fax +356 21 248 558
info@naturetrustmalta.org
http://www.naturetrustmalta.org




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