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Commission Decision of 25 January 2008 adopting, pursuant to Council Directive 92/43/EEC, a first updated list of sites of Community importance for the Macaronesian biogeographical region (notified under document number C(2008) 286) (2008/95/EC) (repealed)

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Commission Decision

of 25 January 2008

adopting, pursuant to Council Directive 92/43/EEC, a first updated list of sites of Community importance for the Macaronesian biogeographical region

(notified under document number C(2008) 286)

(2008/95/EC) (repealed)

THE COMMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community,

Having regard to Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora(1) and in particular the third subparagraph of Article 4(2) thereof,

Whereas:

(1) The Macaronesian biogeographical region, as referred to in Article 1(c)(iii) of Directive 92/43/EEC, comprises the archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira (Portugal) and the Canary Islands (Spain) in the Atlantic ocean, as specified in the biogeographical map approved on 25 April 2005 by the Committee set up by Article 20 of that Directive, hereinafter the ‘Habitats Committee’.

(2) It is necessary in the context of a process initiated since 1995 to make further progress in the actual establishment of the Natura 2000 network, which is an essential element of the protection of biodiversity in the Community.

(3) An initial list of sites of Community importance for the Macaronesian biogeographical region, within the meaning of Directive 92/43/EEC was adopted by Commission Decision 2002/11/EC(2). On the basis of Articles 4(4) and 6(1) of Directive 92/43/EEC, the Member State concerned shall designate the sites included in the list of sites of Community importance for the Macaronesian biogeographical region as special areas of conservation as soon as possible and within six years at most, establishing conservation priorities and the necessary conservation measures.

(4) In the context of a dynamic adaptation of the Natura 2000 network, the lists of sites of Community importance are reviewed. The update of that initial list is therefore necessary.

(5) On the one hand, the update of the initial list of sites of Community importance for the Macaronesian biogeographical region is necessary in order to include additional sites that have been proposed since 2000 by the Member States as sites of Community importance for the Macaronesian biogeographical region within the meaning of Article 1 of Directive 92/43/EEC. The obligations resulting from Articles 4(4) and 6(1) of Directive 92/43/EEC are applicable as soon as possible and within six years at most from the adoption of the first updated list of sites of Community importance for the Macaronesian biogeographical region.

(6) On the other hand, the update of the initial list of sites of Community importance for the Macaronesian biogeographical region is necessary in order to reflect any changes in site related information submitted by the Member States following the adoption of the Community list. In that sense, the first updated list of sites of Community importance for the Macaronesian biogeographical region constitutes a consolidated version of the initial list of sites of Community importance for the Macaronesian biogeographical region. However, it should be stressed that the obligations resulting from Articles 4(4) and 6(1) of Directive 92/43/EEC are applicable as soon as possible and within six years at most from the adoption of the initial list of sites of Community importance for the Macaronesian biogeographical region.

(7) For the Macaronesian biogeographical region, lists of sites proposed as sites of Community importance within the meaning of Article 1 of Directive 92/43/EEC have been transmitted to the Commission between November 1997 and September 2006, in accordance with Article 4(1) of the Directive, by Portugal and Spain.

(8) The lists of proposed sites were accompanied by information on each site, supplied in the format established by Commission Decision 97/266/EC of 18 December 1996 concerning a site information format for proposed Natura 2000 sites(3).

(9) That information includes the most recent and definitive map of the site transmitted by the Member State in question, the site’s name, location and extent, and the data yielded by application of the criteria specified in Annex III to Directive 92/43/EEC.

(10) On the basis of the draft list drawn up by the Commission in agreement with each of the Member States concerned, which also identifies sites hosting priority natural habitat types or priority species, a first updated list of sites selected as sites of Community importance for the Macaronesian biogeographical region should be adopted.

(11) Knowledge of the existence and distribution of the natural habitat types and species is constantly evolving, as a result of the surveillance in accordance with Article 11 of Directive 92/43/EEC. Therefore, the evaluation and selection of sites at Community level was done using the best available information at present.

(12) However, some Member States have not proposed sufficient sites to meet the requirements in Directive 92/43/EEC for certain habitat types and species. For those species and habitat types it can therefore not be concluded that the network is complete. However, taking into account the delay in receiving the information and reaching agreement with the Member States, the Commission considers that it should adopt a first updated list of sites which will need to be revised in accordance with the provisions of Article 4 of Directive 92/43/EEC.

(13) Given that knowledge on the existence and distribution of the natural habitat types of Annex I and species of Annex II to Directive 92/43/EEC that occur in both marine territorial waters as well as marine waters under national jurisdiction beyond territorial waters remains incomplete, it should not be concluded that the network is either complete or incomplete. The list should be revised, if necessary, in accordance with the provisions of Article 4 of Directive 92/43/EEC.

(14) In the interests of clarity and transparency Decision 2002/11/EC should be replaced.

(15) The measures provided for in this Decision are in accordance with the opinion of the Habitats Committee,

HAS ADOPTED THIS DECISION:

(1)

OJ L 206, 22.7.1992, p. 7. Directive as last amended by Directive 2006/105/EC (OJ L 363, 20.12.2006, p. 368).

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