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Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004

Section 38 Ramsar Sites

250.Section 38 makes provision in relation to wetland sites designated as being of international importance in relation to the objectives of the Ramsar Convention.

251.Subsection (1) requires the Scottish Ministers to give SNH notice of any wetland designated in Scotland.

252.Subsection (2) requires SNH, on receipt of such a notice from the Scottish Ministers, to notify the owners and occupiers of the site, the relevant planning authority, any relevant National Park Authority, every relevant statutory undertaker and any relevant regulatory body.

253.Subsection (3) provides a full reference to the Ramsar Convention, including subsequent amendments, and provides that the terms of section 38 are also to apply in relation to any successor convention which replaces Ramsar.

254.It should be noted that the principal legal protection given to Ramsar sites in Scotland is provided by means of the SSSI and Natura 2000 systems. The provisions of this Act and the Conservation (Natural Habitats &c.) Regulations 1994 should therefore be consulted in relation to any activities or operations which might impact upon wetlands designated under the Ramsar Convention. Consideration should also be given to relevant provisions in the Water Environment and Water Services (Scotland) Act 2003 (asp 3).

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Text created by the Scottish Government to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills.


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