Meeting of the EU Marine Expert Group under the Birds and Habitats Directives

25 February 2021

The meeting of the EU Marine Expert Group (MEG) under the Birds and Habitats Directives took place from 22-23 February 2021.

The European Commission (EC) presented the aims and objectives on nature conservation in the EU Biodiversity Strategy as well as other policy instruments. The EC outlined how Member States designation and reporting on Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) would contribute towards these aims. Reporting on MPA conservation objectives and management actions will be required to allow for the analyses needed to evaluate whether the policy objectives have been reached.

OSPAR attended the meeting in listening mode with a view of communicating what information is available at OSPAR currently.

The EU Biodiversity Strategy implementation will be the main responsibility for those experts who work on EU Birds and Habitats Directives. The objectives and the work is recognised to benefit from regional cooperation. The European Commission and those Contracting Parties that are also EU Member States may wish to highlight the objectives, steps and technical developments with a view of aligning with work being undertaken in OSPAR.

The EC aims to agree criteria and guidance for additional designations of MPAs. The designation process of new MPAs under the biogeographical process is planned to be initiated in early 20221. Interim evaluation of progress of the implementation of the strategy is foreseen in late 2023. A final evaluation of the strategy is foreseen at its endpoint in 2030.