The conservation of biodiversity in Ireland has been strengthened and expanded by EU law, most notably by the
- Birds Directive [79/409/EEC as amended 2009/147/EC]
- Habitats Directive [92/43/EEC]
- Water Framework Directive [2000/60/EC]
- EIA Directive [85/337/EEC]
In 1997, the Habitats Directive was transposed into Irish national law and the relevant Regulations, the European Communities (Natural Habitats) Regulations, SI 94/1997, represent a fundamental shift in nature conservation policy and law. These Regulations have since been amended by SI 233/1998 & SI 378/2005. The Regulations were subsequently revised and consolidated in the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011, SI 477/2011.
The EU Commission published a mandate for the Fitness Check on the EU Birds and Habitats Directives in February 2014. Its purpose was to examine progress in implementation and integration of the Directive across the Member States of the EU, the costs of implementation and of non-implementation of the legislation, and opportunities for improving implementation and reducing administrative burden (without compromising the integrity of the purpose of the directives).
Access more information about sites designated under these directives on our Protected Sites pages.