BIOSCORE - Environmental pressures

In order to define the policy context of the BIOSCORE project and the facts and conditions that could affect biodiversity (environmental pressures), the policy instruments and legislation that have an impact (either positive or negative) on biodiversity were selected by the project partners. The European Community policies which were considered cover key policy areas such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries, energy, nature conservation and urban development. 26 policy instruments were selected from these sectors, based on their relevance to biodiversity in general and the aims of the project in particular.

Most of the identified policy instruments were related to the Environmental sector: Sixth Community Environment Action Programme, Forest Focus, EU Sustainable Development Strategy, Nitrates Directive, Water Framework Directive (WFD), Winning the Battle Against Global Climate Change, Biodiversity Action Plan for Agriculture and Urban Waste-Water Directive. Regarding the Agricultural sector, four policy instruments were considered: Common Agricultural Policy, Agro-environment measures, Pesticides Directive and Thematic strategy on the sustainable use of pesticides. Regarding Biodiversity sector, three relevant policy instruments have been identified: Birds Directive, Habitats Directive and European Community Biodiversity Strategy. The European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP) was selected for Regional Policy Sector and the PPP Directive for Health and consumer protection sector.

The coordinator of the project, ECNC (European Centre for Nature conservation) from the Netherlands, extracted from these policy instruments those pressures that could have a potential impact on biodiversity (either positive or negative), identifying a list of 184 pressures related to the drivers, sectors or general pressures. This was the first step of the Eco-innovation - Eco-efficiency new indicators setting for the project.

A total of 32 pressures were identified in Climate Change (increase in concentration of greenhouse gases, methane emissions, emissions of carbon fossil fuels, etc.). In the case of Agriculture, 30 pressures were classified (water contamination from the intensive cultivation of land and from industrial waste water, intensive sheep farming, soil sealing, etc.). 23 pressures were identified in the field of  Water (increase water stress, water supply, water quality, etc.). Regarding Land managing, 21 pressures were selected (exploitation of land and sea areas, habitat fragmentation, land-take/ destruction of biotopes, etc.). 18 pressures were identified in the case of Chemicals (pesticides, biocides, bio-accumulative substances, heavy metals, etc.). According to the Forestry sector, 13 pressures were selected (cultivation of energy crops on set-aside land, change of hydrological balance in the subsoils, establishment of short-rotation tree plantations, etc.). 11 pressures were classified within the Pollution area (acid rain, air contamination form household emissions and road traffic, electromagnetic pollution sources, etc.). In the case of Killing, 10 pressures were identified (hunting, removal of nests, overharvesting, etc.). For Infrastructure sector, 9 pressures were selected (new transport routes, infrastructure for transport, dams, etc.). In the case of  Waste, 7 pressures were classified (hazardous waste, waste water, storage or disposal of tailings, etc.). 5 pressures were identified in Urban development (urban sprawl, congestion, concentrations of acute poverty, et.).4 Tourism (recreation, skiing, etc.). In the case of Disturbances, only one pressure was identified, noise.

Deliverable 2 of Bioscore project “List with the selected policy sectors and pressures”.