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TESS - recommendations and guidelines

The effect of incentives and regulations on environmental and sustainability assessment is a matter that concerns different stakeholders., TESS consortium considered different audiences when preparing the recommendations and guidelines; not only governments and local authorities were considered as suitable users, but also people with technical/scientific background who were able to carry out research and monitoring activities. The following recommendations were proposed:

1.       Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directives should be reconsidered to be in line with their integration and formal application at the same level in all member states.

2.       There should be regular requests to Member States about the integration degree of environmental and sustainability assessment within their strategic planning activities and decision-making systems.

3.       European Commission and Member States should develop environmental cross compliance requirements. Among them, an assessment of significant changes in rural and forestall land-use management and the promotion of biodiversity into single farm payment regimes are recommended.

4.       Cooperation between member states and the Environmental Agency is encouraged, in order to gather and share information, and promote dissemination of information to the wider public. Initiatives to improve the quality and compatibility of environmental data should also be supported.

5.       Initiatives for providing regional and local frameworks to gather and monitor information, such as the Biodiversity Action Plan model, should be supported by the Commission and the Member States.

6.       Data provided by land-users should be integrated in formal environmental decision making, thus supporting SEA, EIA and other land-use planning activities.

7.       Ecological and socio-economic data should be scaled for being used at all levels, and have to be standardized through an effective environmental information system.

8.       An additional survey work at European level is needed for refining information needs and adapting them to each stakeholder. It should be helpful to establish strict sampling frames for the groups of land-users identified within the project as for local and specific public-bodies.

9.       Simple guides that describethe availability and usability of information would save time and money for user. Nevertheless, their production should be well coordinated.

10.   Policy makers should take into account the participation of EU citizens in wildlife related activities by millions, and its related spending.

11.   Eurostat should be invited to provide tools for assessing these aforementioned activities.

12.   In order to assure the collaboration and support of people living near wildlife and countryside, their perceptions and attitudes should be considered within biodiversity conservation policies.

13.   Since digital tablets are being more and more familiar to individual users, local people should be trained in order to carry out their own mapping, and biodiversity monitoring activities.

14.   Land-use changes strongly affect conservation policy. Consequently, a locally-based recording and mapping system like the one that was developed under the project could help higher governments to better tune their policies.

15.   Users of land and water for recreational purposes also have a positive contribution to conservation policy. Then, stakeholder partnerships using monitoring and adaptive management will maximize the input of human and financial resources.

16.   Since having an integrated and comprehensive decision support for local land users is money and time-consuming, there are some available tools to be already used in the short term. These tools have to be improved specially with respect to technology transfer.

17.   Internet-based support for land managers should pay attention in knowing which information is practical for them. Proposed actions for achieving this task consist offeedbacks, market testing and cooperative development of best practice guides.

18.   Active exchange of knowledge and ideas should be promoted through the developed
web portal (Naturalliance). Publicity from governments and national associations aimed at land-user should be included, and data and best case material study material from researchers should be provided. When feasible, appropriate finance from any quarter should be convenient.

 

Source:
Transactional Environmental Support System (TESS) project. Final Report.