Natura 2000: Biogeographical processes - Concept of « Non-intervention management »

Discussions and debates are currently taking place regarding the introduction of the ‘non-intervention management’ concept in the Natura 2000 context.

FACE is concerned about the implementation and consequences of such a notion which excludes the majority of management activities from the areas and seems contradictory to the ethos of the Nature Directives. 

This concept of ‘non-intervention management’ appeared in several processes, the first being the Biogeographical Seminar for the management of Natura 2000 areas in the Alpine region. In the Draft Report of the Workshop, ‘Finding a framework for non-intervention management’ is one of the five clusters created for addressing the different issues in relation to forest management.

Secondly, the European Parliament Committee for Environment voted on a Motion for a Resolution on Green Infrastructure on 17 October. In the consolidated COMENVI position for the Plenary voting, the wording was not included in the resolution and got replaced by “natural forest conservation”. Though the wording’s meaning remains unclear, it seems much more appropriate and gives more flexibility for forest management.

Finally, in the Draft Guidance on Natura 2000 and Forestry ‘non-intervention’ is quoted several times as an example of management action. This Guidance document was discussed at a meeting on 17 December to which FACE was not invited. However, FACE will be part of the following meetings in 2014.

On a case by case principle and under certain conditions, non-intervention can be considered as a useful tool for achieving some conservation objectives. However, FACE does not agree with non-intervention management being quoted as one of the main categories of management at biogeographical level, as it does not provide the flexibility needed locally for nature users/managers to decide which method is the most suitable.

In collaboration with Copa-Cogeca, the Confederation of European Forest Owners (CEPF) and the European Landowners’ Organization (ELO), FACE keeps track of the situation. A joint statement has been signed by the four organisations expressing our shared concerns about the introduction of non-intervention forest management in Natura 2000 discussions and urging the European Commission to withdraw the concept from the biogeographical and national processes.