EU/CoE Joint Programme supporting the extension of EU's NATURA 2000 principles through the Emerald Network in Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus (2009-2011)
The Bern Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats sets out to conserve wild flora and fauna and their natural habitats, to promote cooperation between states, to monitor and control endangered and vulnerable species, and to assist with the provision of assistance concerning legal and scientific issues.
The European Community, as such, is a Contracting Party to the Bern Convention. In order to fulfill its obligations arising from the convention, the Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC came into force in 1992. Together with the Birds Directive, it forms the cornerstone of the EU's nature conservation policy. It is built around two pillars: the Natura 2000 network of protected sites and the strict system of species protection.
The Emerald and Natura 2000 networks are fully compatible with each other and use the same software. The implementation of the Emerald Network represents a tool for preparing the target countries to comply with internationally agreed commitments, including the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Bern Convention, and the Habitats Directive (for accession countries). The cooperation between the Council of Europe and the European Union is therefore the logical consequence of their common commitment for the protection of biodiversity.