European Reporting requirements under the Nature Directives


As part of our work for the UK Government we co-ordinate the production of periodic reports to be submitted to the European Commission to show progress towards meeting the objectives of the Birds and Habitats Directives. We also represent the UK in discussions on how to improve the reporting frameworks for both Directives through the work of the Expert Group on Reporting under these two ‘Nature’ Directives.

Reporting obligations under the Habitats Directive are set out in Article 17. Every six years each Member State must report on measures taken and their outcome in terms of the conservation status of species and habitats listed on the Directive’s Annexes. Member States have completed three reporting rounds for the Habitats Directive, covering the periods 1994-2000,   2001-2006 and the most recent 2007-2012.   


Habitats Directive

The most important reason for periodic reporting is to assess how the implementation of the Directives affects species and habitats. The UK considers that reporting should focus on outcomes and be used as part of a feedback loop in to management of our natural resources – the results of reports should help policy makers and site managers evaluate whether current action and regulatory processes need to be changed or not.


Birds Directive

Reporting obligations under the Birds Directive, are set out in Article 12, which requires reports on implementation of the Directive every three years. The UK has completed nine reporting rounds  in the three year reporting cycle, covering the period from 1983-2007. The reporting cycles of the two nature Directives were not synchronised, making it difficult to get an overview of implementation in the broad sense. In 2011, Member States and the Commission agreed that the Article 12 report for the Birds Directive should become more similar, in terms of format and timing, to the Article 17 Report for the Habitats Directive. The 10th Article 12 report is the first in the new format  and in the future will be repeated at six yearly intervals, allowing simultaneous analysis of the results of both Directives’ reports at both national and EU levels.


Last updated: 4 June 2014