Lists based on international Conventions and Directives


Note: each of the constituent lists below have one or more types of  designation. 


View full list of designations based on international conventions and Directives


Notes on legislative lists


Constituent list
Bern Convention
The Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (the Bern Convention) was adopted in Bern, Switzerland in 1979, and came into force in 1982. The principal aims of the Convention are to ensure conservation and protection of all wild plant and animal species and their natural habitats (listed in Appendices I and II of the Convention), to increase cooperation between contracting parties, and to regulate the exploitation of those species (including migratory species) listed in Appendix III. To this end the Convention imposes legal obligations on contracting parties, protecting over 500 wild plant species and more than 1000 wild animal species.
Bonn Convention
The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (Bonn Convention or CMS) was adopted in Bonn, Germany in 1979 and came into force in 1985. Contracting Parties work together to conserve migratory species and their habitats by providing strict protection for endangered migratory species (listed in Appendix 1 of the Convention), concluding multilateral Agreements for the conservation and management of migratory species which require or would benefit from international cooperation (listed in Appendix 2), and by undertaking co-operative research activities
Birds Directive
In 1979, the European Community adopted Council Directive 79/409/EEC on the conservation of wild birds (PDF 209KB) (the 'Birds Directive'), in response to the 1979 Bern Convention on the conservation of European habitats and species (the 'Bern Convention'). The Directive provides a framework for the conservation and management of, and human interactions with, wild birds in Europe. It sets broad objectives for a wide range of activities, although the precise legal mechanisms for their achievement are at the discretion of each Member State (in the UK delivery is via several different statutes).
Habitats and species directive
In 1992 the European Community adopted Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (EC Habitats Directive). This is the means by which the Community meets its obligations as a signatory of the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Bern Convention). The provisions of the Directive requires Member States to introduce a range of measures including the protection of species listed in the Annexes; to undertake surveillance of habitats and species and produce a report every six years on the implementation of the Directive. The 169 habitats listed in Annex I of the Directive and the 623 species listed in Annex II, are to be protected by means of a network of sites. Each Member State is required to prepare and propose a national list of sites, which will be evaluated in order to form a European network of Sites of Community Importance (SCIs). These will eventually be designated by Member States as Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), and along with Special Protection Areas (SPAs) classified under the EC Birds Directive, form a network of protected areas known as Natura 2000.
EC Cites
The 'Washington' Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, more commonly known as CITES, aims to protect certain plants and animals by regulating and monitoring their international trade to prevent it reaching unsustainable levels. The Convention entered into force in 1975, and the UK became a Party in 1976.