Adaptation to Climate Change: Legal Challenges for Protected Areas

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"The question is whether existing nature conservation legislation is sufficiently adapted to face the challenges of climate change. Will the current legal regime on protected areas suffice This article will conduct a preliminary research into EU nature conservation law on protected areas in order to answer this question. We will limit the analysis to EU nature conservation law. Other policies and legislation such as on energy, health, water, agriculture, forests, marine and coastal environments, which may contribute to resilient ecosystems, are not discussed as they are outside the scope of this contribution. The article is written from an interdisciplinary perspective. It is not intended as an in-depth legal technical analysis. We will start by discussing the scientific challenges we are facing (Section 2). We will look into EU nature conservation law on protected areas (Birds and Habitats Directives14) and see what possible bottlenecks exist in the legislation itself or in the implementation thereof (Section 3). In the future, a new way of thinking about nature conservation might be necessary. This is examined in Section 4 in which we briefly explore the idea of an Ecosystem Framework Directive. This idea may justify and need more investigation in the future."



climate change, adaptation, protected areas