The EU plays a fundamental role in shaping the environmental law regimes of its Member States and that of the UK is no exception. A significant proportion of current domestic environmental law derives from EU Regulations (that automatically become part of English law) and EU Directives (that are implemented through national legislation).
Nature conservation law, i.e. the legal regime used to protect environmentally significant habitats and species, is a case in point and the focus of this blog. Conserving nature is key not only from a purely biodiversity standpoint but also from an ‘ecosystem services’ perspective. Ecosystem services are the benefits nature brings to the environment and to people, including supporting services (e.g. nutrient cycling), provisioning services (e.g. food), regulating services (e.g. carbon capture) and cultural services (e.g. recreation).
Who are or should be the actors furthering marine conservation and governance?
These questions are at the core of the Ecologies and Identities project carried out at the University of Bristol Law School and funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). The project looks at the law and policy behind the UK’s new marine protected area (MPA) network. It asks how marine protected areas and marine conservation zones are being implemented and who is getting a say in where they are placed and how they are managed. It asks what this means for the future of our seas and how they are used.