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Environmental Legislation

The Food and Environment Protection Act (FEPA). Part III of FEPA contains statutory powers to control pesticides. FEPA aims to: protect the health of human beings, creatures and plants; safeguard the environment; secure safe, efficient and humane methods of controlling pests and make information about pesticides available to the public.

Water Framework Directive (WFD).  The Water Framework Directive (WFD) is designed to improve and integrate the way water bodies are managed throughout Europe. In the UK, much of the implementation work will be undertaken by competent authorities. It came into force on 22 December 2000, and was put into UK law (transposed) in 2003. Member States must aim to reach good chemical and ecological status in inland and coastal waters by 2015 subject to certain limited exceptions. It is designed to: enhance the status and prevent further deterioration of aquatic ecosystems and associated wetlands which depend on the aquatic ecosystems, promote the sustainable use of water, reduce pollution of water, especially by ‘priority’ and ‘priority hazardous’ substances and ensure progressive reduction of groundwater pollution. As a result of the WFD a number of existing European directives will be replaced. By the end of 2007 the following will be replaced: Surface Water Abstraction Directive - 75/440/EEC , Exchange of Information on Surface Water Decision - 77/795/EEC , Surface Water Abstraction Measurement / Analysis Directive - 79/869/EEC. By the 2013 the following will be replaced: Freshwater Fish Directive - 78/659/EEC, Shellfish Waters Directive - 79/923/EEC, Groundwater Directive - 80/68/EEC and the Dangerous Substances Directive - 76/464/EEC.

The timetable for implementation

National and International River Basins

UK implementation of the WFD: River Basin Management Planning England and Wales

River Basin Management Planning Scotland

River Basin Management Planning Northern Ireland

UK TAG (United Kingdom Technical Advisory Group) is a partnership of the UK environment and conservation agencies which was set up by the UK Administrations. It was created to provide coordinated advice on the Science and technical aspects of the Water Framework Directive.

Habitats Directive Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora known as the Habitats Directive was adopted in 1992. The Directive is the means by which the European Union meets its obligations under the Bern Convention, the Directive applies to the UK and to its Overseas Territory of Gibraltar. The main aim of the Habitats Directive is to promote the maintenance of biodiversity by requiring Member States to take measures to maintain or restore natural habitats and wild species listed on the Annexes to the Directive at a favourable conservation status, introducing robust protection for those habitats and species of European importance. In applying these measures Member States are required to take account of economic, social and cultural requirements, as well as regional and local characteristics.

Birds Directive Directive 2009/147/EC on the conservation of wild birds (The Birds 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). The Directive applies to the UK and to its overseas territory of Gibraltar.

The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 consolidates and amends existing national legislation to implement the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Bern Convention) and Council Directive 79/409/EEC on the conservation of wild birds (Birds Directive) in Great Britain.