EU: New Inland Waterways Protection Guidelines

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Commission is issuing new guidelines on inland navigation and nature protection to assist this important sector in applying EU environmental legislation.

 

The guidelines – "Inland waterway transport and Natura 2000 – sustainable inland waterway development and management in the context of the EU Birds and Habitats Directives" – explain how best to ensure that activities related to inland navigation are compatible with EU environmental policy in general and nature legislation in particular. The document also emphasizes the significance of the inland navigation for securing long-term sustainability of EU transport network and highlights the achievements of this sector in integrating nature protection into its activities to date.

 

"Inland waterway transport plays an important role in the transportation of goods across many parts of Europe," said Vice-President and Commissioner for Transport Siim Kallas. "This transport sector is considered to be safe, energy efficient and more environmentally friendly than other transport modes. But as it is one of many users of our rivers, it needs to be developed in an ecologically sustainable way." Janez Potočnik, Commissioner for Environment, hoped that the document will be "a useful tool to increase understanding between investors, planners, decision-makers and nature conservation promoters, enabling them to design sustainable navigation projects that meet the objectives of inland waterway transport while still respecting the ecological values of rivers."

 

The guidelines take a holistic approach to inland waterway transport and nature protection. They explain the policy context of inland navigation and biodiversity conservation in Europe. They stress that Natura 2000 sites are not designed to be ‘no development zones’ and that new developments are not excluded, provided that they guarantee a sufficient level of nature protection. The document also explains the legal obligations of infrastructure developers and managers from the point of EU environmental legislation, with a particular focus on the Birds and Habitats Directives. A number of case studies are presented, with examples of good practice showing how inland waterway development and management can go hand-in-hand with nature protection. The guidelines particularly emphasize the benefits of integrated planning, whereby environmental requirements are taken into consideration at every stage of infrastructure development process and the participation of different stakeholders, including NGOs and civil society, is ensured in an active and transparent manner, securing win-win solutions for both sectors.

 

This document is the fourth guidance document on application of EU nature legislation in the context of strategic EU sectors. Previously published guidelines concerned wind energy, non-energy mineral extraction industry and developments in ports and estuaries.

 

  • Background

Natura 2000 is a vast Europe-wide network where human activities coexist with nature protection. It now covers almost 18% of the EU's land surface and more than 145 000 km² of its seas. Activities such as farming, transport, infrastructure development, tourism, forestry and leisure pursuits can be carried out inside the network as long as they are sustainable and in compliance with the legislation on protecting the natural environment.

 

Biodiversity – the limited resource that is the variety of life on earth – is in crisis. Species are being lost at an unprecedented rate as a result of human activities, with irreversible consequences for our future. The European Union is combating this and recently set itself a new objective of halting biodiversity loss in Europe by 2020, protecting ecosystem services such as pollination (and restoring these services where they are degraded), and stepping up the EU contribution to averting global biodiversity loss. Natura 2000 is one of the main tools needed to reach that objective.

 

In an average year, around 140 billion ton-kilometres of transport work is performed on inland waterways, transporting around 500 million tons of cargo. The inland waterway network in the EU includes about 37.000 km inland waterways in 20 Member States; 12 Member States are directly interconnected through inland waterways. Although this represents only a modest percentage of the overall EU transport network and activity, it remains a formidable volume of freight transported over a network with a huge spare capacity capable to alleviate the busiest parts of the EU road and rail network.

 

The "Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area - Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system" sets the overall EU target to reduce transport related greenhouse gas emissions by 60% until 2050, while at the same time accommodating the expected increasing demand for mobility. It moreover recognises that this target can only be achieved if all modes of transport contribute to the best of their abilities to the sustainable, integrated transport system of the future.

 

Realising the potential of inland waterway transport is a vital part of the EU’s transport policy mix.

 

See also:

Guidance document on inland waterway transport and Natura 2000:

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/natura2000/management/docs/IWT_BHD_Guidelines.pdf

Guidance documents for the Management of Natura 2000 sites:

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/natura2000/management/guidance_en.htm

More information about recent policy developments in the inland waterway transport sector:

http://ec.europa.eu/transport/inland/promotion/doc/2012_0168_final_swd.pdf

Maritime Reporter June 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Navigation

House Subcommittee Hearing Highlights “Dismal State” of U.S. Icebreaking Capability

At the July 23, 2014, hearing of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation on “Implementing U.S. Policy in the Arctic” the committee chairman, Rep.

More VDR Orders for Danelec in China

Danelec Marine has received orders to supply Voyage Data Recorders (VDRs) and Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems (ECDIS) for 18 offshore support vessels in China.

Panama Canal to Celebrate 100 Years

To commemorate its centennial, the Panama Canal will host a series of events August 14-15 in Panama City to highlight the impact of the waterway during the past century.

Environmental

MOL Commended with Quality Ship Awards

MOL Commended for ‘FY2013 Best Quality Ship Award’; MOL president Koichi Muto meets with captain and chief engineer, exchanging views and working to establish a more solid safe operation system.

Danos Adds Environmental Services

Danos recently added an Environmental Services Division to the company’s collection of oilfield related services, which includes production workforce, construction,

Danish Bunker Trader Joins GAC in London

GAC Bunker Fuels says it has appointed former GAC Denmark Shipping Assistant Ida Ryberg as a Bunker Trader with its UK team. Ryberg joins Andy Boichat and Resham

News

Canal Project Slows Panama Economy Growth

Panama's economy expanded in May at its slowest pace since 2009 as major public works projects, including an expansion of the Panama Canal, slowed or wrapped up,

ClassNK Holds LNG Fuel Technologies Seminars

ClassNk held LNG-Fuelled Vessel Technologies seminars in Shanghai and Singapore on 22 July and 24, July 2014, respectively. With the industry looking to adopt

USCG Change of Command in Galveston

A Coast Guard lieutenant commander and graduate of Hastings High School in Houston, took command of Maritime Safety and Security Team Galveston during a ceremony in Galveston Thursday.

Marine Science

Jacksonville Adds PORTS Real-time Data System

Officials from NOAA, the Jacksonville Marine Transportation Exchange, and the Jacksonville Port Authority officially dedicated a new information system today

Rosneft to Monitor Marine Fauna in Northern Sea Route

OAO NK Rosneft will conduct marine fauna monitoring in the Northern Sea Route in 2014. The studies will be organized by the Arctic Research Center, a joint venture of Rosneft and ExxonMobil.

2H Offshore Joins Deepwater Mining Consortium

2H Offshore, an Acteon company, has joined an international European consortium comprising nineteen industry and research organizations to develop deepwater mining solutions.

Barges

Samudra Containership Rationalisation Hits Revenues

Diversified Singapore-based containership owners Samudra Group reports registered revenue of USD 96.9 million for the second quarter ended 30 June 2014, a 7.6% decline from USD 104.

Nation’s Vessel Operators Join EPA as SmartWay Affiliate

The American Waterways Operators, a 350-member trade association representing the U.S. tugboat, towboat and barge industry, announced today that it joined the SmartWay Transport Partnership,

Phillips 66 Marine Fueling Facility Nears Completion

Phillips 66’s previously announced marine over-the-water fueling facility at its Richmond, Calif. terminal is nearing completion. The facility, located on Canal Boulevard, and known as Pier No.

Maritime Safety

Eliminating Cat Fines to Marine Diesel Engines

One can assume that P&I Clubs and shipowners would be very interested in preventing catastrophic Cat Fines damage to diesel engines. Cat Fines have been damaging

MOL Commended with Quality Ship Awards

MOL Commended for ‘FY2013 Best Quality Ship Award’; MOL president Koichi Muto meets with captain and chief engineer, exchanging views and working to establish a more solid safe operation system.

Cause of S.Korea Ferry Businessman's Death Remains Unknown

Yoo's body too badly decomposed to determine cause of death; mystery surrounding final days of de-factor owner of doomed ferry deepens. Yoo's son arrested in latest capture of family members.

Government Update

Cause of S.Korea Ferry Businessman's Death Remains Unknown

Yoo's body too badly decomposed to determine cause of death; mystery surrounding final days of de-factor owner of doomed ferry deepens. Yoo's son arrested in latest capture of family members.

UK Chancellor Mentions Hi-Tech Tax Breaks on Bibby Offshore Visit

Bibby Offshore, subsea services provider to the oil & gas industry, says it has hosted a visit by George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, to the Company’s workshop,

House Subcommittee Hearing Highlights “Dismal State” of U.S. Icebreaking Capability

At the July 23, 2014, hearing of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation on “Implementing U.S. Policy in the Arctic” the committee chairman, Rep.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2848 sec (4 req/sec)