European Union Water Framework Directive and Wetlands
Across Europe, rivers, lakes, and coastal waters are vital natural resources which provide drinking water for humans, provide habitats for many different species of wildlife, and are an important resource for inter alia agriculture, industry, and recreation. Through generations of misuse, a significant proportion of these wetlands have become degraded or threatened. The future protection and improvement of the water environment has been recognized at the European Union (EU) level as being an important component of achieving sustainable development and vital for the long-term health, well-being, and prosperity of European citizens. In October 2000 the Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and Council established a framework for Community action in the field of water policy, commonly referred to as the Water Framework Directive or WFD. The purpose of the Directive is to establish a framework for the protection of inland surface waters (rivers and lakes), transitional waters (estuaries), coastal waters, and groundwater. It aims to ensure that all aquatic ecosystems and, with regard to their water needs, terrestrial ecosystems and wetlands meet “good status” by 2015.
KeywordsEuropean union Legislation Policy International cooperation
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