MSP in the EU receives important impetus from a number of EU dire

MSP in the EU receives important impetus from a number of EU directives, policies and regulations. Such policy drivers can be broadly categorised into four groups: environmental legislation, legislation for renewable energy, fisheries regulation

and frameworks for cross-sectoral and integrated management. It is important to recognise that although most of the policy drivers discussed below do not contain explicit provisions for cross-sectoral MSP, they do have direct and significant influence on the allocation of marine space for a particular purpose, thereby affecting the availability of space for other sectors. The synergies and tensions between the different policy drivers therefore represent opportunities and challenges for the emergence of fully integrated, cross-sectoral MSP initiatives. The

discussion below draws on a review of the objectives and provisions of the main policy drivers as summarised in Table S1 (see Supplementary Material). In Europe, one of the most important drivers for MSP is biodiversity conservation legislation, as part of the EU’s fulfilment of international commitments under, inter alia, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the World Summit on Sustainable Development. The most significant policy drivers include the RG7422 chemical structure Birds (Directive 2009/147/EC) and Habitats Directive (Directive 92/43/EEC), which require EU Member States to designate and protect Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), together known as the Natura 2000 network. The Habitats Directive aims to maintain the ‘favourable conservation status’ of species GABA Receptor and habitats through the establishment of Natura 2000 sites, as well as the protection of listed species throughout their natural range. The Directive provides for the protection of over 1000 animals and plant species and over 200 habitat types

[21]. These include 9 marine habitat types and 18 marine species [22]. The marine Natura 2000 network consists of 1813 sites covering a total area of 198,760 km2, though significant gaps still exist, particularly in offshore environments [23]. At the heart of the Habitats Directive is Article 6, which requires sound management of Natura 2000 sites through various measures ( Table S1, Supplementary Material). A series of non-binding guidance documents have been published by the Commission on the application of Article 6, including on environmental impact assessments in Natura 2000 sites and on the application of Article 6 in specific sectors, such as wind energy, port development and non-energy mineral extraction [24].

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