Yesterday the County Administrative Board in Halland that Greenpeace planned conservation measure does not need permission. In the decision the authority judges that the announced measures do not affect the environment in the Natura 2000 sites in a significant way. Therefore permission according to the Habitats Directive art 6.3.
The County Administrative Board concludes that there are no legal obstacles for Greenpeace to carry out the conservation measure. Thereby the County Administrative Board agrees with Greenpeace that the conservation measure is indeed a conservation measure, which means the measure is positive for the environment since it prevents destructive bottom trawling. This is a great victory for the environment. However, it is also a scandal that authorities do not live up to their responsibilites in adequately protecting the Natura 2000 sites and regulating fisheries. The authorities cannot always rely on Greenpeace to do their job.
Translation of the County Administrative Board’s decision:
The Decision of the Halland County Administrative Board no 511-3917-09
The County Administrative Board judges that the announced measures do not affect the environment in the Natura 2000 sites in a significant way. Therefore permission according to chapter 7 paragraph 28 a Environmental Code* is not needed.
The County Administrative Board recommends that permission according to chapter 11 of the Environmental Code should be sought for the part of the measure which is inside the territorial waters.
The County Administrative Board recommends Greenpeace to consult with the fishermen holding rights to fish in the sites. Greenpeace should be obliged to refer to the legal grounds on which the measure will be taken.
If the measures are carried out, the County Administrative Board obliges Greenpeace, according to the Environmental Code chapter 26 paragraphs 21 and 22, to carefully account to the County Administrative Board exactly how and when the measures are implemented. The account must have times of placement, geographical coordinates and amount of placed boulders.
The County Administrative Board reminds that this decision does not free the applicant of the right to fulfil what is covered in other legislations or what follows from the rights of others.
This decision can be appealed to the Environmental Court, the district court of Vänersborg, see attachment no 1.
* Swedish national legislation corresponding to the Habitats Directive 92/43/EEG article 6.3.