Natura assessment is a procedure for evaluating plans or projects that are likely to have significant effects on a Natura 2000 sites. Principles for Natura assessment are presented in the Habitats Directive (92/43/EC) article 6, sections (3) and (4). In Estonia Natura 2000 assessment is carried out according to Environmental Impact Assessment and Environmental Management System Act, which states that it should be done in the SEA/EIA report compiling stage.
According to the Habitats Directive, all plans and projects which are not directly connected with, or necessary for, the conservation management of a habitat site, require consideration of whether the plan or project is likely to have significant effects on that site. Where the potential or likely significant effects cannot be excluded, a competent authority must make an appropriate assessment of the implications of the plan or project for that site, in view the site’s conservation objectives. The scope of the Natura assessment is very narrow and purpose of the assessment is to assess the implications of the plan or project against the site’s conservation objectives. As a result of the Natura assessment, it should be clear to the decision maker, that Natura 2000 areas or network integrity are not harmed with the given permit or accepted plan.
Hendrikson & Ko has long-term experience in conducting Natura assessments for various different plans and projects. We are offering complete Natura 2000 assessment service or we can participate in specific stages of the process.