Analysis of the UK's international nature obligations - phase 1.

Published online
19 Oct 2023
Published by
Natural England
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Cork, C.
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In September 2022, the Retained EU Law Bill was introduced to the UK House of Commons with the purpose of removing retained EU laws, and where required, integrating them into domestic legislation. As the Bill progressed through Parliament, two undertakings were provided by the government. Firstly, that no environmental protections would be reduced as part of the process and secondly, that no law would be lost which was necessary for the UK to achieve its international obligations, including those commitments concerning nature. In the context of the Retained EU Law Bill no clarification has been provided as to what is included within the term "international obligation" and therefore, this report seeks to set out the nature of the UK's current nature obligations and their place within international law. Phase 1 of the report does this by providing an overarching analysis of all international nature conservation obligations to which the UK is currently subject and the nature and strength of those obligations. A comparison is then made between the requirements of the Habitats Directive (as transposed into the Habitats Regulations) and the international nature conservation obligations and the relationship between them. The written information is supported by an annex which sets out in detail each elements of all the relevant obligations.

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