«Endbericht Hannover/Marburg Juni 2010 Rechtsanwalt, MR i. Atz Prof. Dr. H. W. Louis LL.M. Rahmenbedingungen für die Wirksamkeit von Maßnahmen des ...»
Im Ergebnis hat sich gezeigt, dass durch das „Instrument“ der vorgezogenen Ausgleichsmaßnahmen durchaus neue konstruktive Möglichkeiten bestehen, Infrastrukturvorhaben in bestimmen Fällen trotz der damit verbundenen Beeinträchtigungen ohne Eintreten von artenschutzrechtlichen Verbotstatbeständen bzw. ohne Ausnahmeprüfung realisieren zu können. Dies ist um so bedeutsamer, wenn berücksichtigt wird, dass bei Verlusten von Fortpflanzungs- und Ruhestätten ein Erhalt der ökologischen Funktion im räumlichen Zusammenhang allein durch ein Ausweichen der Arten nur in seltenen Fällen möglich bzw. ausreichend plausibel zu belegen ist. Vor diesem Hintergrund werden bei der vorhabensbedingten Beschädigung oder Zerstörung von Fortpflanzungs- und Ruhestätten regelmäßig die Möglichkeiten für vorgezogene Ausgleichsmaßnahmen zu prüfen und bei entsprechender Eignung eine Realisierung der Maßnahmen vorzusehen sein.
Andererseits wurde auch deutlich, dass vorgezogene Ausgleichsmaßnahmen strengen Anforderungen genügen müssen und dass es auch Arten bzw. Fallkonstellationen gibt, bei denen vorgezogene Ausgleichsmaßnahmen nicht in der fachlich gebotenen Weise möglich sind. Zentrale Herausforderungen sind häufig die Entwicklungsdauer der für die Art zu schaffenden Habitate und die erforderliche Prognosesicherheit im Hinblick auf den Erfolg der Maßnahmen.
Nicht zuletzt besteht durch die vorgezogenen Ausgleichsmaßnahmen die Chance, naturschutzfachlich anspruchsvolle aber auch zielgenauere kompensatorische Maßnahmen zu realisieren und dabei auch für die bereits an anderen Stellen (z. B. bei den Maßnahmen zur Kohärenzsicherung) vielfach geforderte „vorgezogene“ Maßnahmenrealisierung neue Wege zu entwickeln.
Rahmenbedingungen für die Wirksamkeit von Maßnahmen des Artenschutzes bei Infrastrukturvorhaben 7 Abstract By means of the Kleine Novelle (“short amendment”) of the Bundesnaturschutzgesetz (“German Federal Nature-Conservation Act”), the species-conservation provisions of the Bundesnaturschutzgesetz have been adjusted to the European legal requirements of both the Habitats Directive and the Birds Directive. Article 44, paragraph 5 of the Bundesnaturschutzgesetz 1 introduces the option of establishing what are known as “Continuous Ecological Functionality” (CEF)-measures. These are means to ensure the conservation of the ecological functionality, in a spatial context, of those breeding sites and/or resting places that are affected by human interference or projects, of species protected by European legislation.
The R&D project “Underlying conditions for ensuring the efficacy of species-conservation measures in infrastructural projects” is intended to help clarify which technical demands
are to be made on CEF-measures, and what the scope of, and the limits to, such measures are. Inter alia, this calls for:
• the technical delimitation of species-conservation terms that lack an unambiguous definition;
• the specification of general nature-conservation requirements for CEF-measures;
• the more concrete specification of requirements for CEF-measures, exemplified by selected species.
Technical and legal basics The key provision for CEF-measures is article 44, paragraph 5 of the German Federal Nature-Conservation Act. Pursuant to this provision, there is no violation of the prohibition expressed in section 1, No. 3 (impairment of breeding sites and resting places) or, with respect to the associated unavoidable harm to wild animals, of the prohibition expressed in section 1, No. 1 (ban on the killing of individuals), provided that the ecological functionality of the breeding sites or resting places in a spatial context remains assured. Where necessary, CEF-measures may be adopted to this end.
The ecological functionality of breeding sites and resting places signifies the conditions necessary for successful reproduction and undisturbed resting. As a rule, such conditions prevail if the requisite structures of a given habitat are conserved in constant quality and scale, or if it can be demonstrated or safely assumed that there is no deterioration in the successful reproduction or undisturbed resting of the individual, or of the community of individuals, at the affected breeding site or resting place.
1 Formerly article 42, paragraph 5 Rahmenbedingungen für die Wirksamkeit von Maßnahmen des Artenschutzes bei Infrastrukturvorhaben The phrase “in a spatial context” is to be understood in the context of the affected habitats. Breeding sites and resting places are often part of a local network, so that all the connected sites of one ‘population’ have to be included in the evaluation of ecological functionality. The investigation of ecological functionality should only include sites that are closely associated with the site concerned. “Closely associated” means that these sites – possibly with the aid of CEF-measures – should help sustain the original breeding and resting potential. The actual delimitation of the breeding sites or resting places “in a spatial context” must therefore be carried out in the light of professional considerations, and must take due account of the species’ behaviour patterns, home ranges and habitat requirements, as well as of the local habitat structures.
• For species with extensive territories, whose breeding sites are used by a single pair, such as the black stork, the functionality of this single nesting site must be preserved. The crucial factor for the protected area is the black stork’s activity range, as is required for successful breeding. Particular attention must be paid to the nest itself, enclosed in a zone of low disturbance.
• Relatively philopatric breeding birds (e.g. some species of wet grasslands) often frequent the same area but not the same nest for breeding in consecutive years. In this case, the whole homogeneous landscape unit, namely the grassland, must be treated as the breeding site.
• Species such as several migratory bird species, which annually use differing breeding sites within a certain landscape, require a broader delimitation of the spatial context. This problem should be solved by considering both the activity range of the species and the configuration of the landscape (spatial unit) concerned. Hence it may be target-oriented to use certain landscape units which are colonized by a species as search areas as a model for the localization of measures. For this purpose, the identified areas have to provide homogeneous habitat structures, land-use patterns and geomorphological structures. A close spatial and functional relationship with the directly-affected breeding site is indispensable for such areas.
• In the case of colonial breeding species, like bats, the spatial delimitation of the breeding site is provided by the central activity range of the whole colony. Measures must aim at conserving the reproductive functions of the given colony.
• Some species, like the dusky large blue butterfly (lat. Maculinea nausithous), form metapopulations. In this particular case, the spatial limitations of a breeding site refer to the spatial extent of multiple sub-populations, known as ‘patches’. This manner of delimiting the breeding site is necessary because the patches are constantly interacting and interchanging.
• Species which do not exhibit a proper distinction between essential habitat structures (e.g. breeding sites or resting places) and additional habitat structures (e.g.
hunting areas) necessitate delimiting a coherent living space, including copulation and breeding sites, day/night lairs and a winter-lair. This aggregate, as a whole, forms the breeding site and resting place for the affected individuals in a spatial context.
Rahmenbedingungen für die Wirksamkeit von Maßnahmen des Artenschutzes bei Infrastrukturvorhaben General requirements for CEF-measures CEF-measures may be defined as measures starting directly at the potentially affected breeding sites or resting places or having a close spatial or functional relationship with them. In addition, they have to be applied in such a way that the ecological functionality of the breeding sites or resting places affected by a project demonstrably, or with a strong, objectively verifiable likelihood, does not deteriorate relative to the status before the project.
Hence the following requirements for CEF-measures must be postulated:
• The ecological functionality of affected breeding sites and/or resting places has to be conserved. That is to say, once the building operations of a project have been completed, both the extent and the quality of a breeding site and/or resting place occupied by a protected species have to be the same as before the human interference. In other words, there must not be any diminution of the rate of successful reproduction or of the resting potential of individuals or of the community of the affected breeding sites and/or resting places.
• The sites must be in a spatial and functional context with the breeding site or resting place affected by the project. The key factors here are the habitat structures affected in specific cases, the activity ranges of the relevant species and the potential for further development in the neighbourhood of a site.
• Continuous efficacy of the measures at the time of the human intervention and beyond is imperative. With due consideration of the requirement of a fairly high prospect of success, and in the light of practical needs, it can be assumed that measures completed within 5 years can be considered very appropriate, and that measures which require from 5 to 10 years for completion must be rated moderately appropriate or inappropriate. Projects requiring more than 10 years for completion are normally unsuitable as CEF-measures. If necessary, however, they may be implemented as supplemen-tary measures to foster the long-term efficacy of measures taken.
• Sufficient assurance is needed that the measures are actually effective. CEFmeasures must display a strong, objectively verifiable prospect of success.
• Adequate risk management must be provided for, comprising the monitoring of functionality and corrective measures, especially in cases of irrefutable doubt as to the prospects of success.
• The CEF-measures must form part of a technically meaningful overall plan, in order to overcome any conflicts of aim which may arise between individual species. Landscape planning, for instance, is an appropriate instrument for meeting this requirement.
Rahmenbedingungen für die Wirksamkeit von Maßnahmen des Artenschutzes bei Infrastrukturvorhaben Ubiquitous bird species constitute a special case. Current legislation prohibits complete neglect of these common birds, for which, however, a pragmatic approach in line with the objectives of nature conservation must be worked out.
Ubiquitous birds are species with more than one million breeding pairs in Germany that are not regarded as endangered owing to sharply diminishing species abun-dance (cf.
SÜDBECK et al. 2007). They include blackbird, song thrush, starling, robin, wren, willow warbler, chiffchaff, blue tit, great tit, coal tit, blackcap, garden warbler, dunnock, chaffinch, greenfinch, yellowhammer, goldcrest and wood pigeon.
As long as ubiquitous birds are affected, it can normally be assumed that the compensatory measures taken as the result of German impact regulations suffice to conserve both the status quo of nature and landscape and the ecological functionality, in a spatial context, of these species’ affected breeding sites and resting places. For these species, the spatial context is to be defined so broadly that any potential temporary losses of breeding sites occurring up to the full operation of the compensatory measures will not lead to any diminution, in a spatial context, of ecological functionality.