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Management of nature areas

The Catalan Law 12/1985 of 13th of June, concerning natural areas, creates and regulates the figure of what in Catalonia is called the Pla d'Espais d'Interès Natural (PEIN) (Plan of Areas of Natural Interest), besides from other figures of specially protected areas in Catalonia (National park, natural park, natural area of national interest, nature reserve, ...). This law aims at defining and establishing the necessary parameters for the basic protection of these natural areas whose conservation needs to be ensured according to the scientific, ecological, landscape, cultural, social, educational and recreational values they have.

The Decree 328/1992 of 14th of December is the regulation that approves the Plan of areas of natural interest (PEIN) in accordance with the provisions of article 15 of Law 12/1985 of 13th of June, of natural areas.

Apart from this, in recent years new figures of natural protection have appeared based mainly in EU Directives. At a European level, the creation of Natura 2000 network becomes a key initiative for the protection of nature. Natura 2000 is a coherent European ecological network including Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Special Protection Areas (SPAs) for birds. This network was created to ensure the maintenance of a favourable conservation status of habitats considered to be of European interest in their area of natural distribution and therefore included in the Habitat Directive (Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora) and the conservation of species of Annex I in the Birds Directive (more, formally knows as Council Directive 2009/147/EC on the conservation of wild birds, replacing the Council Directive 74/409/ECC of 2 April 1979). Mention that all the areas included in the Natura 2000 network are currently included in the PEIN network as well.

In Catalonia, the regulation GOV/112/2006 of 5th of September, which designates the Special Protection Areas for Birds (SPAs) - ZEPA in the Catalan and Spanish acronyms- and approves the proposed Areas of Conservation (SACs) -LIC in the Catalan and Spanish acronyms- (Official Journal DOGC núm. 4735, 06.10.06), and its subsequent amendments and additions, defines and regulates these areas.

In order to preserve the territory based on the management of natural areas following studies and plans need to be carried out:

  • base studies for Special Plans for the protection of the natural environment and landscape or natural areas
  • special plans for the protection of the natural environment and landscape of natural areas
  • guiding plans on land use and management of natural areas
  • natural resources spatial plans in nature areas
  • directing spatial and management plans in Natural Parks