The Water Framework Directive: A Directive for the Twenty-First Century?
2011 (English)In: Journal of environmental law, ISSN 0952-8873, E-ISSN 1464-374X, Vol. 23, no 3, 463-486 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
This article addresses the Water Framework Directive and the legal norm of ‘good ecological status’, which refers to the structure and function of ecosystems. In terms of ecology, the concepts of good structure and function reflect a resilient ecosystem with a high level of adaptive capacity. However, the legal provisions of the Directive compromise this concept. The Directive's approach assumes that by quantifying certain fixed biological elements it is possible to accurately assess the structure and function of ecosystems. This approach is highly contestable, and undermines the possibility of attaining the objective of ‘good ecological status’. To improve the possibility of achieving ‘good ecological status’, we emphasise the need to first redefine ‘high ecological status’ as a state wherein the ecosystems maintain themselves independently of management; secondly, that the hydrological regime be addressed when assessing the bodies of water; and, thirdly, that traits, rather than the current ‘quality elements’ be used as variables.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011. Vol. 23, no 3, 463-486 p.
EU Water Framework Directive, biological classification systems, biological quality elements, ecosystem services, traits, ecosystem management
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject Environmental Law
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-158074DOI: 10.1093/jel/eqr018ISI: 000296744000005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-158074DiVA: diva2:437543
ProjectsLegal Conditions for a Sustainable Water Management