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Safeguards beyond protected areas

Protected areas help to safeguard important and vulnerable habitats and species, but can’t succeed alone. Broader measures are also needed.

Wider directives that raise environmental quality across land and sea are also required to safeguard biodiversity and maintain vital ecosystem services.

At sea, the Marine Strategy Framework Directive aims to reverse threats to Europe’s marine environment and make our seas healthy and productive once again.

The Water Framework Directive focuses on coastal and inland waters. It has been put in place to help improve and protect the water environment on a catchment scale.

The Environmental Liability Directive makes commercial operators responsible for the costs of preventing and remediating 'environmental damage' they cause.

Scottish Natural Heritage plays an important role in supporting the implementation in Scotland of all three pieces of European legislation.