In preparation of the initiative, the EU Commission set up in 2013 the EU Working Group on No Net Loss (NNL), in which FACE was involved, to collect views from Member State representatives, stakeholders (industry, farmers, environmental NGOs, etc.) and experts on such an initiative.
Furthermore, the EU Commission instigated a study led by the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) to identify policy options for this initiative; the report was published by end of January 2014. In 2014, the EU Commission has launched a public consultation in order to have the opinion of all types of organisations and sectors concerned by the NNL initiative.
FACE informed and encouraged it Members to take part of the public consultation. As a result the hunters’ involvement in the consultation was highlighted in the Summary overview made the EU Commission on the results of the public consultation.
Other hunters associations representing regional, national or EU level positions were generally supportive of the need for a No Net Loss initiative, a focus outside the Natura 2000 network and the inclusion of offsetting in a future initiative on NNL. Emphasis was placed on the need to involve local actors and in particular hunters. These groups were not supportive of new legislation at the level of the EU but underlined the need to ensure effective implementation of the legislation and policies already in place.
Hunters have no interest in the loss of natural areas and, therefore, help in avoiding degradation of habitats or ecosystems. Even though hunters do not conduct projects concretely following the framework discussed at European level, a significant proportion of their activities can bring an added value to the potential measures for No Net Loss. Hunters can provide practical knowledge in habitats/populations management and share their field work experience. Given that the conservation measures undertaken by hunters and its associated governance is well established, it is crucial to consult hunters in the initial stages of the NNL initiative process and implementation.
FACE will therefore continue to get involved in the No Net Loss process and initiative development in order to provide the EU Commission and stakeholders with hunters’ perspective.
Through this document, FACE aims to provide more information on the existing actions and regulations undertaken by hunters that contribute to the implementation of No Net Loss principles.
While providing information on the implementation of offsetting measures, their risks and opportunities, this document identifies the potential contribution of hunters.