Review by Job Dronkers (January 2013)
The Bern Convention is implemented by means of the Emerald Network. The Emerald Network – envisaged as early as 1989 – was given practical form in 1996 with a view to supplementing the Natura 2000 Network, on a similar basis, in non-Community countries, based on the highest possible methodological synergy. As well as helping to identify and conserve core areas of the Pan-European Ecological Network, the Emerald Network, which is in the process of being developed, also facilitates the establishment of national networks of protected areas. As the European Union is also a Contracting Party to the Bern Convention, Natura 2000 is considered to be the EU contribution to the Emerald Network.
For Bern Convention Contracting Parties which are European Union Member States, the Emerald Network sites consist of the Natura 2000 sites. Before joining the European Union, twelve countries have implemented Emerald pilot projects as preparatory work to setting up the Natura 2000 network. The other countries engaged in the constitution of the Emerald Network are : in Western Europe, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland; in Central and Eastern Europe, Moldova, the Federation of Russia and Ukraine; in South-Eastern and East Europe, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, Serbia, Turkey, and in the South Caucasus, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia