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Bundesamt für Naturschutz

BfN Schriften 183 - Implementing the Ecosystem Approach for Freshwater Ecosystems – A case study on the Water Framework Directive of the European Union

The general objective of this report is to analyse the consideration of the Ecosystem Approach in the Water Framework Directive with an emphasis on the correspondences (and the potential discrepancies) on the conceptual level of both approaches.
Volkmar Hartje and Axel Klaphake
Federal Agency for Nature Conservation
Year of publication


In particular, we want to discuss whether, and if so to what extent, the WFD can serve as an example for the application of the EsA in the area of freshwater ecosystem management in Europe. In addition, we attempt to identify opportunities for a mutual support and improvement of both concepts, as well as to identify chances to develop closer links between the EsA and the WFD in order to form a more comprehensive base for decision-making. Accordingly, our study can be seen as a contribution to the implementation of the recent decision of CBD VII/11 para. 9 ( in particular 9 (a)) that explicitly calls for the analysis of existing tools and approaches in order to share experience and to identify gaps in the coverage of such tools.

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