The Bern Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats was signed in 1979 and ratified in Iceland in 1993. The full text is available on the Council of Europe website. Almost all European states are now signatories to the Bern Convention, which has had a significant effect on conservation legislation and its enforcement, as well as on how we record, classify, assess and monitor living nature in Europe.
The IINH attends committee meetings on behalf of Iceland and has participated in subcommittee work in areas that have relevance for Iceland. The Director General of the IINH, Jón Gunnar Ottósson, was Chair of the Bern Convention 2008-2010 and sits on its three-person board. Ottósson is also on the board of the Council of Europe's wildlife conservation committee. IINH staff members attend a number of subcommittee meetings.
The European Charter on Hunting and Biodiversity
The European Charter on Hunting and Biodiversity is published under the auspices of the Council of Europe and the Bureau of the Standing Committee of the Bern Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitat (Bern Convention). The Charter represents the implementation of Standing Committee Resolution No. 128 on Hunting and Biodiversity; it builds on the obligations and regulations of the Bern Convention and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The Charter has its roots in the basic principle of the CBD as explained in the so-called Addis Ababa Principles and Malawi Principles for the Ecosystem Approach. Bern Convention member states decided that in this Charter, emphasis would be placed on issues not covered in other fora: hunting, hunting tourism and requirements and standards for European hunters in areas such as hunter education, knowledge and safety issues. The Charter contains 12 main principles, 47 guidelines for biodiversity regulators and managers and 59 guidelines for hunters and hunting tour operators. The Charter thus represents a guide for both relevant authorities and interested parties, and Bern Convention member states are encouraged to make use of the Charter in introducing and developing policy on sustainable hunting and wildlife conservation.
IINH Contact: Jón Gunnar Ottósson