Definition and classification of habitat types in Iceland is one of the country’s national and international obligations. Protection of important habitat types with high conservation value is key for protecting biodiversity. Both within the EU and under the Bern Convention, it is required that specific habitat types and species be protected. As a measure aimed at fulfilling Iceland’s commitments under the Bern Convention, Act No. 60/2013 on Nature Conservation in Iceland includes provisions that the conservation value of habitats is to be assessed when choosing areas for inclusion in the strategic plan of the Natural Conservation Register (Part B). The strategic plan is to emphasise the development of an organised network of conservation areas, aimed at achieving the conservation objectives of the legislation.
A preliminary survey of the conservation value of all habitat types has been completed, as reported in the habitat type fact sheets. The conservation value of habitat types will be further outlined as part of ongoing work on the strategic plan of Part B of the Nature Conservation Register, in which conservation areas will be designated.