is a binding international legal instrument in the field of nature conservation, which covers most of the natural
heritage of the European continent and extends to some States of Africa. Its aims are to conserve wild flora and
fauna and their natural habitats and to promote European co-operation in that field.
The Convention places a particular importance on the need to protect endangered natural habitats and endangered vulnerable
species, including migratory species.
All countries that have signed the Bern Convention must take action to:
promote national policies for the conservation of wild flora and fauna, and their natural habitats;
have regard to the conservation of wild flora and fauna in their planning and development policies,
and in their measures against pollution;
promote education and disseminate general information on the need to conserve species of wild flora
and fauna and their habitats;
encourage and co-ordinate research related to the purposes of this Convention.
and also co-operate to enhance the effectiveness of these measures through:
co-ordination of efforts to protect migratory species;
and the exchange of information and the sharing of experience and expertise.
Monitoring the implementation of the Convention
The Bern Convention benefits from a number of tools that contribute to the
regular monitoring of the implementation of the Convention.
This monitoring system includes reports and the case-file system, fully accessible to Parties and observers alike.
The Standing Committee monitors the implementation of the Convention at each meeting by reviewing reports,
processing case-files and adopting recommendations.
List of decisions and texts adopted
at the 33rd meeting of the Standing Committee
The following types of reports under the Bern Convention contribute to monitor the implementation of the Convention and
assess its effectiveness:
Compulsory biannual reports submitted by Parties on the use of the exceptions that are allowed under Article
9 of the Convention -
Form for Biennal Reports
Voluntary general reports submitted
by Parties on the national
implementation of the Convention
(every four years)
Legal reports analysing the
implementation of the Convention in
one country (one country per year),
commissioned by the Secretariat
National reports submitted to and
discussed by the Groups of Experts
regarding their target species or
Reports submitted by Parties and observers on the follow-up of Recommendations (a selection of recommendations
is monitored each year by the Standing Committee)
Groups of Experts
Groups of Experts also monitor the implementation of Standing Committee recommendations concerning the species or
habitats they cover (e.g. Amphibian and reptiles, plants, birds, etc.). At their meetings, every two or three years,
Groups of Experts set under the Convention address specific conservation problems and propose recommendations to
the Standing Committee.
information on the Groups of experts, click
The case-files system
In its 25 years of existence, the case-file system of the Bern Convention has proven to be an excellent tool to achieve the
aims of the Bern Convention through international co-operation. The purpose of the "files" is to find a satisfactory solution
to problems encountered in implementing the Convention and to monitor as effectively as possible the means chosen to resolve
them. The system is based in complaints for possible breaches of the Convention that are processed by the Secretariat, the
Bureau and the Standing Committee according to their merits and on the basis of the information submitted. When the
Standing Committee or its Bureau considers that further information is needed, they can arrange for on-the-spot visits
by independent experts, who report to the Standing Committee.
Many case-files are at the origin of Recommendations adopted by the Standing Committee and addressed to a particular
country or group of countries to redress a problem with the application of the Convention concerning the protection of
a wild species or natural habitat under threat.
On-line complaint form
Register of Bern Convention Case-Files -
Implementation of the Bern Convention -
Opening and closing of files
Opening and closing of files -
Follow-up to recommendations
Description of the «Specific sites» case-file system - T-PVS(2000)35E
Reminder on the processing of complaints -
Rules of procedure: Standing Committee,
on-the-spot enquiries, mediation -