The Group of Experts’ mandate includes all the activities of the Convention related to protected areas and ecological networks.

The Group supports and monitors the implementation of Recommendation No. 16 (1989) on Areas of Special Conservation Interest (ASCI) and Recommendation No. 25 (1991) on the conservation of natural areas outside protected areas proper. It debates and prepares practical guidance to Contracting Parties aimed at helping them progress further in the implementation of both Recommendations. It proposes the political orientations of the Conventions’ work regarding the setting-up of the Emerald Network and the Pan European Ecological Network (PEEN).

When necessary, it presents new draft recommendations to the Standing Committee, in view of improving Parties’ contribution to the conservation of threatened species and habits from the Bern Convention's lists. These activities aim at reinforcing the contribution of the Council of Europe to the achievement of the Aichi Targets (Strategic Goal C) set by the Convention on Biological Diversity in this field.

Reports of past meetings