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Empty codelists values in INSPIRE registry for Nature Directives (Species Distribution and Habitats and Biotopes Data Themes)

Iurie MAXIM
By Iurie MAXIM

Even if there are codes and names for species and habitats in the Nature Directives (92/43/EEC, 2009/147/EC), the following registries are missing values:

Species Distribution

According to the http://inspire.ec.europa.eu/codelist/NatureDirectivesCodeValue , the Definition states ”Reference lists containing nature directives species identifiers, as specified in the Reference Portal for Natura 2000 as defined in Commission Implementing Decision 2011/484/EU.”. Please see below that actually the definition is wrong and that other reference portals need to be used.

Based on this definition, values must be taken from the Reference Portal for Natura 2000 as specified in the Definition of the codelist, namely from http://bd.eionet.europa.eu/activities/Natura_2000/reference_portal from the excel files mentioned at points 8) bird species and 9) species other than birds.

For birds, values can be taken from the column ”Species_code”. If in the column ”Code_introduced_in” is written ”Don't use this code for new entry”, than the ”Status” must be ”Invalid”. The value provided in the column ”Scientific name” must be used as ”Label” in the registry. This Label will be then usable in the ”xlink:title=”.

For other species than birds, values can be taken from column ”Species_code”. Values that are grey must have the ”Status” mentioned as ”Invalid” and the text written in the first column must be stored somewhere in the registry. The value provided in the column ”Scientific_name” must be used as ”Label” in the registry. This Label will be then usable in the ”xlink:title=”.

However, an issue exist, as these codes are used for Natura 2000 standard data forms (SDF) and not for providing maps with the distribution of species as required by article 17 of the Habitats Directive and article 12 of Birds Directive. Therefore the Definition must indicate the ”Reference Portal for reporting under the Article 17 of Habitats Directive” http://bd.eionet.europa.eu/activities/Reporting/Article_17/reference_portal and the Reference Portal for reporting under the Article 12 of Birds Directive http://bd.eionet.europa.eu/activities/Reporting/Article_12/reference_portal” instead of the ”Reference Portal for Natura 2000”.

In the reference portals for article 17 and article 12 the codelist are updated in 2015, while on the Reference Portal for Natura 2000 the codes for birds are from 2011 and for habitats and other species than birds are from 2013.

In order to have the most up to date codelist, for other species than birds, the values must be taken from column ”species code” of the excel named ”Codelist of Habitats Directive species” listed in section 2 of the http://bd.eionet.europa.eu/activities/Reporting/Article_17/reference_portal. Label must be taken from ”species name” column. All values are ”Valid”. The Reference Portal for Natura 2000 can be used in order to include in the registry as well the codes that will have ”Invalid” as ”Status”.

Similar, in order to have the most up to date codelist for bird species, the values must be taken from column ”speciescode” of the excel named ” Code list of birds species” listed in section 2 of the http://bd.eionet.europa.eu/activities/Reporting/Article_12/reference_portal. Label must be taken from ”speciesname” column. All values are ”Valid”. The Reference Portal for Natura 2000 can be used in order to include in the registry as well the codes that will have ”Invalid” as ”Status”.

Once more, actually only the Reference Portal for reporting under the Article 17 of the Habitats Directive and the Reference Portal for reporting under the Article 12 of the Birds Directive contain the codes of those species for which MS need to provide maps with the distribution of those species (see the obligations http://rod.eionet.europa.eu/obligations/278 and http://rod.eionet.europa.eu/obligations/269) The latest outcomes can be found for article 17 HD at http://bd.eionet.europa.eu/activities/Reporting/Article_17/Reports_2013 and for article 12 HD at http://bd.eionet.europa.eu/activities/Reporting/Article_12/Reports_2013

Habitats and Biotopes

http://inspire.ec.europa.eu/codelist/HabitatsDirectiveCodeValue

Values must be taken either from the Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC), but easier can be taken either from http://bd.eionet.europa.eu/activities/Natura_2000/reference_portal from the excel file mentioned at point 6) or better from http://bd.eionet.europa.eu/activities/Reporting/Article_17/reference_portal from the excel file ” Codelist of Annex I habitats” from section 2 .

If the values are taken from Natura 2000 reference portal, then values must be taken from column ”HBCDAX”, all values having the ”Status” = ”Valid”.  The value provided in the column ”HBTTAXEN” must be used as ”Label” in the registry. This Label will be then usable in the ”xlink:title=”.

If the values are taken from Article 17 reference portal, then values must be taken from column ”habitatcode”, all values having the ”Status” = ”Valid”. The value provided in the column ”HDname” must be used as ”Label” in the registry. This Label will be then usable in the ”xlink:title=”.

However certain issues exist with the links of the codelist as they introduce some ambiguity.

It is difficult to guess that this link http://inspire.ec.europa.eu/codelist/NatureDirectivesCodeValue relates only to species (Species Distribution Application schema) as Nature Directives (92/43/EEC, 2009/147/EC) are including codes for habitat types as well.

The link http://inspire.ec.europa.eu/codelist/NatureDirectivesCodeValue/1150 can refer either to Coastal lagoons habitat type or to Silurus aristotelis fish species. Such confusions must be avoided. Therefore in order not to create confusions, the codelist for Nature Directive species would be better to be named http://inspire.ec.europa.eu/codelist/NatureDirectivesSpeciesCodeValue

Similar the Habitats Directive are including codes for habitat types and for species as well. Therefore from the link http://inspire.ec.europa.eu/codelist/HabitatsDirectiveCodeValue it is difficult to guess that the link relates only to habitat types and not to species as well.

Simmilarly, http://inspire.ec.europa.eu/codelist/HabitatsDirectiveCodeValue/1150 can refer either to Coastal lagoons habitat type or to Silurus aristotelis fish species.

Therefore the codelist for habitat types as they appear in the Habitats Directive would be better to be named

http://inspire.ec.europa.eu/codelist/NatureDirectivesHabitatTypesCodeValue

 as

http://inspire.ec.europa.eu/codelist/HabitatsDirectiveHabitatTypesCodeValue would create the repetition of the word ”Habitat”.

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