Too short-sighted - only federal projects in focus

Netzausbauprojekte in Schleswig-Holstein. Planung: BHF Bendfeldt Herrmann Franke, Kiel. Foto: Michael Müller-Bründel

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bdla comments on the draft of the Federal Compensation Ordinance.

Landscape architects represent the interests of nature conservation in planning and projects and have been successfully applying the impact regulation for decades - with the necessary sense of proportion, with the required efficiency and with proper consideration of social concerns. This happens despite a high number and variety of legal regulations and models. A uniform federal regulation for the application of the impact regulation is therefore not sensible, but necessary.

With the currently submitted draft of a Federal Compensation Ordinance, the Federal Environment Ministry is pursuing the goal of optimising the heterogeneous network of applications and the differentiated application practice in nature conservation and landscape management. At the same time, an attempt is being made to make nature conservation law more transparent. The bdla acknowledges that this should contribute to accelerating administrative procedures and to a higher acceptance of nature conservation and landscape management.

The basis of the positive effects of the planned Federal Compensation Ordinance is the consistently designed avoidance requirement and the continued priority of real compensation as core elements of the management of the consequences of interventions in nature and landscape. In the opinion of the bdla, the provisions of the draft ordinance are also characterised by a factually and legally precise derivation of the objectives of nature conservation and landscape management in § 1 BNatSchG.

Limited scope of application criticized

However, in its statement on the draft ordinance, the bdla questions the limited scope of application of the Federal Compensation Ordinance. It is intended to apply only to projects approved by federal authorities. This means that the original promise of achieving a sensible standardization with positive effects described at the beginning is hardly fulfilled - to the point of worsening the current application practice of the impact regulation.

For example, under future law, federal highways could be approved by a federal authority using the Federal Compensation Ordinance. Federal and state roads, however, will continue to be handled by state authorities on the basis of state-specific regulations. Particularly in the case of spatial proximity of projects of different authorities (sometimes on the same district or even municipal territory), this procedure can lead to irritations for the approval and nature conservation authorities, for authorities responsible for public concerns and for citizens.

Against this background, the Professional Association of Landscape Architects recommends that the legislator thoroughly examine whether a limited application to transboundary projects (possibly also only to the construction and modification of transboundary or cross-border extra-high voltage power lines) is not sensible and should be striven for.

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