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ulfelman3 Jan 18, 2018 02:39 PM
EEA Report No 14/2016 (Quiet areas in Europe) states on p. 25 that "12 replies out of 26 stated that, in their country, one could encounter actions related to the protection of quiet areas in open country". I know that such efforts are underway in Sweden, while the Swedish Road Administration in charge of such efforts are unaware of any other EU member states doing anything corresponding. Which are the other 11 states where such efforts are underway?
Replies (15)
EEA Jan 30, 2018 12:33 PM

The countries that responded positively to the question “Has your country taken any action to protect quiet areas in open country?” are:
- Belgium (Flanders)
- Bulgaria
- Italy
- Kosovo under UNSCR 1244/99
- Lithuania
- Liechtenstein
- Montenegro
- Germany
- Poland
- Slovenia
- Sweden

A 12th positive response was received during the subsequent country-review of the report, but unfortunately we cannot immediately trace this additional country.

Kind regards

ulfelman3 Jan 16, 2019 01:11 PM
How encouraging to see that similar efforts are being made in states other than Sweden. I’ve closely followed the process in Sweden and present the achievements so far on https://www.xeno-canto.org/forum/topic/21942.

It could be very interesting to learn about what is being done in the other of these 12 states. Do any of them present any information about what has actually been done or is being planned? Does there even exist examples of sites where such efforts have been made? Do perhaps even some of these 12 states present results on such efforts on the fauna in these affected sites?
ulfelman3 Apr 06, 2019 11:03 AM
The Swedish government body Trafikverket is, to their knowledge, acting alone in their efforts to reduce road traffic noise in nature reserves. They have no knowledge of results of similar efforts elsewhere.

I believe that it could lead to great advantages if government bodies thoughout the EU could get to know about similar efforts being made in other member states, and the results of such efforts.

Important information that should be exchanged beween corresponding member state government bodies would for example be:

-What are the most effective methods of reducing road traffic noise in nature, contrary to methods suitable for reducing noise affecting humans in urban areas?

-What are the most cost effektive methods of reducing noise in nature? While reducion of noise affecting humans in urban areas is highly localized, corresponding efforts in nature takes place across extended areas, so this is an important question with no obvious answer.

-Which direct results of such efforts can be detected (increased numbers of certain key species are expected) and how are these results identified? Identifying the effects of road traffic noise on animals is hard to distinguish from other effects of road traffic, such as pollution, visual disturbance, game traffic accidents etc.

My original question above was posted two months ago, so an answer would be appreciated.

EEA Apr 08, 2019 02:25 PM
Dear M. 'Ulfelman3',

We apologize for not replying to your post dated January 16. It did not appear in our monitoring system.
We are nevertheless aware of your questions at this point and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

With kind regards,
EEA Enquiry Service
EEA Apr 11, 2019 09:31 AM
Dear M. 'Ulfelman3',

Thank you for contacting the European Environment Agency (EEA).

At the EEA we support the implementation of the Environmental Noise Directive (END). The END focuses on protecting health and well-being of the population in Europe. Therefore, the country obligations regarding this directive are to report the number of people exposed to different sources of noise (e.g. major airports, railways, roads outside agglomerations and noise from roads, railways, airports and industries inside agglomerations). Countries also have to prepare action plans containing measures to deal with areas affected by noise from the aforementioned sources. The plans should also aim to protect quiet areas against an increase in noise. The protection of quiet areas is the only link with the END directive – but it doesn’t mention wildlife and therefore measures taken cannot be assessed against any gain/loss of biodiversity. Therefore we are not in a position to assess which are the most effective methods of reducing road traffic on wildlife. In terms of research there are a good number of studies investigating the effects of noise on wildlife but not particularly assessing interventions.

However, the EEA back in 2012 produced a report on quiet areas, some information about accessibility and extent of potential quiet areas in the open country in Europe is available at https://www.eea.europa.eu/[…]/quiet-areas-in-europe .

We might also suggest that you contact the European Commission Noise team, that may have some additional insight on this subject: env-noise@ec.europa.eu.

We wish you all the best in your endeavours.
With kind regards,
EEA Enquiry Service
ulfelman3 Apr 13, 2019 12:23 PM
Would it be possible to find out which goverment body in respective member state that has replied positively to the EEA report? Would it even be possible to get contact information directly to individual respresentatives that have replied positively to the EEA report in respective ones of the 12 member states that responded positively?

I believe answers to my questions would be held by respective respondent to the questions asked in the EEA report. The way forward would be to address them, or the respective goverment bodies they represent, not EEA itself.

I would seem natural to assume that a representative of a national goverment body responding to the EEA report that 'yes, in this member state efforts are being made to suppress noise in open country' would have further information on what these efforts are, how these are implementend and potentially even what the results on wildlife is.

EEA May 07, 2019 10:37 AM
Dear Sir,

Thank you for your question.
We are sorry that we have been unable to reply more promptly. We are looking at your query and will get back to you as soon as possible.

With kind regards,
EEA Enquiry Service
EEA May 07, 2019 03:29 PM
Dear Sir,

You are welcome to contact the EIONET members and/or the members of the National Reference Centre on Noise. You can find their contact details :

- EIONET group: https://www.eea.europa.eu/[…]/list-of-members-of-the-nfp-eionet-group

- NRC on Noise: https://rod.eionet.europa.e[…]?roleId=eionet-nrc-noise-mc and https://rod.eionet.europa.e[…]?roleId=eionet-nrc-noise-cc

We hope that this information might be useful for you.

With kind regards,
EEA Enquiry Service
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ulfelman3 Jun 03, 2019 04:44 PM
It sadly seems that the information in the EEA Report No 14/2016 is overly optimistic, as no efforts at reducing noise in nature takes place in Germany or in Flanders, contrary to what the report states.

German EIONET representatives adds that efforts to reduce noise in recreational areas, efforts directed towards humans, may happen to have an effect in nature.
EEA Jun 12, 2019 12:48 PM
Dear M. 'Ulfelman3',

Thank you for your message.
We acknowledge your opinion as regards the EEA Report No 14/2016.

The EEA Report on quiet areas published in 2016 was a first exploration of the state of potential quiet areas in Europe. The conclusions of the report were prepared with the available information at that time. Conclusions were made based on a survey of Eionet members. The most recent evaluation on the progress made by countries on protecting quiet areas may be found in the Implementation review by the EC of 2017: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/[…]/COM_COM(2017)0151_EN.pdf.

With kind regards,
EEA Enquiry Service
ulfelman3 Jul 28, 2019 12:11 PM
The link to the Implementation review seems to be dead, as it yields the answer "The Internet address (url) you wanted to consult does not exist"
EEA Jul 29, 2019 02:09 PM
We are not sure what happened to the earlier provided link, but on the following link you can find the second Environment Implementation Review with factsheets from 28 countries (published on 5 April 2019): https://ec.europa.eu/[…]/index_en.htm

When you open the link scroll down almost to the bottom of the page, where you can see an interactive map. Click on the country of your interest and you will see the report and factsheet available on the right side of the map in both English and in the country's official language.

With kind regards,
EEA Enquiry Service
ulfelman3 Jul 30, 2019 12:54 PM
None of these documents even mention reduction of noise in nature. They all contain a paragraph related to reduction of noise in the vicinity of human habitation, while reduction of noise in open country is not mentioned at all.

Reduction of noise in nature is what EEA Report No 14/2016 focuses on, so sadly none of the referred documents are related to EEA Report No 14/2016.
EEA Aug 02, 2019 10:48 AM
Please find the link here for the the most recent evaluation on the progress made by countries on protecting quiet areas may be found in the Implementation review by the EC of 2017: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/[…]/?uri=COM:2017:151:FIN&from=EN

Please note that at the moment we are working on the new "Noise in Europe" report which will be published latest at the beginning of next year. This report will include a section on quiet areas, but it will be mainly focused on availability and accessibility of quiet areas inside cities.

We hope you will find this information useful for you.

With kind regards,
EEA Enquiry Service