In July 1998 Defra (then MAFF) confirmed that it accepted that government had a responsibility to provide flood management measures for Natura 2000 and Ramsar sites where it was sustainable to do so; this responsibility has been embraced in subsequent guidance. Defra, in FCDPAG3 (Flood and Coastal Defence Project Appraisal Guidance, Economic Appraisal)1, Section 4 on Benefit Assessment, states that: Under the Habitats and Birds Directives there is a legal obligation to prevent damage or loss of integrity to Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and Special Areas of Conservation (SACs). If one or more of the designated habitats under threat in such a site are considered not to be re-creatable, then valuation will normally need to be derived from the least cost method of achieving an appropriate level of protection.
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