On May 21, The European Commission published European Union Report "EU State of Nature" presenting the largest collaborative data-collection and assessment of nature ever undertaken across the Member States in the period 2007-2012. The report is the first large scale assessment to cover both Birds and Habitats Directives and their impact on nature protection.
The main conclusion of the report can be summed up in one sentence: targeted conservation actions in the EU have brought good results in protecting birds and biodiversity, but a much greater emphasis and effort is required for the situation to improve in the future.
Looking at birds, the report concludes that 52 % of all bird species have a secure status (the population is unthreatened); however, 17 % of the species are still threatened and another 15 % are near threatened, declining or depleted.
Looking at other species protected under the Habitats Directive, it concludes that 23% of the species have a favourable conservation status. However, more than half (60%) are still in an unfavourable status. Species of grasslands, wetlands and dune habitats are of particular concern.
Habitats show a worse conservation status and trend than species. The reason behind this, according to researchers, is perhaps that species conservation actions have a longer history and the recovery time for individual species is shorter. 16% of all EU habitats have a favourable conservation status, but more than three-quarters - unfavourable, and 30% of those have a badly unfavourable status.
Reacting to the report, Pieter de Pous, EU Policy Director said:
"Following hot on the heels of yesterday's Better Regulation package, this report shows once again that environmental legislation works when implemented seriously and that it is needed more than ever before. The fact more than 100,000 EU citizens have in less than a week called on the European Commission to defend EU nature protection laws shows such legislation has massive popular support. The message is crystal clear: EU nature policies should be better enforced, not revised, and sustainable development made the overarching priority of the EU.”
Press release: http://www.eea.europa.eu/highlights/state-of-nature-in-the
EEA publication: http://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/state-of-nature-in-the-eu/
To maintain the foundation of European environmental legislation - the Birds and Habitats Directives, we invite you and all other citizens from the 28 EU states to participate in the campaign "Nature Alert" and express support for saving European natural values. Participate here: www.naturealert.eu.
Thanks to Birds and Habitats Directives, Europe now is a proud home to the world's largest network of protected areas, Natura 2000, covering about one fifth of the Europe's land and 4% of its marine sites.
Information prepared for project "Non-governmental sector participation in the international conference" EU Biodiversity strategy implementation "" financed by Latvian national budget-funded program "Support for public participation in the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union implementation" and administered by the Society Integration Foundation.