Brussels, Belgium ––WWF welcomes the Council Conclusions adopted today on the 2015. Mid-Term Review of the EU Biodiversity Strategy highlighting the need for full implementation of the Birds and Habitats Directives. We call on EU Member States to hold to their political commitments and to invest in concrete measures to tackle the root causes of biodiversity loss, especially intensive agriculture, over abstraction of water and hydropower development.
Geneviève Pons-Deladrière, Director of WWF European Policy Office said:
“WWF applauds that Environment Ministers reconfirmed their will to halt nature loss by 2020, and to focus on implementing the Nature Directives instead of revising them. This is also essential to fight climate change.”
“In too many cases unfortunately Member States fail to live up to their words. The reality on the ground is that habitats and species are still disappearing due to harmful activities like intensive agriculture and energy infrastructure development. Leaders need to start implementing the Nature Directives and walk the talk, now!”
WWF believes that European citizens’ trust will be lost if political promises are not fulfilled. The lack of political will to protect nature is recurrent.
The new Polish government recently announced that it will dramatically increase timber harvesting from the ancient Białowieża Forest protected by the Birds and Habitats Directives. This forest is also a UNESCO world heritage site and has the largest free roaming bison population in Europe.
A new study released by WWF reveals that in the Netherlands nitrogen pollution from agriculture remains one of the biggest barriers to meeting the government obligation to protect its Natura 2000 network.
Keep Nature Alive http://www.wwf.eu/keepnaturealive/
WWF is currently running an international campaign called Keep Nature Alive to save the EU Nature Directives. The EU Commission is currently assessing the need to revise the directives. The e-action is available here: http://www.wwf.eu/keepnaturealive/
The campaign is part of a coalition called Nature Alert (#NatureAlert) together with a group of NGOs across Europe (BirdLife, the European Environmental Bureau, Friends of the Earth Europe). Thanks to this campaign, more than 500,000 joined our call to participate in the EU Public Consultation and tell the EU Commission to defend EU Nature Directives. This is the highest number ever reached in the history of the European Union.
For media inquiries please contact:
Stefania Campogianni Senior Communication and Media Officer WWF European Policy Office, firstname.lastname@example.org, +32 499 539 736
Andreas Baumüller, Head of Natural Resources, WWF European Policy Office, email@example.com ,+32 2 740 09 21