Nature conservation foundation EuroNatur celebrates 30th anniversary +++ Ongoing efforts for Europe’s natural treasures
Radolfzell. Continued biodiversity loss is among the most pressing environmental problems of the beginning 21st century. The EU Biodiversity Strategy was so far unable to halt species declines. Acting as an advocate for nature, the internationally active nature conservation foundation EuroNatur is working to make sure that plans to protect the European natural heritage are put into effect. “Worryingly, destructive exploitation of nature and landscape is still increasing. In order to compensate for political failures, we as nature protection organisation have to take countermeasures”, says EuroNatur president Christel Schroeder on the occasion of the foundation’s 30th anniversary.
EuroNatur can look back on many success stories during its 30 years of action for Europe’s flora and fauna. Fighting bird poaching in the eastern Adriatic, EuroNatur managed to establish a network of skilled bird conservationists, which significantly improved protection of the birds particularly in important resting sites. Bear and wolf, too, can look into a brighter future in many parts of our continent thanks to the commitment by EuroNatur and its local partner organisations. For example, the brown bear has been saved from extinction in the Cantabrian Mountains in Northern Spain, where the population increased significantly in recent years. Western Poland is home to already more than 40 wolf packs. These are the most important source of immigration of wolves into Germany – and therefore bring back a piece of wilderness to our country, too.
Working with an international network of partner organisations, EuroNatur was able to lay the foundations for the declaration of large protected areas in at least 15 European countries, including along the Balkan Green Belt. These include the Prespa National Park in Albania and the Danube-Drava National Park along the border of Hungary and Croatia. However, nature conservation is often represented much better on paper than in practice. “Many nature reserves suffer from under-staffing and limited management resources which results in ongoing deterioration in spite of the status as a protected area,” states EuroNatur CEO Gabriel Schwaderer. Even protected areas cannot provide protection from greed and environmental destruction. “About a third of hydropower plants planned in the Balkans are located in nature reserves, and Romania’s old-growth forests fall victim to the chainsaws particularly in protected areas,” says Gabriel Schwaderer.
Over the course of the three centuries since its foundation, EuroNatur managed to establish stable cooperation with local nature conservation organisations and to create enthusiasm for its work among many friends and sponsors. “With this strong network, we take on the huge challenges which nature conservation is facing in Europe today. But Brussels and the EU member states are required, too, to follow the noble speeches of politicians with deeds,” demands Christel Schroeder.
EuroNatur is a charitable foundation. Its main office is based in Radolfzell, Lake Constance, and its nature conservation policy department in Rheinbach near Bonn. The foundation aims to preserve the European natural heritage in its diversity. Like hardly any other nature conservation organisation, EuroNatur focuses on cross-border nature protection throughout Europe. Current campaigns include “SaveParadiseForests“ to protect primeval beech forests in Romania and „Save the Blue Heart of Europe“ to preserve the Balkan rivers in their pristine state.
Press contact: Christian Stielow
E-mail: christian.stielow(at)euronatur.org, Tel.: +49 (0)7732 - 92 72 15