Nature ignored in European recovery funding, say campaign groups

EU Recovery Fundings in the wake of the Corona crisis read largely without consideration of nature and climate protection goals

<p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p>

Europe's biodiversity is in a bad way, important habitats like Romania's ancient forests are under massive pressure. The current RRF plans of most EU member states pose new dangers.

© Matthias Schickhofer

Brussels, Radolfzell. Member States plan pitiful amounts of spending from the €672 billion Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) to protect and preserve nature, in spite of EU requirements and the generally poor state of biodiversity across the continent, say civil society groups ahead of Thursday’s meeting of European environmental ministers.

Although the EU has planned an ambitious Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 and set a target of 37 per cent spending within the RRF on climate and nature protection measures, Member States are completely neglecting such projects in their draft recovery plans, the groups outlined in a joint position paper sent to ministers before the 18 March Council.

For example, Bulgaria's green pillar, the part of the plan outlining proposals for environmental and climate spending, foresees just 0.72 percent for biodiversity which is even less than in a previous draft. The Polish plan also calls for the adoption of a special act on anti-drought investments in Poland, which contains new rules that would actually undermine the protection of Poland's biodiversity and water resources. This lack of attention to biodiversity protection is all the more alarming given that the European Environmental Agency estimates 81 per cent of habitats in Europe are in a poor state.

While Member States have until 30 April to finalise their recovery plans, many have yet to open the plans to public consultation and publish key information about what types of programmes they plan to fund. Thursday’s Environment Council is an opportunity for ministers to take a leading role in the further development of these plans in order to make them a powerful tool for catalysing the transformation of EU economies.

Daniel Thomson, EU policy officer for biodiversity with CEE Bankwatch Network, said: ‘After decades of underinvestment and neglect, biodiversity and nature conservation must be the priority in building back better. Yet Member States are completely overlooking the potential of EU recovery funds. Many draft plans do not include a single measure to address the failing health of nature,  despite the golden opportunity to finally start investing in improvements.’

Gabriel Schwaderer, Executive Director of EuroNatur, said: ‘The National Recovery and Resilience Plans are expected to deliver on environmental objectives, yet we wonder how the EC has assessed them and what role the EU Taxonomy plays and will play in the future. We need a reliable tool with transparent criteria - especially to avoid greenwashing.’


Here you can see a table about harmful proposals from national recovery and resilience plans.


For more information contact:

Christian Stielow
EuroNatur
Public Relation
christian.stielow(at)euronatur.org

Daniel Thomson
EU policy officer for biodiversity
CEE Bankwatch Network
daniel.thomson(at)bankwatch.org

How you can help

Donation

Future needs nature. EuroNatur cares for it. Please use your possibilities to help. With your donation you will make an effective contribution to a more livable environment.

Newsletter

Twice a month the latest information about Europe's nature - free of charge and at first hand.

News

Mark of support for biodiversity: EuroNatur Award presented to World Biodiversity Council researchers

++ Researchers working for the World Biodiversity Council IPBES have received the 2021 EuroNatur Award ++ Science is drawing attention to dramatic...

Saving biodiversity: Researchers of IPBES receive EuroNatur Award

++ Researchers of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) are being awarded the EuroNatur Prize...

Two studies for the restoration of the Sava River and its floodplain published

Two brand-new studies for the revitalization of the Sava River and its floodplain have been published presented to key stakeholders from 19 to 22...

Renewed violence against environmental activists in Romania

A forest conservationist and two journalists have been brutally beaten up by suspected illegal loggers in the Carpathians. This is not the first case...

Mura-Drava-Danube Designated a Biosphere Reserve

Now it is official: along the three rivers Danube, Drava and Mura there is now Europe‘s largest river reserve. Spanning a length of 700 kilometres, it...

Ulcinj Salina: 2 Years RAMSAR Site

Two years ago, on 10 September 2019, the Ulcinj Salina in the South of Montenegro was declared as a RAMSAR site, a Wetland of International...

Bat roost safeguarded for the future

++ Building work on the “Old Brewery” in Frankfurt (Oder) completed ++ Hibernation roost for more than 1,200 bats ++ International conference...

Kostas the monk seal has been killed

The Mediterranean monk seal Kostas was found in the Mediterranean after a severe storm and nursed back to health in a rescue centre. After being set...

First cinereous vulture chick ringed in Bulgaria

After more than fifty years a cinereous vulture chick was born in the Balkan Mountains this spring. At the end of July, our Bulgarian partners...

Ulcinj Salina remains state property

For years, the issue of the ownership of the Ulcinj Salina remained unresolved. Today, the Privatisation Council in Montenegro unanimously decided to...

Shar Mountain finally declared a National Park!

EuroNatur and its partner organisations MES and Friends of Shara greet the passing of the Law on the Proclamation of Shar Mountain as National Park....

Two years since Ulcinj Salina was declared a Nature Park

Happy anniversary to Ulcinj Salina! Ulcinj Salina is home to more than 250 species of birds and is a perfect place for feeding, resting and nesting....

Danger for Greek wetland

++ International environmental Alliance issues Red Alert ++ Experts urge Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis to prevent destruction of Erimitis wetlands...

Stop species extinction! EuroNatur Award for World Biodiversity Council Researchers

++ EuroNatur Award 2021 goes to scientists from IPBES (Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services) ++ Body...

Goldman Environmental Prize for the “Brave Women of Kruščica”

++ River defenders from Bosnia and Herzegovina win the Goldman Environmental Prize ++ For the second time in the past three years an activist has has...