At long last a clear statement: EuroNatur welcomes the biodiversity strategy for the EU

The Paradise forests of the Romanian Carpathians are a hotspot of species diversity in Europe. However large-scale clear felling is destroying large parts of the forest wilderness.

© Matthias Schickhofer

Radolfzell, Brussels. “The EU has recognised that its biodiversity strategy will require considerable financial input in order to achieve the goals set out in the paper. A significant milestone has thus been reached. Now it is vital that EU member states, especially Germany, support the strategy of the EU Commission and promote its implementation”, said Gabriel Schwaderer, Executive director of EuroNatur commenting on the new biodiversity strategy of the EU. “We at EuroNatur warmly welcome the goals set out here. They form a solid basis for the implementation of measures that will lead to a significant improvement of the state of nature in the EU. It is essential that the current negotiations on the EU Common Agricultural Policy and on the European and national economic stimulus packages reflect and take account of the new strategy.”

The biodiversity strategy, twice postponed because of the Corona Virus, was presented today by the EU Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius. The strategy for the preservation of Europe’s species diversity prioritises habitat protection. The EU states are called upon to extend their protected areas to 30% of the land surface area. A third of this must be then placed under strict protection in the future. 20 billion Euros is to be made available by the EU for targeted habitat protection measures. The expansion of protected areas in the EU is intended to promote the development of robust biodiversity networks. The European Green Belt already provides the model for such an ecological network. EuroNatur is the regional coordinator of its southernmost section, the Balkan Green Belt.

The EU Commission emphasises in its communiqué moreover that it is of the highest priority to place all primeval and natural forests under strict protection, thus excluding any further exploitation of these areas. EuroNatur has been pressing for a long time for this step, most recently when it lodged a complaint with the European Commission against the Romanian government. Romania has the largest areas of primeval and natural forest within the European Union.

 

Background information:

  • In Romania there are more than 525,000 hectares of potential primeval and natural forests, more than in any other EU state outside of Scandinavia. EuroNatur and Agent Green have launched a joint campaign “SaveParadiseForests” for the protection of the Romanian primeval forests: https://www.saveparadiseforests.eu/de/home/
  • The European Green Belt, a corridor of habitats of exceptional species diversity, stretches along the route of the former Iron Curtain from the Barents Sea in the north to the Black Sea and Adriatic Sea in the south. Find out more here about this conservation initiative:
  • www.euronatur.org/unsere-themen/kampagnen-und-initiativen/gruenes-band-europa/

Contact:  Christian Stielow, christian.stielow(at)euronatur.org, Tel.: +49 (0)7732 - 92 72 15

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