Missed opportunities for biodiversity conservation

In the context of the EU’s recovery programmes, EuroNatur and Bankwatch, together with national partners, have published a report on the biodiversity efforts of ten governments from Central and Eastern Europe. The aim of the report is to provide an outline of biodiversity in the countries studied and to highlight the urgent need for biodiversity conservation measures.

In Romania, forest road construction is being sold under the heading of biodiversity protection.

© Agent Green

There are still beautiful and ecologically valuable landscapes in Central Eastern Europe, like here in Hungary.

© Antal Molnár

A year ago, the European Union decided to invest around EUR 670 billion in the reconstruction of the European economy following the Covid crisis. The regulation for the Recovery Plan for Europe set the ambitious goal of using this huge sum to lead the European Union into an ecological and digital future. However, the plans of the countries that we and our partners examined are sobering, sometimes frightening.

For example, there are virtually no budget allocations for spending on biodiversity conservation. Yet the biodiversity of many central and east European countries is already in a critical state due to non-sustainable forestry practices or intensive agriculture. States have also failed to establish biodiversity strategies. This is a missed opportunity to stop the dramatic loss of biodiversity in this part of our continent too.

Nature is being further damaged because all the plans retain environmentally harmful measures, often under the guise of climate protection. Slovenia, for example, wants to build the controversial Mokrice hydropower plant on the Sava River with the help of EU development funds. Furthermore, in most countries there has been a lack of transparency in the drafting process; comments and constructive project proposals from nature conservation organisations have been ignored.

Here is the report

Overview of selected countries:

Slovenia / Croatia / Romania / Czech Republic

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