NATURE ALERT: nature protection organisations call on the EC to keep the nature conservation legislation unchanged


Since mid-May, more than 90 European nature non-governmental organisations call on European citizens to express their views to the European Commission on the need to protect natural values. Such activity is caused by European Commission's initiative to review the nature protection legislation and nature organisations consider this initiative a threat to biodiversity conservation in Europe. ACT NOW!

The internet campaign called "Nature alert" will enable citizens from the 28 EU countries to participate in European Commission public consultation and express support for request to save the laws that ensure conservation of natural values. The campaign is organised and coordinated by international nature protection non-governmental organisations BirdLife Europe, the European Environmental Bureau, Friends of the Earth Europe, and WWF.

The Birds and Habitats Directives are laws that provide foundation of nature protection across Europe and are recognised as one of the strongest in the world to protect animals, plants and habitats from extinction. Thanks to the Directives, Europe now is a proud home to the world's largest network of protected areas, Natura 2000, covering about one fifth of the Europe's land and 4% of its marine sites.

European Commission has decided to do an in-depth evaluation of both Directives to determine their effectiveness in protecting our natural values. As evidenced by rhetoric about "business-friendly" legislation and similar statements by European Commission President Juncker, this process is directed in a direction unfavourable to nature conservation.

Nature protection organisation press release, distributed to media in all 28 EU countries on May 12, states: "We have tons of scientific evidence showing that these laws work, when implemented. And numerous examples that these laws are no obstacles to any good economic development. So, my question to President Juncker and VP Timmermans is simple: with all there is to do in Europe, why undo nature laws?"

It also emphasizes that European nature legislation is considered a world standard, so we are not prepared to stand by and let it be wasted. "Instead of threatening to unpick these laws, the European Commission and member states should put more effort into implementing them, and make sure they deliver the enormous benefits they can bring to nature as well as to us and our economy", the press release states.

Right now the European Commission is running the so called public consultation to understand the views of EU citizens on the current nature protection laws. The non-governmental organisations have filled in the answers to key questions asked by the Commission and call on everyone who cares about our nature's future to express this view on website.  More than 100'000 Europeans have shown their support for nature protection in the first few days of the campaign.

Information prepared within the project "Non-governmental sector participation in the international conference" EU Biodiversity strategy implementation "" financed by Latvian national budget-funded program "Support for public participation in the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union implementation" and administered by the Society Integration Foundation.