Environment

Nature and biodiversity

Nature and biodiversity

Biodiversity is the wide variety of animals, plants, their habitats and their genes, and it is vital to countless human activities. Much of Europe's biodiversity is protected by Natura 2000, a vast network of protected natural areas.

 

Latest articles
07/02/2017

CITES is a global agreement designed to stop the illegal trafficking of wild plants and animals. At the last meeting of the Conference of the Parties in Johannesburg, for the first time the European Union took part as full member with full voting rights....

05/10/2016

Six outstanding environmental projects from across Europe collected the EU’s prestigious Natura 2000 Awards this year.

04/08/2016

Invasive alien species are a serious and growing problem across the European Union. They are a major cause of biodiversity loss, inflicting economic and social damage that costs the European economy over EUR 12 billion per year.

10/03/2016

After making his name as an international film star in the 1960s, Frenchman Jacques Perrin has dedicated much of his professional life over almost three decades to producing a series of remarkable wildlife documentaries.

03/03/2016

Wildlife trafficking has become one of the most profitable activities for global organised crime networks. It decimates biodiversity, fuels corruption and threatens economic development in some of the world’s poorest regions. The EU has published a five-year Action Plan to address the problem.

29/01/2016

A mid-term review of the EU's Biodiversity Strategy released in October underlines the need for increased efforts to halt biodiversity loss by 2020.

13/10/2015

By joining CITES, a global agreement designed to halt the illegal trafficking of wild plants and animals, the EU is doing its bit to protect more than 35 000 endangered and iconic species.

22/05/2015

The latest State of Nature in the EU report reveals the conservation status of plants, animals and habitats across the European Union. It looks at the impact of the EU Birds and Habitats Directives, and whether the EU is on track to meet its target to halt the loss of biodiversity and the...

18/05/2015

A recent conference considered the achievements of the EU’s strategy on green infrastructure, such as restored wetlands acting as both flood defences and biodiversity reserves. But there is a need for more investment to make the most of the economic and environmental benefits of such projects.

25/03/2015

Domesticated bees are a familiar sight, and the threats facing honey bees are often in the news. But wild bees too are increasingly at risk. A new study of the status of all 1965 bee species in Europe hints that falling populations may be more widespread than we imagine.

23/12/2014

To protect the world’s natural resources, countries need to work together. Representatives from all over the world used the recent 12th Conference of the Parties ('COP 12') meeting to assess progress.

13/11/2014

When animals, plants or micro-organisms are introduced into a natural environment where they are not normally found, they can disturb native fauna and flora, causing damage costing millions of euros. A new EU Regulation to combat the problem of ‘invasive alien species’ comes into force in January...

08/08/2014

In many parts of Europe, people share their land and lives with bears, wolves and lynx. On 10 June 2014, the European Commission hosted the launch of the ‘EU Platform on Coexistence between People and Large Carnivores’.

23/05/2014

The five winners of the European Commission’s first-ever Natura 2000 Award celebrated their success at a prize-giving ceremony in Brussels on 21 May.

21/05/2014

The Nagoya Protocol is an international agreement on access to genetic resources – such as potential new drugs that may lie hidden in plant DNA – and the fair and equitable sharing of their benefits. The European Council has adopted legislation to implement this agreement and given formal approval...

29/04/2014

Europeans are strong believers in nature conservation. However, many are unaware of the things the EU is doing to protect our environment and biodiversity. The Commission has launched a new Natura 2000 Award to recognise excellence in nature conservation in the EU – and to increase public awareness...

01/03/2014

Whether as trade in rhino horn, tiger skins and ivory, or illegal fishing and poaching, wildlife trafficking is on the increase. The new scale of the problem and its links to organised crime and political corruption mean that new measures are needed to address it. The European Commission has launched...

01/06/2013

Invasive alien species (IAS) are one of the most important causes of biodiversity loss, damage to ecosystem services and threats to fragile ecosystems, such as islands. They can also harm human health and the economy. To prevent and tackle the destruction they wreak, the Commission has proposed...

01/06/2013

European legislation that came into force six years ago has made the use of chemicals in the European Union considerably safer, according to a new Commission report. While noting that improvements can still be made in the implementation of the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction...

01/03/2013

In October 2010, the global community adopted the ‘Nagoya Protocol on access to genetic resources and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from their utilization’. This new treaty, which is a Protocol to the Convention on Biological Diversity, sets out clear rights and obligations of...

01/03/2013

Just over two years ago in Nagoya, Japan, the international community adopted an ambitious programme to protect biological diversity. Now, the emphasis is on turning the commitments into reality. Good progress towards achieving this was made in Hyderabad, India, in mid-October 2012.

01/03/2012

Natura 2000 is the cornerstone of EU biodiversity policy. As establishment of the Natura 2000 network nears completion, the priority now is to make it fully operational by effectively managing and restoring the areas concerned. While the primary responsibility lies with Member States, the Commission...

01/03/2012

The European Red List is a periodic assessment of the conservation status of some 6 000 species, determining whether they are threatened with extinction in Europe, so that conservation measures can be taken to reverse the trend. Primarily funded by the European Commission, it is part of a wider...

01/05/2011

Just months after the world agreed an ambitious global agenda in Nagoya to stem biodiversity loss, the European Union is finalising its own detailed strategy for the coming decade. This builds on the progress made and lessons learnt from the previous EU biodiversity action plan. It is one of the...