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Protect species and habitats - Target 1

The EU has laws to ensure that species native to the EU and the habitats they depend on are protected. The Birds and Habitats Directives are crucial to prevent further loss and fully restore the amazing European biodiversity. However, there's still some road to travel before we can truly claim that the two directives are fully put into practice in all the Member States. Full compliance, efficient management and better enforcement of the EU nature law remain therefore one of our first priorities. The strategy identified a number of concrete actions to ensure we reach target 1 rapidly. The strategy mid-term review provides a detailed assessment of progress towards target 1.

What the strategy says

To prevent further loss and restore biodiversity in the EU, the Birds and Habitats Directives must be fully implemented in all Member States. This means reaching a favourable conservation status of all habitats and species of European importance and adequate populations of naturally occurring wild bird species. By 2020, the assessments of species and habitats protected by the EU nature law must show better conservation or a secure status for 100 % more habitats and 50 % more species. (Read the Strategy)

In practice

We've identified 4 specific actions to help us conserve and restore nature:

  • Action 1: Complete the Natura 2000 network and ensure its good management
  • Action 2: Make sure Natura 2000 sites get sufficient funding
  • Action 3: Raise awareness of Natura 2000, get citizens involved and improve the enforcement of the nature directives
  • Action 4: Make the monitoring and reporting of the EU nature law more consistent, relevant and up-to-date; provide a suitable ICT tool for Biodiversity

Some of the progress so far…

  • The Natura 2000 network now stretches over 18 % of the EU’s land area and almost 6 % of its marine territory. It is the largest network of protected areas in the world, and a testament to the importance that EU citizens attach to biodiversity.
  • The Natura 2000 biogeographical process was launched in 2011 to help Member States and stakeholders manage Natura 2000 as a coherent network and make it easier to conserve species and habitat types under similar natural conditions across borders.
  • The Biodiversity Information System for Europe (BISE) was created to act as a single entry point for data and information on biodiversity and strengthen the knowledge base supporting the implementation of the EU strategy and the Aichi targets in Europe.

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