Press releases

  1. 18 Feb 2011

    Biodiversity loss is a growing concern. Protected areas are a instrument to counteract this trend. The UN's Convention on Biological Diversity conference of the parties in Nagoya (October 2010) set stringent new targets to be reached by 2020. At least 17% of terrestrial and inland water and 10% of coastal and marine areas have to be protected. But are protected areas really protected? Are they in the right place? Where should new protected areas be located? The European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC), in collaboration with other partners, is helping decisionmakers to find their way through the vast amount of information needed to answer these and other questions by setting up a Digital Observatory for Protected Areas (DOPA).

  2. 5 Mar 2012

    With its 1.7 billion square kilometres, an area equivalent to 5 times the size of Germany, the Congo Basin forest is the world's second largest tropical forest. The 'State of the Congo Basin Forests 2010' report launched in Douala, Cameroon, at the Annual meeting of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP), provides a comprehensive and detailed assessment of the status of this crucial pool for climate regulation and natural resources. It looks at deforestation patterns, points to trends in sustainable forest management and highlights threats to biodiversity.

  3. 15 Feb 2009

    The European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) will host a symposium on soil biodiversity at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Chicago on 15 February 2009. The session will present an overview of current understanding in the field and attempt to explain the various pressures 'life in our soils' is currently under, with an analysis of recent developments that have enhanced our understanding of this crucial, yet unknown ecosystem. The challenges faced by the research community in its support for the sustainable use of this critical, non-renewable natural resource will also be addressed.

  4. 23 Sep 2010

    The European Commission's own research body, the Joint Research Centre, publishes today, for the first time, an indicator-based map of potential threats to soil biodiversity, in order to guide decision-makers in protecting this crucial resource. The biodiversity within our soils plays a vital role in agriculture and in the water and carbon cycle. The atlas highlights areas within Europe where soil biodiversity is most at risk of decline relative to the current situation – notably parts of the UK, the Benelux countries and Northern France, although there are areas of high risk also in several other Member States. It provides a comprehensive source of information for researchers, policy makers and teachers. It will be launched at the conference 'Soil, Climate Change and Biodiversity – Where do we stand?' (Brussels, 23 & 24 September 2010).

  5. 27 Mar 2008

    Africa is home to some of the most valuable natural ecosystems and species on the planet. Worldwide, more than 16 000 plant and animal species are threatened with extinction. The monitoring of Africa's 741 protected areas (representing over two million square kilometres, i.e. nearly half the total area of the EU) plays a vital role in biodiversity protection, conservation and the sustainable management of natural resources.