Monday 29 May 2023
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European nature is not in good shape and is not recovering

European nature is not in good shape and has shown little sign of improvement in recent years.

According to a report published on Thursday by the European Environment Agency (EEA), work must be done on nature restoration and better management of ecosystems. Every year the agency publishes such an annual report on 'the state of nature'. 

The EEA briefing lists the main evidence of why European ecosystems urgently need restoration, both within and beyond protected habitats, in forests, farmland, seas, and urban habitats.  

Despite commitments over decades, many EU countries have yet to achieve long-term conservation policies or reverse declining biodiversity, the environmental agency said. To change this course, it is necessary to restore damaged ecosystems.

The restoration of damaged (natural) habitat TP3Tn in rivers, lakes, wetlands, forests, grasslands, marine habitats and other ecosystems is not only in the interest of nature and landscape, according to the research, but would also yield much broader social benefits. For example, the health of habitat TP3Tn for pollinators, such as bees and beetles, is critical for long-term food security in Europe. 

The condition of forests and wetlands is vital to mitigating climate change, and healthy bieden ecosystems also better protect against extreme weather and pollution, the EEA briefing said.

According to the agency, 81% of the protected habitats, 39% of the protected birds, and 63% of other protected species are in poor condition. According to the researchers, pressure on nature in Europe is mainly caused by intensive agriculture, land use, pollution, unsustainable forestry and climate change.

Environmental Commissioner Virginius Sinkevicius took to his Twitter account on Wednesday to try to debunk nine commonly heard claims about his wildlife restoration bill. His Twitter cannonade coincided with the plenary debate in the European Parliament on 'his' nature restoration law.

Sinkevicius said it's time to debunk some myths. For example, he contradicted that his bill would lead to more protection of gedeieden. Recovery is not protection. Economic activities are not prohibited and, on the contrary, will benefit from healthier, more productive ecosystems'.

Restoring Nature does not threaten food security, it makes it future-proof, the Environment Commissioner reported. 70% of the soil, 1/3 of pollinators and 30% of the groundwater are under pressure. Despite the many myths, the benefits for European farmers are numerous: fertile soils, fewer effects of drought, water retention, pollination and so on.


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