EU governments, MEPs, NGOs and over 520,000 citizens urge the European Commission not to revise nature laws
Brussels, Belgium: Following the letter of the governments of Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, Romania, Croatia, Luxembourg and Slovenia, now MEPs representing the seven largest political groups also wrote to EU Environment Commissioner Vella and First Vice-President Timmermans asking to keep the Birds and Habitats Directives in their current form and instead focus on better implementation.
Commenting on this, Geneviève Pons-Deladrière, Director of WWF European Policy Office said:
“This is a historic moment which clearly shows that Member States and the European Parliament believe Europe’s nature legislation is vital to protect, and that the European Commission does not have the support for a revision which would lead to an unnecessary legal battle that will serve nobody.
We expect more EU governments to join this call and put a stop to any attempt to change a legal instrument that has proven to work when properly implemented and financed.
We urge the European Commission to use this momentum and deliver on their commitment to halt the loss of nature. They should maintain the current laws and ensure their effective implementation, as well as tackle the main problems, such as unsustainable agriculture and changes to natural waterbodies, which are causing the damage.
The causes of biodiversity loss in Europe have been identified, now it´s time for politicians to act."
In May 2015, WWF, BirdLife Europe, the European Environmental Bureau and Friends of the Earth Europe launched the “Nature Alert” campaign in response to the European Commission’s evaluation which assesses whether the existing EU nature laws should be changed. The campaign makes the case for improved implementation and enforcement of existing rules set out by the laws - known as the Birds and Habitats Directives.
The European public already spoke in summer when over 520,000 people called on the European Commission in a public consultation to save Europe’s nature laws– by far the highest number of responses ever reached in the history of the EU.
The MEPs who signed the letter to the European Commission are the rapporteur Mark Demesmaeker (BE/ECR) and shadow rapporteurs Norbert Lins (DE/EPP), Karin Kadenbach (AT/S&D), Catherine Bearder (UK/ALDE), Margrete Auken (DK/ Greens/EFA), Marco Affronte (IT/EFDD) and Lynn Boylan (IE/GUE-NGL) on the European Parliament’s Own-Initiative Report on the Mid-Term Review of the Biodiversity Strategy towards 2020.
What WWF is asking of decision-makers:
- Ensuring that EU nature legislation is fully and effectively implemented and enforced;
- Improving coherence between biodiversity and relevant sectoral policies (e.g. agriculture, transport, energy);
- Investing in nature via more biodiversity friendly financial and fiscal policies;
- Ensuring effective transparency and public participation to allow people and nature to work together.
For media requests:
Alba Málaga Homs
Communications & New Media Officer
WWF European Policy Office
+32 2 743 88 13
Public Affairs Officer
WWF European Policy Office
+32 2 743 88 08
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