Keep Nature Alive | WWF
©: Peter Trimming

In Europe, vital laws called the EU Birds and Habitats Directives protect our most precious beauties of nature. They form the backbone of nature conservation in Europe and have led to the establishment of the Natura 2000 network of protected areas, covering 18% of Europe’s land and 6% of its seas. Sadly, right now the European Commission is considering undermining these laws, undoing years of progress.

WWF is calling on EU national ministers and the EU Commission to maintain the laws and ensure Europe’s beautiful nature is effectively protected against the negative impacts of unsustainable agriculture, energy and transport infrastructures. The final decision on the future of Europe’s wildlife is expected by the end of 2016.

Follow our campaign and learn more about Europe’s beauties of nature as the wolf, the lynx, the bear and the loggerhead turtle.

Subscribe here to receive our updates and follow #NatureAlert.

See also our joint NGO campaign Nature Alert.


Brussels, 20 November 2015. © Friends of the Earth

 

What we achieved so far?
In July 2015 over 520,000 people spoke up to save the nature laws in the European Commission's public consultation. This was the biggest number ever reached in the history of the EU. Following this, a group of progressive EU governments and the EU Parliament joined our call. Your voice was heard!

Whales, bears, eagles, butterflies… We have some amazing wildlife in Europe. However, 60% of animals and plans and 70% of their homes are at risk.

And the trend is expected to continue: increasing demands for space, water, energy and food are threatening unique species and irreplaceable natural ecosystems, like forests, lakes, rivers and seas. The underlying threats, like infrastructure development, intensive agriculture, and urbanization – are not being properly tackled.

The laws at the heart of Europe’s nature conservation – the Birds and Habitats Directives – are vital if we want to stop the loss of nature and build a sustainable future for us and our children.
 
Thanks to these laws, endangered species like the Iberian Lynx, the wolf and the brown bear are reappearing in our landscapes again.

But now this progress is under threat because politicians could weaken the laws that protect these places and species. We need to tell them to maintain these strong laws in order to keep nature.

Nature doesn’t have any boundaries – protected wildlife habitats or migrating birds are often found across national borders. This is why having common European nature protection makes sense. Europe has the largest network of protected areas in the world – Natura 2000 – a patch work of unique wildlife and habitats that covers 18% of Europe’s land and 4% of its marine area.
Natura 2000 is the place where people and nature can live and prosper together. This is a forward-thinking way of doing nature conservation, and if properly managed it allows man to live in harmony with nature.

Find your closest Natura2000 site! 

Nature is good for us. It is the foundation for life and provides numerous benefits to us and our economy:
 
• Nature contributes to our health and well-being
• Nature is the ideal space for recreation where we can feel truly alive
• It provides us free clean water and air, and fertile soils for our food
• We can do millions of jobs related to nature

© WWF
 

The awe-inspiring view from the top of a mountain. A walk in silent woods. An unexpected encounter with a wild animal.

These are the moments that make us feel truly alive. Moments when we realize how lucky we are to live in a country that has places where people and nature can still thrive together.  Today more and more of us are able to experience moments like these – because nature is living and starting to thrive again, in pockets of protected land across Europe. But now this progress is under threat because the laws that protect these places could be weakened.  
 
Explore European nature and find the natural area closest to you on the map!

 


 

The exceptional encounter of the highly threatened wolf and a family of lynx in Europe’s wild forests. Let's keep Europe's Beauties of Nature protected!

Latest News and Publications on EU Nature Read more on Biodiversity

136 110
Town named after bear

People and the bear

Few animals have captured our imagination like brown bears. Where does this fascination come from?

10 Jul 2016 Read more »
136 110
Evaluation Study concludes that EU Nature Directives are fit for purpose

EU Nature Directives are ‘Fit for Purpose’, concludes European Commission expert study

The final evaluation concludes the Nature Directives are fit for purpose and clearly demonstrate EU added value.

05 Jul 2016 Read more »
136 110
Bialowieza, a UNESCO World Heritage and Natura 2000 site

European Commission launches infringement case against Polish government for logging in Białowieża Forest

Today, the European Commission announced the start of an infringement procedure against Poland relating to plans that would see an increase in ...

16 Jun 2016 Read more »
136 110
The third bison reintroduction by WWF-Romania and Rewilding Europe brought ten more bison back to the Tarcu Mountains in the Carpathians

Third bison release – one step closer towards a viable population in Romania

Ten more European bison arrived in the Tarcu Mountains

13 Jun 2016 Read more »
© WWF