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Jan 24, 2012

EU Debates How to Protect Biodiversity & Habitats

Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy
Vice Chairman, EU
Environment Committee
photo, EU Parliament

On 24 January 2012, EurActiv.com reported that on the European Parliament's debate over how to strengthen protection of biodiversity and habitats.  A draft resolution under discussion highlights that current efforts have "largely failed and urges the EU executive to pursue more forceful policies."  It calls for " restoring 30% of damaged ecosystems by 2020 - doubling recent recommendations made by the European Commission. It also urges strengthening conservation provisions in the EU’s agricultural policy and to create an EU coast guard to improve enforcement of marine laws."
According to Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy, vice chairman of the EU environment committee (Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, Netherlands), "European leaders have focused on the eurozone troubles while more threatening challenges loom ahead. ... I am working on a silent crisis, that’s the extinction of species and habitats. ... It’s a crisis behind the scenes that to be honest is probably more threatening that the euro crisis that we are facing.”

Julie Girling
photo, EU Parliament

EU MEP Julie Girling (European Conservatives and Reformists, UK) was concerned about "using the Common Agricultural Policy's direct payments to farmers to encourage greener cultivation, saying that should be left in the so-called second pillar funding that supports rural development and conservation. ... Protecting habitats will not be done by creating more central authority and rules, it has to be done by national governments and people wanting to do it.”

Note: At its current rate, the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy accounts for 40% of the EU budget.

For more see: "Biodiversity in Danger Without Swift Action, MEPs Say," EurActiv.com, 24 January 2012.

About Margaret

CEO and Curator (The Food Museum) | Managing Director and Chief Editor (GR2 Global LLC) | Educator (UCLA PhD) | Researching and writing on global food issues, nutrition and health, sustainability, history (preservation), conservation (natural resources), and design.
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