Over half a million EU citizens calling on the European Commission not to unprotect the nature

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520,000 people across Europe have asked the European Commission to respect the guidelines that protect nature in Europe. This has been far greater public response to a public consultation launched from the agency in the history of the European Union. In addition, high public participation has led the Commission to extend the consultation two days: the closure was planned for Friday July 24 at midnight was extended until yesterday, Sunday 26.

In May, the main organizations for nature conservation (BirdLife, European Environmental Bureau (EEB), Friends of the Earth Europe (FoEE) and WWF) jointly launched the campaign “Nature Alert ‘,” Revive your Nature “in Spain, in several Community languages ​​in response to the suggestion of the European Commission to assess whether the current laws of nature conservation should be changed. The campaign, which has just concluded, calling for better implementation and enforcement of existing rules established: laws known as the Birds and Habitats.

Along with more than half a million citizens, several hundred non-governmental organizations concerned with the environment have sent a clear message to European policy makers: “laws that protect nature in the European Union should not be changed.”

These laws protect more than a thousand species and over 27,000 natural areas in Europe and served for the recovery of the continent emblematic species like the wolf Iberian lynx or the imperial eagle, among others. As a result, the EU now houses the world’s largest network of protected areas worldwide, the Natura 2000 network, which covers almost a fifth of the European mainland and 30% of Spanish territory.

Furthermore, scientific evidence shows that these laws effectively protect endangered species and habitats, and contribute to the socioeconomic development of local and regional communities.

In parallel to the public consultation, the Commission has consulted a range of stakeholders, including national authorities, land users, business associations and environmental NGOs. The vast majority of them support the directives and points out the need to improve their implementation and enforcement, as well as funding for conservation.

Some of the sectors that have shown strong support policies are the cement industry, network operators of electricity, andthe organic farming tourism.

The full results of the consultation will probably be published in autumn 2015 and a final decision on the future of the laws to June 2016 is expected.


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