The European Environmental Agency (EEA) published today the State of Nature in EU report. The report is based on reports from Member States under the Birds and the Habitats directives and on subsequent assessments at EU or EU biogeographical levels.

According to the EEA the document provides comprehensive facts and figures on the status and trends of the species and habitats covered by the two EU nature directives, fully underpinned by the numerous reports submitted by Member States in 2013.

In relation to the targets of the European Wilderness Society, we would like to quote two paragraphs from the report:

“Rivers and lakes ecosystem non‑bird species are unambiguously reported to be most threatened/under pressure by the ‘modification of natural conditions’ This gives the validation to our work on Wild Rivers

“Habitats and species from the Habitats Directive related to the woodland and forest ecosystems have a similar conservation status to habitats and species in general. From the unfavourable assessments, only 3% of habitats and 6% of species have improved, while 28% of habitats and 17% of species have deteriorated.”

Although Natura 2000 is seen as a positive tool to fight against biodiversity loss in Europe, we can conclude that we still have a long way to go to secure a fully functioning Natura 2000 network. “We hope that member states will recognise that non-intervention management and wilderness stewardship are compatible with the current nature directives. We hope that by the time of next similar report, there will be more areas preserved according to wilderness principles.” says Zoltan Kun, Chairman of the European Wilderness Society.

The report is available here

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Vlado Vancura is the Deputy Chairman and Director of wilderness of the European Wilderness Society and is based in Liptovsky Hradok, Slovakia.

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