The EU Green Week 2015
The largest environmental policy conference of Europe focuses on nature and biodiversity in 2015. Green Infrastructure is clearly going to be in the focus during the coming years of implementing the EU 2020 biodiversity strategy. Unfortunately only one speaker mentioned Wilderness in his speech, so there is a lot for our society to work on
The cooperation with the European Green Belt and with Alparc on our Pan-European Green Corridor network is a great opportunity in the future.
A lot of speakers recognized that we need a NEW DEAL for nature conservation, which brings biodiversity closer to people with special attention on youth and urban citizens.
Finally there were some critical voices in relation to the performance and environment commitment of the Juncker cabinet. Europe played a leading role in various international biodiversity initiative, which some speakers felt as being threatened. The ongoing Natura 2000 fitness check is certainly a worrying sign of the European Union changing priorities and jeopardizing nature conservation achievements.
On day 2 there were 4 workshops sessions followed by the celebration of the LIFE Award and Youth Forum during the 2nd day of the European Green Week.
It was clear that there is a tension between the nature conservation NGOs and farmers in relation to the ongoing Natura 2000 fitness check and about the thinking of the future of the 2 nature directives. Most participants agreed that the current fitness check is not coming at a good time. The implementation of the nature directives have just became standardised and any change now would result in uncertainties.
Mike Clarke, CEO of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds highlighted in his speech that there were conflict resolution measures within the existing nature directives and the fitness check poses threat to businesses try creating uncertainty.
Another session looked into the linkage between human health and healthy environment. Patrick ten Brinck from IEEP confirmed that the larger and wilder the protected area is the bigget health benefit it provides.
The presentations of Green Week 2015 will soon be available here.