Europe's biodiversity under pressure
'Changing our behaviour - biodiversity loss' is the theme of Green Week 2006, and the event runs from 30 May to 2 June. The EEA exhibition team and experts will be on hand ready to answer questions on biodiversity, alongside some seventy other exhibitors. This year, the EEA exhibition stand will take on a more interactive dimension, offering a quiz and awareness-raising activities. An online version of the quiz is available on this web page.
At the conference, EEA Executive Director, Jacqueline McGlade will speak on the biodiversity challenge from a global perspective during conference session 3 on 30 May and session 9 on 31 May. In addition Professor McGlade will take part in a conference on 31 May arranged by Friends of Europe discussing effective monitoring, assessments and research.
The EEA also takes the opportunity to launch its latest report on biodiversity loss, 'Progress towards halting the loss of biodiversity by 2010.' on 30 May during Green Week.
Forests are recovering, but Europe's biodiversity is still under pressure
The condition of forests is improving and some freshwater species are returning, but Europe still has a long way to go in safeguarding its plant and animal species, according to the EEA report 'Progress towards halting the loss of biodiversity by 2010.' released today.
The report covers Europe's main ecosystems: farmland, forests, wetlands, mountains, marine and freshwater. It looks at policies affecting biodiversity and reviews progress towards the 2010 target of halting the loss of biodiversity in the EU.
Considerable progress is being made for forest ecosystems, and, to a lesser extent, freshwater and wetlands. Water quality in many of Europe's rivers is improving. As a result, some species, such as the common otter and the salmon, are returning to their former habitats in England, Scotland, Denmark and Latvia, the report says.
However, farmland habitats, mountain regions and marine ecosystems are not doing as well. Farmland biodiversity has declined seriously in the past decades, and there are few signs of recovery. Bird numbers, for example, have plummeted by a third since 1980. The farmland bird population is a key figure, as birds feed on insects and plants, and are thus considered a good barometer for the general state of biodiversity within farmland eco-systems. The continuing expansion of intensively-farmed areas at the expense of natural and semi-natural habitats is particularly worrying.
The report shows that building the Natura 2000 network has boosted the designation of protected areas in the EU. However, land use changes, eutrophication and acidification, climate change and biotechnology continue to be of general concern with regard to Europe's biodiversity.
Read the new report "Progress towards halting the loss of biodiversity by 2010."
Read about the SEBI2010 process "Streamlining European 2010 Biodiversity indicators"
EEA presence at Green Week 2006
Online biodiversity information resources from the European Environment Agency
The biodiversity section on EEA website:
Nature protection is becoming better integrated into urban planning, agriculture, and other policies, but biodiversity across the EU is still under threat from a wide range of sources.
European topic Centre on biological diversity:
The ETC/BD is a consortium contracted by the EEA to execute biodiversity tasks identified in the multiannual work programme. ETCs are designated by the management board after a competitive expertise/capacity selection process.
European nature information system - EUNIS:
A consolidated database covering species, habitats and sites of European concern. Includes information about nationally, community and internationally designated sites. An essential common language for implementing biodiversity policy.
The EEA core set of indicators:
The aim of the EEA Core Set of Indicators is to provide a manageable and stable basis for indicator reporting.
EEA Briefing 'Halting the loss of biodiversity':
This briefing focuses on the urgent need for information based on monitoring and indicators to support the achievement of a significant reduction in the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010 and the EU's more ambitious goal of halting the loss of biodiversity by 2010.
Online biodiversity information resources supported by the European Environment Agency
The European community's biodiversity clearing house mechanism:
Supporting the convention on biological diversity. A portal with up-to-date news, upcoming events and policy developments at UN and EU level, as well as a comprehensive introduction to the 'why', 'what' and 'who' of biodiversity policy.
Online biodiversity information resources from the European Commission
Communication on Halting the Loss of Biodiversity
On the occasion of International Biodiversity Day, 22 May, the Commission adopted a Communication on Halting the Loss of Biodiversity by 2010 - and Beyond; Sustaining Ecosystem Services for Human Well-Being. The Communication and related documents can be accessed through the Commission's Nature and Biodiversity home page on the EU's Europa server.
Green Week 2006 will focus the spotlight on four main components of our endeavour to halt biodiversity loss: biodiversity as a global issue, the management of natural resources, space for nature, and biodiversity and society.
Other related EEA outputs
The European environment - State and Outlook 2005:
Parts A and B of this report contain an up-to-date integrated assessment of Europe's biodiversity resource.
Prelude - PRospective Envrionmental analysis of Land Use Development in Europe, explores what European landscapes may look like 30 years from now and beyond.