Countries' perspectives on SOER 2015 - Biodiversity cross-country comparison

Page Last modified 14 Jan 2016, 03:34 PM
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Landscape protected areas in Germany generally assigned IUCN category V reveal a wide range of character protection aims and management approaches as designated by the federal states. Consequently, Germany's category V contains areas that differ highly in character and management.


Significant progress has been made in the designation of protected areas. However, many aspects of biodiversity in Ireland remain under considerable threat from unsustainable activities.

  1. Link to national indicator 1
  2. Link to national indicator 2
  3. Link to national indicator 3
  4. Other important link (e.g. national SOE website/report)


During 2012, the second National Park of Kosovo, "Bjeshket e Nemura" was declared (62,488,00 hectares) and the territory of National Park "Sharri" was expanded, thus increasing the total surface of protected areas from 4.4% to 10.9% of Kosovo territory. Besides these two National Parks, Kosovo has 97 other nature protected areas of various categories.


Regarding Figure 1 (Nationally designated protected areas by IUCN): The designated areas for Norway includes the area of Svalbard and Jan Mayen.


Poland is a country with a huge natural diversity. Its biodiversity is among the richest in Europe. The decisive factor in this is the transitional climate which is influenced by oceanic and continental air masses, a favourable geographical position in the centre of the continent with no natural barriers to the east or the west, a diversified geological structure, topography, hydrographic make-up and soil types. Poland’s natural diversity has also been affected by the widely varying conditions of economic and cultural development (compared to other European countries): unevenly spread industrialisation and urbanisation, large areas characterised by traditional agriculture and extensive ancient forests (the Białowieza Forest is the best preserved area of primeval forest in Europe).

The biodiversity of Poland is quite well recognised. The most numerous group of organisms is algae (more than 10,000 species found). Fungi represent another numerous group but the number of species registered in this group is 3 times less than in algae. In Poland there are also about 3,000 species of vascular plants. There are 485 communities of plants (using the Braun-Blanquet method), around 12% of them are endemic communities. More than 35,300 animal species were registered in Poland, 98% of them are invertebrates.

Poland is characterised by a rich mosaic of habitats which are the result of traditional ways of life, particularly in agricultural areas. A considerable portion of agricultural areas have high natural value, providing shelter for threatened flora and fauna. Thanks to small scale agriculture, Poland has retained to this day local crop varieties and traditional breeds.

One practical step taken to protect biodiversity has been the creation of a network of protected areas and sites in Poland. The most valuable natural areas that were placed under protection (according to were: 23 national parks, 1479 nature reserves, 122 scenic landscape parks and 395 protected landscape areas. Other forms of protecting nature are: ecological sites (7,090 sites), documentation posts (171 sites), natural-landscape complexes (287 sites) and 36,353 natural monuments. Some 32.5% of the territory of Poland is protected in one way or another, usually on grounds of natural or scenic importance.

As part of its integration with the European Union, Poland actively joined the Natura 2000 environmental network programme, whose main aim is to create a system for the effective protection of natural habitats and species of importance at the European level. Currently the Natura 2000 network in Poland consists of 145 Special Protection Areas and 845 Special Areas of Conservation. Natura 2000 sites cover about 19.5% of total land area of Poland.

Protecting biodiversity and the landscape is important to ensure the environmental security of the country. The most important document in this area is the national strategy for the protection and sustainable utilisation of biodiversity and the Action Plans for 2007-2013 It will be amended to consider Aichi Targets for the period 2014-2020.


The UK statistics used in Figures 1 and 2 are derived from the last UK CDDA submission (2013 data). Since then the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) UK National Committee has been looking at UK protected area designation types to see which of them meet the IUCN protected area definition. Within this work there is also a process assessing the likely management category that the different protected areas should be assigned to. This is an ongoing process and the IUCN UK National Committee will continue to work with the UK statutory nature conservation bodies to determine the correct management categories. These updates will feed into future CDDA updates, when the data will be improved and reflect a more comprehensive and accurate overview. The UK protected area data are currently under review which could potentially change the classification distribution.



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Geographic coverage

Germany, Ireland, Kosovo (UNSCR 1244/99), Norway, Poland, United Kingdom
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SOER 2015
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