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Air pollution from agriculture: EU exceeds international limit in 2014

Ammonia emissions in Europe have fallen since 1990, but by not as much as emissions of other air pollutants tracked under an internationally agreed United Nations convention. According to a new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA), ammonia emissions increased in 2014, meaning several EU Member States as well as the EU now exceed their respective ammonia emission limits under the convention.

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Ten EU countries continue to breach National Emission Ceilings Directive limits

Air pollution from sources such as transport and agriculture is still being emitted above legal limits in 10 European Union (EU) Member States according to new data published by the European Environment Agency (EEA) today.

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Is Europe's freshwater use sustainable?

We need freshwater for human consumption and economic activities such as food production and industry, but does Europe manage this valuable resource in a sustainable way? An indicator assessment published by the European Environment Agency (EEA) on World Water Day takes a look at the use of freshwater resources across Europe.

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Living in a changing climate

Our climate is changing. Warmer temperatures, changes in precipitation levels and patterns, or extreme weather events are already impacting Europe, and these impacts result in real losses. In a series of short articles and interviews, the European Environment Agency’s Signals 2015 presents an overview of what causes climate change and what climate change means for human health, the environment, and the economy.

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Many European countries' air pollutant emissions above legal limits

Air pollutant emissions in the EU continue to exceed legal limits, according to a report from the European Environment Agency (EEA) published today. Preliminary data for 2013 shows that ten EU Member States exceeded one or more of their emission ceilings for key pollutants.

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Not just dirt: the importance of soil

Soil is connected to almost all aspects of our lives, yet we often take it for granted. To mark the International Day of Soil on December 5, we interviewed several project managers at the European Environment Agency (EEA) about this precious resource.

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River basin management relies on effective public participation

Rivers are home of many thousands of wildlife species, vital arteries for farmland, a source of cooling for industry, flood regulation, navigation channels and source of drinking water, to name just a few important functions. Such multiple demands on water bodies mean that many different groups need to be actively involved in managing a river basin.

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Eight facts about Europe’s forest ecosystems

Europe is one of the few regions of the world where forest cover has increased over the last century. To mark International Day of Forests (21 March), the European Environment Agency (EEA) takes a look at Europe’s valuable forest ecosystems.

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New mapping method for 'green infrastructure', Europe's vital natural areas

Healthy natural areas often fulfil important yet unseen functions, from preventing floods to filtering air. A new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA) proposes a method for mapping this 'green infrastructure'.

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Water: nutrient and heavy metal pollution 'decoupling' from growth

European households are generating lower levels of nutrient pollution in water, despite a growing population. In a similar example of 'absolute decoupling', levels of some pollutants from agriculture and manufacturing have fallen in recent years, while the economic production of these sectors has grown.

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Competing demands on Europe's environment undermining human well-being

Meeting European demands for food, water, energy and housing exerts major pressures on the environment, indirectly affecting human health and well-being. To reduce the impact of Europe's resource use, a new assessment from the European Environment Agency (EEA) reflects on integrating different policy areas and improved spatial planning.

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Water: Charging full cost can encourage more efficient use

Flat-fee water charges are still common in parts of Europe. Such schemes, where users pay a fee regardless of the volume used, do not encourage efficient behaviour, either in households or agriculture, according to a new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA).

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River Rhine commended for river basin management

The River Rhine has won the first ever International River Foundation (IRF) European River Prize, which is given for remarkable achievements in integrated river basin management. The other finalists were the Órbigo River in Spain, the Upper Drau in Austria, and the Mura-Drava-Danube in Central Europe.

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Blue-green algae - check the water before you swim

Most beaches, lakes and rivers in Europe were clean and healthy last year. But water quality can be affected by many unforeseen factors, including sewage, agricultural waste and algae. The European Environment Agency (EEA) recommends checking local water quality information before you jump in.

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Populations of grassland butterflies decline almost 50 % over two decades

Grassland butterflies have declined dramatically between 1990 and 2011. This has been caused by intensifying agriculture and a failure to properly manage grassland ecosystems, according to a report from the European Environment Agency (EEA).

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Our Natural Europe: conservation stories show importance of local action

When fishermen in the Koster Sea in Southern Sweden understood the value of the ecosystems beneath the waves, they voluntarily agreed to change fishing practices. The area became Sweden’s first marine national park in 2006.

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Neonicotinoid pesticides are a huge risk – so ban is welcome, says EEA

The European Commission has decided to ban three neonicotinoid insecticides. These chemicals can harm honeybees, according to a large body of scientific evidence, so the European Environment Agency (EEA) commends the precautionary decision to ban them.

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Europe needs to use water more efficiently

Europe needs to redouble efforts in using water more efficiently to avoid undermining its economy, according to a new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA). Inefficient water use impacts hard on the resources needed by ecosystems and people, both vital assets for European productivity and security.

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Soil protection critical for Europe's economy and ecosystems

Soil is one of the planet's invaluable resources but continues to be degraded in Europe. Together, the mineral particles, water, air, organic matter, and living organisms that constitute soil perform key functions which underpin our society.

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Common Agricultural Policy reform – reducing the impact of farming

Today, the European Commission launched its proposals for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) after 2013. The key objective is ‘to strengthen the competitiveness, sustainability and permanence of agriculture throughout the EU in order to secure for European citizens a healthy and high-quality source of food, preserve the environment and develop rural areas’. The proposals tie financial support more closely to environmental goals.

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European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100