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.
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).
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
European landscapes reflect not only the continent's diverse climate and geology but also centuries of interaction between man and nature. A new European Environment Agency (EEA) study reviews this interplay, highlighting the main threats to this rich heritage and initiatives to protect it.
Snow-capped peaks, rocky inclines, rich forests and sloping meadows provide recreation and economic opportunities for humans and a home to many plants and animals. The European Environment Agency's new assessment of mountain ecosystems sheds light on their state and the pressures they face.
Intensive farming has long been a major cause of biodiversity decline in Europe. The European Environment Agency's (EEA) new short assessment examines Europe's efforts to strike a balance between producing sufficient food and maintaining agro-ecosystems that are rich in biodiversity above and below ground.
What is a bee to you? Or a mushroom that grows in parts of Finland? Do you consider yourself an apple connoisseur? A new series of biodiversity stories developed by the European Environment Agency (EEA) and its Eionet partners can help us rediscover our connection with the natural world around us and understand why we urgently need to halt the loss of biodiversity.
Continuous change in agricultural land use directly affects Europe's biodiversity. A new report by the European Environment Agency (EEA) finds that Common Agricultural Policy payments could be used more effectively to support High Nature Value farmland and help halt biodiversity loss.
Forest fires in Spain, France, Italy and Greece burned more than 50 000 hectares in the last four days. The economic and environmental damage caused by such fires extends well beyond the affected areas. Damage to biodiversity and livelihoods may take decades to reverse.
Europe clears forests, ploughs fields, drains wetlands and builds cities and roads, often at the expense of natural ecosystems. But how much does our current consumption and production affect the integrity of ecosystems? How much and how fast is the loss of biodiversity in Europe? The European Environment Agency (EEA) has provided some answers to these questions at a high-level conference organised this week by the European Commission.
From golf courses to books, olive oil to vaccinations, all the goods and services that we rely on, together with many of our daily activities, require a vital resource: water. A new report by the European Environment Agency (EEA) confirms that in many parts of Europe water use is unsustainable and provides recommendations for a new approach to managing water resources.
A new report by the European Environment Agency confirms that there is a large potential for bioenergy production from agricultural biomass in Europe. However, the increasing demand for biofuels raises concerns about additional pressure on Europe’s environment and farmland biodiversity.
Developing farm advisory services to help farmers protect the environment is a key purpose of the CIFAS project, the results of which will be discussed at a seminar in the European Parliament today. 'Farmers now play an important role in managing environmental resources. They have an increasing number of environmental standards to meet and it’s important to explain clearly what their obligations are and how they might meet them,' said Jeff Huntington, Head of the Environmental Assessment programme at the EEA.
Environmental efforts pursued through the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) need to be better targeted geographically to maximise their effectiveness according to a new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA), based in Copenhagen.
The first digital map of the multiple changes that have occurred in Europe's landscapes since 1990 was unveiled today, enabling policy-makers to draw lessons from how their decisions in areas such as agriculture and transport are impacting on the region's finite land resources and the wider environment.
More frequent and more economically costly storms, floods, droughts and other extreme weather. Wetter conditions in northern Europe but drier weather in the south that could threaten agriculture in some areas. More frequent and more intense heatwaves, posing a lethal threat to the elderly and frail. Melting glaciers, with three-quarters of those in the Swiss Alps likely to disappear by 2050. Rising sea levels for centuries to come.
The protection and quality of Europe's water is generally improving but there is little or no progress in combating some types of pollution or overuse of water in certain regions, both issues that are linked particularly to agriculture.