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'.
As technology has improved, so has our understanding of the environment. For example, satellite imagery and other remote sensing techniques can quickly show us that forest cover is increasing in Europe. But in order to capture the complexity of ecological conditions and dynamics on the ground, it is essential to also use field-based surveying methods.
Many of Europe's marine species, habitats and ecosystems have been threatened for decades. As maritime economic activities are predicted to increase in coming years, a new briefing from the European Environment Agency (EEA) argues that the cumulative impact of human activity should be better managed to avoid irreversible damage to ecosystems.
Bat numbers increased more than 40 % between 1993 and 2011, after declining for many years, according to a new report by the European Environment Agency (EEA), which considers the state of bat populations in a handful of countries across Europe.
Europe's coastal regions are increasingly vital for its economy, yet their natural assets on which it depends continue to degrade. This is according to a new report from the European Environment Agency, which calls for better information, planning and management decisions to balance multiple demands on the coastal environment.
Increasing amounts of litter are ending up in the world’s oceans and harming the health of ecosystems, killing animals when they become trapped or swallow the litter. Human health is also at risk, as plastics may break down into smaller pieces that may subsequently end up in our food. These are just a few of the problems emerging from the waste collecting in our seas.
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).
As cities expand into the countryside, the habitats of many animals and plants are reduced. Roads, railways, car parks and buildings also split up habitats, dividing wildlife populations into increasingly smaller groups.
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.
Protected areas cover more than one fifth of the land in the 39 countries working with the European Environment Agency (EEA). On International Biodiversity Day, the EEA encourages Europeans to find out more about their closest nature reserve or national park using a new interactive map.
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.
Water pollution and physical modifications are still affecting the ecology of many of Europe’s lakes, rivers, transitional water bodies and coastal waters. These problems are likely to prevent the water bodies reaching ‘good’ status by 2015, a target set by the EU’s Water Framework Directive (WFD).
More than 21 % of the land has some kind of protected status in the 39 countries which work with the European Environment Agency (EEA). However, only 4 % of the sea controlled by countries of the European Union is included within the Natura 2000 network of protected areas, according to a new report from the EEA.
The continuing loss of biodiversity – made up of genes, species and ecosystems – is a matter of growing concern in Europe. Yet measuring the extent of the loss and the threat it poses is a huge challenge.
Chemicals which disrupt the hormone system – also known as 'endocrine disrupting chemicals' (EDCs) – may be a contributing factor behind the significant increases in cancers, diabetes and obesity, falling fertility, and an increased number of neurological development problems in both humans and animals, according to a review of recent scientific literature commissioned by the European Environment Agency (EEA).
Roads, motorways, railways, intensive agriculture and urban developments are breaking up Europe’s landscapes into ever-smaller pieces, with potentially devastating consequences for flora and fauna across the continent, according to a new joint report from the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN). The report, 'Landscape fragmentation in Europe', demonstrates how areas of land are often unable to support high levels of biodiversity when they are split into smaller and smaller parcels.
The bees living on the roof of the European Environment Agency (EEA) received some special guests today, when European Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik and Danish Environment Minister Karen Ellemann visited their hives. The two policy makers joined EEA Executive Director Jacqueline McGlade in harvesting the first batch of honey.
Forests are some of the most important ecosystems in Europe, and are home to many thousands of species. Although the amount of forest cover is stable across Europe, it is declining worldwide, and the rich variety of life on Earth is also following this downward trend. On 22 May, International Biodiversity Day, the European Environment Agency invites you to explore and enjoy biodiversity in Europe’s forests.
European Environment Agency (EEA) Executive Director Jacqueline McGlade is participating in the 3rd Nobel Laureate Symposium on Global Sustainability, from 17-19 May. Prof. McGlade will act as a delegate and moderator. The key outcome of the Symposium, the Stockholm Memorandum, will develop a new vision for sustainable development and prosperity, along with mechanisms for achieving it.
Demand for land in Europe is high. Food and biomass production, housing, infrastructure and recreation all compete for space, with impacts on our climate, biodiversity and ecosystem services. In a recent assessment, the European Environment Agency (EEA) analyses land use change in Europe, concluding that we need an integrated policy approach based on reliable data to balance sectoral demands and manage land sustainably.
Forests cover over 30 % of the earth's surface. They are one of the most important 'storehouses' of biological diversity on land and play a key role in regulating our planet's climate. Their importance and the wide array of threats on world's forests are in the spotlight during the World Forest Day 21 March and the UN International Year of Forests 2011.
The International Year of Biodiversity 2010 has officially ended with closing ceremonies held last weekend. The European Environment Agency (EEA) will continue supporting European policy makers in their efforts to implement measures agreed earlier this year in Nagoya, Japan.
Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity closed the Nagoya Biodiversity Summit (COP10) by adopting decisions that will permit the community of nations to meet the unprecedented challenges of the continued loss of biodiversity compounded by climate change. The European Environment Agency will continue to support Europe's policymakers in implementing the ensuing measures.
World leaders and policymakers are gathering at a major conference in Japan to debate how to halt global biodiversity loss. At this 10th Conference of the Parties (COP-10), the European Environment Agency is presenting its assessments on Europe’s biodiversity, including its new report on the EU 2010 Biodiversity Baseline.
Europe is still far from meeting its 2010 target and we risk missing future targets unless we change the way we are managing our environment. The European Environment Agency’s new biodiversity report based on SEBI 2010 indicators assesses the state of biodiversity in Europe and makes recommendations for improving policy effectiveness.
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.
The natural world provides many services that are essential for human existence and prosperity but because they’re free, we often don’t do enough to preserve them. The European Environment Agency today presents 35 initiatives compiled as part of the TEEB study, which are incorporating the economic value of ecosystem services.
Europe’s coastal zones are under increasing pressure from erosion, pollution, climate change, urbanisation and tourism. Such pressures threaten entire ecosystems — vital not only for wildlife but also for the economy and human well-being. The European Environment Agency (EEA) takes a closer look at the state of coastal ecosystems and policy responses to the pressures affecting them.
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.
At the opening session of the Green Week conference in Brussels, the European Commission and the European Environment Agency (EEA) unveiled two new tools to combat biodiversity loss: BISE (the Biodiversity Information System for Europe) and 'Biodiversity baseline'. BISE is a web portal centralising information about European biodiversity in a single location. The baseline offers a comprehensive snapshot of the current state of biodiversity and will be used to monitor progress in the renewed efforts to halt biodiversity loss.
From the depths of oceans to the highest summits, from icy waters to baking deserts, life flourishes in every corner of our planet. On 22 May, World Biodiversity Day, the European Environment Agency shows how by mimicking nature we can redesign our cities to enhance green space and biodiversity.
Forests offer much more than Sunday walks, clean air and water, wild birds and mushrooms. In addition to being home to numerous species, forests are vital to the overall health of our environment. The European Environment Agency's (EEA) new short assessment provides an overview of their state and their main threats.
Climate change, pollution, acidification, over-exploitation of fish stocks, invasive alien species all threaten life in our seas and consequently the services we obtain from them. The European Environment Agency’s (EEA) new short assessment of marine biodiversity takes a closer look at the ‘less known half’ of EU territory.
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.
As a contribution to European debate on post-2010 vision and targets, the European Environment Agency (EEA) will enhance its support to policy makers by providing a detailed picture of the current state of biodiversity in Europe, as well as develop an information system for sharing knowledge on biodiversity across Europe.
To celebrate the launch of the International Year of Biodiversity on 11 January, the European Environment Agency (EEA) is commencing a series of concise, thematic assessments of biodiversity. The first of these '10 messages for 2010' presents the interaction between climate change and biodiversity.
In 2002, when the world committed to reduce the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010, Europe went one step further and pledged to halt the loss completely. A set of 26 indicators, known as 'Streamlining European 2010 Biodiversity Indicators' (SEBI 2010), was compiled to measure change. The first assessment based on SEBI 2010 by the European Environment Agency (EEA) shows that despite progress, biodiversity loss continues. It also identified important gaps in our knowledge.
The European Environment Agency yesterday received the WWF award for Conservation Merit 2009. The award is given in recognition of long-standing commitment to local, grassroots conservation. The Agency was presented the award in recognition of its consistent excellence in collecting, analysing, interpreting and communicating environmental data to improve decision making in Europe and globally.
Today, 22 May, is the International Day for Biological Diversity. To help policy-makers, civil society and the public tackle biodiversity loss, the European Environment Agency has placed biodiversity and ecosystems at the heart of its strategy and work programme for 2009–2013.
Biodiversity loss and climate change are now a part of our lives. Both are rooted in overexploitation of natural resources. Both require a coherent policy response. The Syracuse Charter and the Athens Conference underline the strong political commitment to take action. To ensure our society and economy have a healthy future, we need a way to assess our impacts on the natural world. The European Environment Agency's European Ecosystem Assessment (EURECA) responds to that need.
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.
Is gardening one of your interests? If so and you live in central or northern Europe the 'killer slug' is probably one of your personal enemies. The slug, which attacks your herbs and vegetables relentlessly, seems immune to control measures.
At the World Conservation Congress currently being held in Barcelona, the European Environment Agency (EEA) presented an analysis of the latest reports from member countries on the state of protected species and habitats in Europe.
SEBI 2010 (Streamlining European 2010 Biodiversity Indicators) has received an award from the Spanish magazine 'Red Life' and the Fundación Caja Rural del Sur as 'one of 10 best ideas to save nature in 2008'. The European Environment Agency is coordinating this pan-European initiative to measure and help achieve progress towards the target of halting biodiversity loss by 2010.
Accounting for all the benefits we gain from ecosystems is an effective way of measuring how biodiversity loss affects our well-being and quality of life. The European Environment Agency is feeding into the debate on the 'economics of ecosystems and biodiversity' with an extensive study on 'Ecosystems accounts for Mediterranean wetlands'.
Forests are home to a large number of the plant and animal species and therefore closely linked to the overall state of biodiversity in Europe. On the World Biodiversity Day, 22 May, the European Environment Agency draws attention to the growing demand for forest resources, including for bioenergy, which will exert greater pressures on forest biodiversity.
Professor Jacqueline McGlade, Executive Director of the European Environment Agency, warned EU ministers of increasing demands on Europe's forest resources. She recommended a management approach taking into account the wide range of services provided by forests.
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.
'Gross domestic product, regularly used as an indicator of the size of a country's economy, does not factor in the benefits from nor the costs to the ecosystem,' said EEA Executive Director Prof. Jacqueline McGlade in her presentation at the expert workshop preceding the 'Beyond GDP' conference in Brussels this week.
To help policy-makers halt the loss of biodiversity in Europe, the European Environment Agency today launched a report proposing 26 biodiversity indicators — the so-called SEBI 2010 set — to measure progress towards policy targets. The work with biodiversity indicators was given further recognition in the Biodiversity Declaration adopted on Thursday at the UNECE ministerial conference in Belgrade.
What will Europe’s society and environment look like some thirty years from now? The PRELUDE project, which attempts to go far beyond the perspective of two legislative cycles and explore this question, will feature prominently for the European Environment Agency at this year’s four-day EU ‘Green Week’ event in Brussels, starting today.
Europe's biodiversity is already responding to climate change. 'Many species are already on the move, expanding northwards as temperatures rise,' says Prof. Jacqueline McGlade, Executive Director of the EEA on the occasion of the celebration of the International Day for Biological Diversity and the theme of 'biodiversity and climate change'.
European forest types, a new scheme for classifying Europe’s forests, is presented today in a report by the European Environment Agency. The scheme offers 14 new major forest type categories to replace the previous three categories - deciduous, coniferous and mixed – used in reporting of forest data.
Recent analyses by the EEA show that land is becoming a scarce resource: 800 000 ha of Europe's land cover was converted to artificial surfaces from 1990-2000. Only with careful spatial planning of urban and rural development can Europe avoid compromising its agricultural production, biodiversity, energy security and Kyoto targets and aspirations under the Lisbon agenda.
The European Union will not reach the goal of halting species loss by 2010 if it does not do more to prevent the decline of its most nature-rich areas of farmland, the European Environment Agency (EEA) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) warned today.
Copenhagen, 2 July 2011. Up to 150 mm of rainfall in two hours – a city record since measurements began in the mid-1800s. Homes destroyed. Citizens and emergency services struggled to cope. This is ...