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Multimedia

All multimedia about biodiversity

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Food – adapting to change by sharing information

Food. We all need it. But most of us take it for granted. A changing climate brings with it a destabilizing effect on food crop production. With the pressure on food resources, we need to look at new solutions. We need to bring people, their stories and data together.   More

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A day in my forest: Environmental Atlas of Europe — Poland

Silent except for the humming of bees and the distant hammering of woodpeckers, Białowieża Forest is a fairytale landscape of tall trees, peat bogs and meadows – home to innumerable species of birds, invertebrates, lichens, fungi and other flora and fauna including grey wolves, lynx, elk and a large herd of rare European bison.   More

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The ecology of wine: Environmental Atlas of Europe — Spain

The Raimat winery, one of the largest in the world, has recently moved from traditional to sustainable production. With the help of modern technologies such as GPS and GIS, the winery can monitor pests and identify crops to be fertilized much more accurately, at the same time making a contribution to biodiversity. Raimat is committed to bringing back a “natural” balance in the vineyards, without compromising the quality of the product or the profitability of the company.   More

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Natural cork: Environmental Atlas of Europe — Spain

The production of high-quality oak cork, one of the main economic activities at this farm in southern Andalusia, is supported by a number of projects which aim to conserve the local habitat and highlight the importance of its natural attributes for present and future generations. The Foundation is committed to a variety of projects focusing on the protection of the ecosystem and natural resources and the conservation of native plants and animals.   More

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A forest built on coal: Environmental Atlas of Europe — Germany

When the coal mining era came to an end, large industrial areas in Germany’s Ruhr district were abandoned and many of them had to find a new direction. While decision-makers were still discussing how to tackle the situation, nature had already decided and many of the abandoned mines became beautiful wooded areas. The mine tracks, now covered with trees and bushes, form a perfect corridor for the movement of species from one site to another, contributing to increased biodiversity in these areas known as “urban forests”.   More

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Rain on snow: Environmental Atlas of Europe — Sweden

"The reindeer herder has learned to accept the good and the bad part of nature and always to adapt." Niklas Labba, reindeer herder, Finland. About 70,000 Sami live in the Arctic regions of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. Originally they hunted reindeer, but since the 17th century they have practised herding as a form of agricultural meat production, passing their knowledge and skills down through the generations.   More

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Climate change — time to act

Climate change is a real and current threat. To avoid major irreversible impacts on society and ecosystems, we must act now.   More

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Biodiversity protection – beyond 2010

2010 will be a major milestone for biodiversity policy both in the EU and globally. It will be the year of the full evaluation of the delivery to the EU Biodiversity Action Plan and as well the UN International Year for Biodiversity.   More

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Halting the loss of Europe's biodiversity by 2010

42% of Europe’s native mammals are threatened with extinction, 43% of birds, 45% of butterflies, 52% of freshwater fish. The list goes on and makes terrifying reading. Worldwide, the loss of species is even more alarming.   More

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NATURA 2000: Safeguarding Europe's biodiversity

Preserving and restoring the biodiversity and ecosystems of different habitats, from the countryside to mountains to the marine environment, is a major objective for the European Union. It is committed to halting the loss of its biodiversity by 2010.   More

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Protecting the tree of life

Europe is a continent of breathtaking natural beauty and dramatic contrasts. The EU’s 27 Member States stretch from the frozen Arctic Circle in the north to the warm Mediterranean waters in the south. From the wave-lashed Atlantic coast in Ireland to the snow-capped Carpathian mountains in Romania, the EU includes a vast range of natural habitats and a great diversity of flora and fauna. Our natural heritage includes several thousand types of habitat, 520 species of bird, 10 000 plant species and at least 100 000 species of invertebrate. Yet, in comparison with other regions in the world, these numbers are relatively modest. Europe is the most urbanized and densely populated continent in the world. It is also one of the most polluted. These factors have taken their toll on the natural environment.   More

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Halting the loss of biodiversity by 2010 – Are we on target?

The European Union has set an objective to halt the loss of biodiversity by 2010. Europe is currently suffering from a steady loss of biodiversity, with profound consequences for the natural world and for human well-being. The main causes are changes in natural habitats and these, in turn, are due to intensive agricultural production systems, construction, quarrying, overexploitation of forests, oceans, rivers, lakes and soils, alien species invasions, pollution and — increasingly — global warming.   More

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Europe's seas and coasts expert

Eva Wlodarczyk, expert on Water, Seawater The seas around Europe are of vital importance to us, since historical times, they served as the source of food and employment for the people living around the seas and also as transport routes. Following the progress in the past century, the seas found new users; for example there was exploitation of marrying oil and gas fields, the extraction of sand and gravel from the sea bed, also fishing for the deep water species and even the extraction of minerals from the very deep ocean basins.   More

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Pollution from antifouling paint

(Transcription of audio on video) Antifouling paint was developed to reduce drag on ship hulls by preventing the buildup of barnacles and other organisms, consequently making ships faster and more fuel efficient. However its propensity for wider impacts on the marine environment had been grossly underestimated. The chemicals used prevented molluscs like oysters from reproducing, and in the 1970's and 80's widespread collapse of mollusc stocks in and around harbours was reported. These types of paints have now been banned on small vessels, and complete phase out from global shipping fleets is planned by 2008. Source: SOER 2005   More

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Sources of water pollution

(Transcription of audio on video) Water can be polluted from many sources. Faecal contamination from sewage makes water unpleasant and unsafe for recreational activities such as swimming, boating or fishing. Many organic pollutants, including sewage effluent and farm and food-processing wastes consume oxygen, suffocating fish and other aquatic life. Nutrients such as nitrates and phosphates, from everything from farm fertilisers to household detergents, can 'overfertilise' the water causing the growth of large mats of algae, some of which are directly toxic. When the algae die, they sink to the water bottom, decomposing, consuming oxygen and damaging ecosystems. Chemical contaminants including heavy metals, pesticides and some industrial chemicals can threaten wildlife and human health. Sediment run-off from the land can make water muddy, blocking sunlight and, as a result, killing wildlife. And irrigation, especially when used improperly, can bring flows of salts, nutrients and other pollutants from soils into water. Source: SOER 2005   More

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Ask an expert on ground water

Pavla Chyská- EEA expert on Water, Ground water "Ground water is a very important element of the earth's hydrological cycle. It comes from rain and snow melt that seeps into the grounds. Its hidden below the earth's surface and, compared with rivers and lakes, it receives less attention from people but its influence on our lives is enormous. Ground water is very important because it's a vital part of the eco-systems on our planet and, yes, life exists in ground water too. Many water eco-systems like springs, rivers and streams depend on it. Ground water is also a major source of water for people and especially quality drinking water. In Europe as a whole, about 65% of public water supply is provided by ground water."   More

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Forest fires around the globe

(Transcription of audio on video) Within Europe, the warming is estimated to be greatest over southern countries (Spain, Italy, Greece) and the northeast (e.g. western Russia) and less along the Atlantic coastline. In southern Europe, especially, this may have severe consequences such as increasing drought stress, more frequent forest fires, increasing heat stress and risks for human health. SOURCE: The report 3.2.2 Global and European air temperature.   More

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Carbon uptake by forests

(This video has no audio.) The uptake of carbon from the atmosphere by natural vegetation, soils, forests and agricultural land ('terrestrial biosphere') is an important part of the carbon cycle. Carbon uptake by vegetation can lessen the increasing concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere and in Europe can be increased by planting forests and other land management measures. But the additional potential storage capacity for the EU in forestry and agriculture is estimated to be relatively small, and climate change may cause more fires, pests and storm damage as well as increasing water stress, particularly in the Mediterranean area. These conditions would curtail plant growth and reduce the amount of carbon stored in the biosphere. Source: EEA Report No 2/2004 "Impacts of Europe's changing climate" (published 18 Aug 2004)   More

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