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Better targeted measures needed to tackle urban sprawl in Europe

There is growing evidence that urban sprawl is having an increasingly negative effect on the environment and on the quality of life across Europe. Existing actions to prevent, contain or control such development have had limited results. Better targeted measures are necessary. That is the main conclusion of a joint European Environment Agency (EEA) and Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) report published today.

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Better integration of land use impacts needed across EU policies

Land is a valuable and limited resource. The environmental impact of land used for building new roads, houses or energy grids should be better integrated into European Union policies, according to a report released today by the European Environment Agency. A preliminary review on how land is used in the EU found that more attention should be paid to environmental concerns.

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More action required to protect soil in the city

Industrial activity, pollution and exploitation are degrading the quality of soils located in and around our cities, according to a report released today by the European Environment Agency (EEA). Efficient use of soils supported by better planning and policy making in urban areas is needed to make sure that this valuable natural resource helps our cities remain liveable and able to deal with challenges like climate change.

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Is Europe doing enough to ensure long-term health of forests?

Climate change, pollution and encroaching human development are posing an increased threat to the long-term stability and health of European forests, according to a new European Environment Agency (EEA) report released today. Forest ecosystems play a vital role for the environment and in combatting climate change. The report recommends that better sustainable management is needed to ensure this precious green resource is there for future generations.

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Floodplain management: reducing flood risks and restoring healthy ecosystems

Floodplains once covered wide stretches along European rivers, but today only fractions of them remain. These ecosystems have an important role to play in reducing flood risks and are also the natural habitat of many endangered species. A new report by the European Environment Agency (EEA) provides an overview of significant floods in Europe and looks at the role of floodplains in flood protection, water management and nature conservation.

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Can nature help reduce the impacts of climate change?

Building and managing a well-planned network of natural areas might provide an effective and, in many cases, cheaper solution for coping with natural disasters such as floods or landslides. A new report published today by the European Environment Agency (EEA) explores how ‘green infrastructure’ can help Europe prepare for and reduce the loss from weather- and climate-related hazards.

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Strengthening cooperation on Earth observation and the environment

The European Environment Agency (EEA) and the European Space Agency (ESA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding today, which sets out common objectives and areas of cooperation in the field of Earth observation and the environment over the coming years.

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Green Week: stakeholders put nature in the spotlight

Stakeholders from across Europe are coming together at Green Week to discuss biodiversity and ecosystem services in Europe. The European Environment Agency (EEA) will present its latest findings, recently published in its reports 'State of nature in the EU' and 'The European Environment – state and outlook 2015'. To contribute to the knowledge base, the EEA released today a new technical report on mapping and assessment of ecosystems.

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EEA signs agreement to work with Copernicus programme

The European Environment Agency (EEA) will continue to work with Copernicus, the European earth observation programme, after an agreement signed 1 December.

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Protected areas cover a quarter of Europe's land and almost 6 % of regional seas

Protected areas cover more than 1 000 000 km2 of land and more than 340 000 km2 of coastal and marine ecosystems in Europe, according to the latest data. These areas are vitally important for protecting the continent’s most vulnerable species, habitats and marine life.

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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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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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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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Urban sprawl eating into wildlife habitats in Europe

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.

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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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Is there a protected area near you? Find out on UN Biodiversity Day

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.

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EEA land cover data to be used in mobile phone maps

Data on land use provided by the European Environment Agency (EEA) is soon to be included in electronic maps used for navigation in mobile phones and other devices.

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Protected areas have increased to cover one fifth of Europe’s land

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.

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Managing water and human activities together

River basins, lakes, floodplains and marshes often span political and administrative boundaries. This creates challenges in the management of Europe's water resources, according to a report from the European Environment Agency (EEA), which recommends better integration of coordinated spatial planning and water management.

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