Water pollution and excessive water use are still harming ecosystems, which are indispensable to Europe’s food, energy, and water supplies. To maintain water ecosystems, farming, planning, energy and transport sectors need to actively engage in managing water within sustainable limits.
Europe’s freshwater supplies are under pressure. To improve the understanding and management of water resources, the European Environment Agency (EEA) has created a comprehensive series of map layers showing hydrological features. The tool, providing support to policy makers, spans river catchments from Iceland to the edge of the Persian Gulf.
At last week’s Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, delegates did not agree to any ambitious treaties or deadlines for dealing with pressing issues such as climate change, food and water scarcity. However, there were many positive signs for the future global environment.
This week the Rio de Janeiro summit on sustainable development will open. Rio+20 is an opportunity to look back at changes in our environment since the first Earth Summit in 1992, and also a time to look to the future, re-evaluating the way our economies and our societies depend on the environment and natural resources.
Humanity’s growing appetite for bigger houses, overseas travel, food and consumer goods is the main cause of our most pressing environmental problems, according to a new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA) which considers the links between the environment and consumption.
Demand for materials is so intense that between 20 and 30 % of the resources we use in Europe are now imported. With the boom in international trade, EU consumption and production damage ecosystems and human health far beyond Europe’s borders, according to a report published by the European Environment Agency (EEA).
While much of Europe is still suffering the effects of economic recession, a new report argues that efforts to increase prosperity should not damage the environment. Indeed, Europe’s economy depends on a healthy environment, including the materials and services provided by the natural world, according to the new edition of Signals from the European Environment Agency (EEA).
The world is entering a period of growing water scarcity: by 2030, global demand for fresh water could outstrip supply by more than 40 % if water is used in the same way that it is today. These stark figures are the background to a new report from the International Resource Panel, a group of natural resources experts hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme.
Consumption of products and services impacts the environment in many different ways. For example, the things we buy contribute, directly or indirectly through the product lifecycle, to climate change, pollution, biodiversity loss and resource depletion in Europe and other regions.
Recycling has multiple benefits for many areas of the economy – providing raw materials, creating jobs and encouraging business opportunities and innovation. These economic benefits of recycling are examined in a new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA). The report considers the recycling industry in the context of building a 'green economy', a major European policy objective.
Resource efficiency is a policy priority for Europe. However, across the region there are many different approaches to ‘doing more with less’, as shown by a survey of countries’ policies, carried out by the European Environment Agency (EEA).
Hazardous substances in fresh and marine water can harm aquatic life and pose a risk to human health, according to a new report published today by the European Environment Agency (EEA). The report notes that while European legislation to address the issue is relatively strong, new challenges exist including ‘emerging pollutants’ where potential effects are not yet fully understood. More effort is also needed to ensure that chemicals are produced and used more sustainably.
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.
Humans are consuming the world’s limited resources at increasingly rapid rate, and Europe is particularly reliant on imported goods to sustain its high levels of consumption. On World Environment Day, the European Environment Agency (EEA) draws attention to Europe’s resource use and offers tips to reduce it.
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.
The Earth provides the resources that sustain our lives and economies. We extract water from underground aquifers and oil from deposits in sedimentary rock. We use sand, rocks and metals as construction materials. Today, the European Environment Agency (EEA) and EuroGeoSurveys (EGS) have signed a partnership agreement to improve understanding of Europe’s geology. The deal promotes the use of geo-scientific data and knowledge sharing, helping us manage our natural resources and mitigate hazards.
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.
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.
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.
On Friday 5 June, millions of people around the world will unite for the planet with a strong call for environmental action just six months before the crucial United Nations climate change talks in Copenhagen, Denmark.
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.
Clear information and citizen involvement are crucial if we are to bring about improvements in Europe's environment, particularly in the field of water, says Professor Jacqueline McGlade, Executive Director of the EEA.
'Europe's citizens represent only 7 % of Earth's total population, but consume 15 % of the world's energy, 15 % of the meat production and 24 % of the paper produced in the planet', said Professor Jacqueline McGlade, Executive Director of the European Environment Agency (EEA), speaking at the opening of Green Week in Brussels this afternoon.
A joint UNEP-EEA study of environmental issues in the countries of South-East Europe (SEE), Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia (EECCA) — now also available in Russian — shows that the region is facing many challenges in the wake of economic growth. The report identifies several opportunities to 'leapfrog' and avoid some of the environmental problems experienced in western Europe.
The forthcoming EU Action Plan on Sustainable Consumption and Production should include clear sustainability targets, concrete steps to internalise environmental costs into prices and a directive on green public procurement. These were three top-priority recommendations identified during the discussions last week at the conference 'Time for Action — Towards Sustainable Consumption and Production in Europe' which brought together 100 experts from governments in Europe, researchers, NGOs and business.
Developing countries often gain little financial benefit from the influx of visitors to their shores. Only around 30 % of the money spent by tourists on their holiday remains in the host country. Eco tourism is promoted in some countries. For sustainable destinations, explore EU’s catalogue at www.eco-label.com or the National Geographic's portal at www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/sustainable.
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