Europe’s rich array of biodiversity, habitats and species are under threat due to human activities and climate change. This degradation affects our well-being and economy. The EU is taking action to restore and protect the vital systems that support life on our planet.

Europe's nature under pressure

Europe’s biodiversity continues to decline at an alarming rate, with most protected species and habitats confronting poor conservation status. Much more effort is needed to reverse current trends and to ensure resilient and healthy nature.

The pressures on biodiversity may vary depending on the habitat, region or species. Our assessments show that many agricultural activities, intensifying land management practices, and the abandonment of extensive management are the most common overall pressures.

Urbanisation and leisure activities are the second largest pressure and it particularly affects habitats such as dunes and coastal and rocky habitats. Forestry activities are the main source of pressure on arthropods, mammals and non-vascular plants. The pollution of air, water and soil from agriculture in particular, affects most habitats, especially in the European Union’s Atlantic and continental regions.

What causes biodiversity loss in Europe?

Source: EEA State of Nature report

How does pollution impact ecosystems?

One of the major drivers of biodiversity loss and decline in Europe and worldwide is pollution. Pollution puts pressure on freshwater, marine and terrestrial ecosystems, the functions they maintain and the services they provide.

The types of pollutants that affect ecosystems are wide-ranging — from human-made chemical products, nutrients (e.g. nitrogen) and microplastics to ambient sources such as noise and light.

One of the sections of our zero pollution monitoring assessment examines available knowledge and trends in pollution and associated impacts on ecosystems.

BISE: Biodiversity information system for Europe

Global biodiversity protection requires global action

At the UN Biodiversity conference COP15 in Montréal, Canada, the EU joined 195 countries in the historic Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. This framework contains global goals and targets aiming to protect and restore nature for current and future generations, ensure its sustainable use as well as spur investments for a green global economy. Together with the Paris Agreement on climate, it paves the way towards a climate-neutral, nature-positive and resilient world by 2050.

The European Union is a leading player in global biodiversity efforts and negotiations, including COP15.

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