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Biodiversity — Ecosystems

Destruction and loss of biodiversity is as catastrophic as climate change

Biodiversity collectively describes millions of unique living organisms that inhabit Earth, and the interactions among them. They represent a vital element of our lives but are under continuous threat. The conservation status of more than 60% of species and habitats protected under the EU Habitats Directive is unfavourable. This has fundamental consequences for our society, economy and human health.

European protected sites

The map shows an overview of protected sites in Europe. The EU’s Natura 2000 network and the Bern Convention’s Emerald Network are ecological networks of protected areas, set up to ensure the survival of Europe's most valuable species and habitats. Information about protected areas designated at national levels is reported by the 39 countries of Eionet.

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River continuity is key to improving the ecological status of Europe’s water bodies. However, very few free-flowing rivers remain and the barriers in them cause significant pressures for about 20 % of Europe’s surface water bodies. A European Environment Agency (EEA) briefing, published today, looks at the issue of river barriers and their impact on ecosystems.

A praying mantis in Cyprus, a huddle of butterflies resembling a flower, galloping Galician horses and an alpine sunset in Slovakia are the winners of this year’s European Environment Agency’s ‘REDISCOVER Nature’ photo competition announced today.

Unsustainable farming and forestry, urban sprawl and pollution are the top pressures to blame for a drastic decline in Europe’s biodiversity, threatening the survival of thousands of animal species and habitats. Moreover, European Union (EU) nature directives and other environmental laws still lack implementation by Member States. Most protected habitats and species are not in good conservation status and much more must be done to reverse the situation, according to the European Environment Agency’s (EEA) ‘State of nature in the EU’ report, published today.

Published: 22 Apr 2021

Страны «Восточного партнерства» успешно расширяют свои сети особо охраняемых природных территорий

Published: 20 Apr 2021

Europe's seas are precious. Our quality of life, livelihoods and economies depend on them being in good condition. Our seas are home to many species, habitats and ecosystems. They also provide our societies with vital ecosystem services, including food, energy, clean air and climate change mitigation. However, through the continued unsustainable use of Europe’s seas, we have altered their physio-chemical environment, and their habitats and ecosystems. The resilience of our seas is eroding, while their ecosystems, habitats and biodiversity, and the services they provide are under significant threat. This briefing summarises the current state of biodiversity in Europe’s seas.

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