Protecting the tree of Life
Europe is the most urbanised continent in the world, a fact that, alongside
unsustainable farming practices and over fishing, has taken an enormous toll
on Europe’s nature. Since the 1970s, the EU has been working to protect
nature, implementing key directives to preserve threatened and vulnerable species
With the pace and scope of modern lifestyles putting ever greater pressure
on nature, the EU set up the Natura 2000 network. This expanding network of
protected nature sites is a crucial element within the EU’s objective
of halting the decline of biodiversity by 2010.
This detailed news report looks at the history of the EU’s activities
and policies within the arena of nature conservation and biodiversity, from
the Birds Directive of 1979, to the Hortobagy National Park in Hungary – beneficiary
of an EU Life project – and the Millennium Seed Bank in the south of
England. This last houses a vast collection of endangered plant species thanks,
in part, to crucial funding from the EU.