Natura 2000 is the centerpiece of the European Union nature & biodiversity policy. Is the largest network of protected areas in the world. The aim of the network is to assure the long-term survival of Europe's most valuable and threatened species and habitats.
Traffic congestion is choking Europe´s roads and a great deal of it is caused by goods transported in trucks. Over twenty thousand trucks a day thunder through the Pyrénees mountains between France and Spain for example, and there are countless other similar congestion black spots throughout the European Union. If nothing is done an already chronic problem will get worse, with road freight volumes set to increase dramatically over the coming years. The EU must ensure that more freight is shifted away from roads to other modes of transport like ships or trains. This 'modal shift' is precisely what the Union's Marco Polo is trying to encourage by backing schemes that should remove over 40 billion tonnes-kilometres of freight from Europe's roads over the next two years.
This film concentrates on Marco Polo projects that encourage sea shipping as an alternative to road transport. It follows a shipment of Spanish wine from the hills of Rioja to a Netherlands supermarket via an innovative Marco Polo supported shipping service between Bilbao and Zeebrugge in Belgium that cuts out the Pyrénees bottleneck altogether. The film also looks at a shipping service linking Corinth in Greece with Genova in northern Italy, allowing truck drivers to avoid the busy and often dangerous 'Balkan route'.
This video was filmed on location in France, Greece, the Netherlands and Spain.