We depend on nature for our food, water, air, health, soil fertility and climate regulation.
More than 80% of Europe’s crops and wild plants need pollinators, like bees, in order to bear fruit and seeds.
Nature’s invisible services are free and often taken for granted – yet, they are precious and vulnerable.
Did you know …
The EU is working to halt the loss of biodiversity and nature’s services – but more needs to be done by all of us in order to safeguard our natural heritage.
What the EU does
The EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 aims to halt the loss of Europe’s biodiversity by addressing the main threats and restoring nature. The EU also works internationally to help prevent the loss of global biodiversity.
At the heart of EU conservation efforts are the EU Birds and Habitats Directives. They enable all 28 Member States to work together to protect our most vulnerable species and habitats. Their centrepiece is the creation of Natura 2000: the world’s largest coordinated network of protected areas, with more than 27 000 protected sites covering 1 million square kilometres: 18% of the EU’s land mass and close to 6% of its marine area!
Natural ecosystems such as forests, grasslands or wetlands work for us around the clock. Th eyen clean our water, purify our air, produce oxygen, maintain the fertility of soil, provide us with food and medicines, regulate the climate and recycle our waste. It’s that simple: we could not live without these “ecosystem services”.
Caring for nature, caring for ourselves – Natura 2000
Natura 2000 provides benefi ts estimated to be worth € 200-300 billion a year, while its management costs are around € 6 billion a year.
What you can do to protect nature and biodiversity
While actions to protect Europe’s biodiversity have delivered many benefits to nature and people, a lot more needs to be done.
We need to complete, better manage and finance Natura 2000, reduce threats and restore ecosystems and their services in the wider landscape, in order to safeguard our natural heritage.
Source – EU Publications Office