29.03.2012 / News - EU Level

Finally an attractive investment in crisis!

Only 17% of Europe´s most valuable habitats and species are in good conservation state! To tackle this issue, the EU pushes forward in establishing the biggest network of protected areas in the world: Natura 2000. This network could soon be the best investment the EU ever made.

The WWF Europe recently published the report “Our Natural Capital: a good investment in times of crisis", focusing on the Natura 2000 funding. This project is concerned mainly with halting the galloping decrease of biodiversity in Europe. In the introduction, the report outlines the drastic consequences permanent loss of biodiversity means for Europe, not only natural value is damaged; the loss of water purification, carbon sequestration and pollination by insects, provided by a rich nature, costs us hard currency. In fact, the final paycheck in 2050 could be equivalent to 7% of the world Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
In contrast, it is estimated that current Natura 2000 funding, around 6 billion Euros, creates economic benefits of around 200-300 billion Euros. Per year!
Numerous examples show, that all over Europe, small Natura 2000 projects protecting biodiversity could harvest benefits between 7 times(France) and up to 300 times(Ireland) higher than the investments!
To help the member states in finding the main problems and implementing solutions  “Prioritized Action Frameworks” or PAFs are about to be created. Those are planning and financing tools in which the Natura 2000 investments are prioritized, costs are identified and matched with the appropriate funding source, either EU or national funds.
With this report, environmental NGOs want to show their support the PAF and their views on the EU Budget Review to ensure adequate Natura 2000 funding.

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