European Commissioners have today agreed to save the EU’s flagship environment legislation, The Birds and Habitats Directives, after an 18 month ‘Defend Nature’ environmental NGOs campaign – and a public consultation with 550,000 respondents.
NGOs are now calling on the UK Government to retain all aspects of these EU laws, and to improve how they are implemented so that UK wildlife habitats and species are protected effectively now and in the long term. As over 100,000 UK citizens responded to the public consultation, it is clear that people across the UK care a great deal about the environment and are prepared to fight for its future.
Revered worldwide, and perceived to be the foundation of nature conservation across Europe, the Directives are scientifically proven to be effective – where properly implemented – delivering demonstrable benefits for nature as well as significant social and economic benefits.
Chair of Environment Links UK Habitats and Birds group Kate Jennings (RSPB) said:
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‘This is excellent news for the environment because the Directives – when properly implemented – provide a strong safeguard for Europe’s important wildlife and habitats. They are considered – worldwide – to be a leading example of environmental legislation, and the UK has relied upon these laws to protect some of our best loved and most iconic wildlife and landscapes for over 30 years.’
Director of Wildlife and Countryside Link Dr Elaine King said:
‘We celebrate with our European partners because retaining the Habitats and Birds Directives is great news for nature across Europe, but we also call on the UK Government to retain all aspects of these vital laws in order to safeguard our wildlife and habitats.’