Loss of biodiversity: GUE/NGL MEPs call for better implementation of the Nature Directives
The "Mid-term review of the EU biodiversity strategy" report was debated on 1 February at the European Parliament plenary session in Strasbourg.
Previously, the European Parliament's Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) supported nearly unanimously Demesmaeker's report, calling on the Commission and member states for better implementation of the Nature Directives (mainly the Habitat and Birds Directives) in order to reach the agreed biodiversity targets by 2020.
The GUE/NGL group opposes the possible revision of the Nature Directives because this could lead in the failure to halt biodiversity loss.
Irish MEP, Lynn Boylan, GUE/NGL shadow on the file, criticised Commissioner Vella, affirming:
"No significant progress has been made in halting the degradation of ecosystems and biodiversity loss.I have listened to Commissioner Vella tonight and I have not heard him categorically rule out a revision of the Nature directives".
, Boylan stressed "the tangible benefit of the Nature Directives in the protection of wildlife and ecological habitats".
"I am extremely pleased that in this report we clearly outlined that we object to any possible revision of these directives"- she added.
"We know it is the implementation and enforcement that remains the problem, not the legislation itself".
"The EP tomorrow is due to add its voice to the half million citizens who responded loud and clear to the public consultation to protect these laws. The question is: Commissioner Vella, are you listening?" Boylan concluded.
Portuguese MEP João Ferreira also insisted on the need for additional efforts:
"The strategy of the European Union is far from rising to the challenge we are facing. We have to change sector policies that have an influence on biodiversity. We have to invest in the environment".
Ferreira put forward some concrete measures: "The intensification of agricultural production is something that has to be changed. We have to combat invasive alien species and there has to be a better financing of Natura 2000."
"We have to get specific financial support and strengthen the LIFE Programme, which represents just 1% of the European Union budget," Ferreira concluded.
Following the debate, the resolution was voted and carried by a large majority: 592 votes in favour, 52 votes against and 45 abstentions.
GUE/NGL Press Contact:
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20