OneKind

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Edinburgh

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Date posted: 23 Jun 2015

The EU Birds and Habitats Directives exist to protect the most important wildlife species and habitats in the UK and Europe. These laws are now under review and at risk of being weakened.

OneKind supports the view of the ‘Joint Links group’, representing 100 voluntary organisations across the UK,  that the European Commission’s REFIT ‘Fitness Check’ of the Birds and Habitats Directives is the single biggest threat to UK and European nature and biodiversity in a generation.

The Directives are under threat of being weakened by those who mistakenly regard them as a block on business and economic growth. In the current political context, any revision of the Directives would expose them to prolonged uncertainty and leave the long-term future of Europe’s biodiversity vulnerable to short-term political priorities.

The Chair of the Joint Links Habitats and Birds group Kate Jennings, (RSPB), said in May:
“The Habitats and Birds Directives are the foundation of nature conservation across Europe and are scientifically proven to be effective where properly implemented. The Directives deliver demonstrable benefits for nature, as well as significant social and economic benefits.”

“For over 30 years they have protected some of our best loved and most iconic landscapes from the Scottish Flow County to the sand dunes and marshes of the north Norfolk coast. They are essential to the protection of species large and small, from the Basking Shark and the Harbour Porpoise, to the Dartford Warbler and the Hazel Dormouse.“

On 30 April the European Commission launched its public consultation on the Directives. The questionnaire is in two parts, with an initial set of general questions followed by a more detailed set of questions that explore different aspects of the Fitness check. Respondents have the option of only responding to the general questions or addressing the more detailed ones too.

A coalition of Europe-wide voluntary organisations (BirdLife Europe; European Environmental Bureau; Friends of the Earth Europe; and WWF Europe) have created a ‘Nature Alert’ electronic tool, allowing you to respond to the consultation with one easy click naturealert.eu

The consultation runs to 24 July 2015 - please take this very quick and easy action to let the Commission know that you want protection for wildlife to be strengthened, not weakened.

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