BirdLife Cyprus is calling on the public to join the over 90 environmental NGOs across Europe to take part in a joint pan-European online action on to save European nature.
Through the joint online action “Nature Alert”, all citizens of Cyprus and Europe are called to take part in the public consultation of the European Commission to help save the laws that protect nature in Europe
Europe’s nature laws, specifically the Birds and Habitats Directives (often referred to as Nature Directives), are recognised as some of the strongest in the world to protect biodiversity, which is threatened, BirdLife said.
“Thanks to these laws, Europe now has the world’s biggest network of protected areas, Natura 2000, covering about 20 per cent of Europe’s land and four per cent of its marine sites,” the announcement said.
It said the European Commission has decided to carry out an in-depth evaluation of both laws to determine whether they are effective in protecting the natural world. This process is happening in a context that is particularly negative for nature conservation, as illustrated by President’s Juncker rhetoric on ‘cutting ‘green tape’, BirdLife said.
It added that for over 30 years environmental organisations have been fighting to make sure Europe has comprehensive laws for the protection of nature. The deregulation of vital legislation for nature protection would be a disaster for current and future generations. People depend on the natural environment and wildlife knows no borders. We must not let our shared heritage disappear.
Environmental organisations across Europe have joined forces to mobilise the public to tell the Commission that they want Europe’s nature laws not only to be maintained, but better implemented and enforced. The internet action by the environmental organisations (Nature Alert) allows citizens to take part in the public consultation until July 24, 2015.
“This consultation is the only opportunity for the public to express their views during this technical evaluation,” the announcement said.
The Natura 2000 network does not prohibit activities within its areas, it said, but the network philosophy is that man must work together with nature; activities that take place must be sustainable and in harmony with the natural environment. Its goal is to ensure long-term survival of valuable and threatened species and habitats of Europe.
In Cyprus there are 61 areas in the Natura 2000 network. Moreover, Cyprus holds more than 50 per cent of the EU’s breeding population of the Spur-winged Plover, while in total, 190 bird species have been recorded at Oroklini Lake (the number changes depending on the season). Oroklini Lake, which is found in a Natura 2000 area, is very important for two species of birds that nest there, Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) and Spur-winged Plover (Vanellus spinosus).
Oroklini Lake, is an outstanding example of the positive results the legislative framework of the Nature Directives can have, environmentally as well as socially, it added.
“Cape Greco, Akamas Peninsula and the Troodos National Forest Park are well-known areas in Cyprus that belong to the network of protected areas Natura 2000 and which attract thousands of tourists who wish to enjoy our unique natural heritage,” the announcement said.
The action is organised and promoted by international environmental organisations BirdLife, European Environmental Bureau (EEB), Friends of the Earth Europe and WWF. In Cyprus the action is supported by BirdLife Cyprus, the Cyprus Conservation Foundation Terra Cypria, Friends of the Earth Cyprus and the Federation of Environmental Organisations of Cyprus.
To take part in the public consultation please visit www.birdlifecyprus.org/naturealert