News

NatureAlert campaign smashes public consultation response record

Press Release

Brussels, May 26 2015

The European Environmental Bureau, BirdLife and the WWF have welcomed the news that the EU Nature Alert campaign [1] has now generated more public responses to an EU public consultation than ever before [2].

Since the campaign was launched just two weeks ago, over 145 000 European citizens from across Europe have taken the time to demand that the EU continues to protect nature. This is proof, if it were needed, that Europeans want their nature to be protected [3]. They do not want the European Commission and national governments to dismantle laws that are to the benefit of all [4].

The three environmental NGOs commented:

It is fantastic news that EU citizens have answered immediately our call to protect nature in such significant numbers. This shows that people care about nature and want the EU to continue to protect our birds, animals and green spaces. This is an important message to President Juncker and his team that environment is a big priority for Europeans and they won’t let it be undermined. We believe that this is only the beginning and expect many more people to show their support for the Nature Alert campaign in the weeks to come.”        

The UK is currently leading the scoreboard for the country with the most citizens who have responded to the campaign, followed by Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. The campaign is running in all 28 EU countries with over 200 NGOs participating.

The Consultation will be online until 24 July. Citizens can vote at www.naturealert.eu.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

[1] The internet action called Nature Alert allows citizens across the 28 EU countries to participate in the European Commission public consultation and, by doing so, save the laws that protect nature in Europe. The International NGOs BirdLife, the European Environmental Bureau, Friends of the Earth Europe and WWF are organising and promoting the e-action.

The e-action marks the beginning of a pan-European, multi-annual campaign to stop any threats to current nature protection efforts and to obtain better implementation and enforcement of Europe’s nature laws.  More than 90 environmental organisations have joined  forces to mobilise members, supporters and the general public to tell the Commission that they want Europe’s nature laws to be maintained, better implemented and enforced. 

Europe’s nature laws (the Birds and Habitats Directives) are recognised as some of the strongest in the world to protect animals, plant and habitats from extinction. Thanks to these laws, Europe now has the world’s biggest network of protected areas, Natura 2000, covering about one-fifth of Europe’s land and 4 per cent of its marine sites. 

The European Commission has decided to carry out an in-depth evaluation of both laws to determine whether they are effective in protecting our natural world. This process is happening in a context that is clearly hostile to nature conservation, as illustrated by President’s Juncker rhetoric on ‘business-friendly’ laws and cutting ‘green tape’. 

[2] The previous record was held by the recent public consultation on the planned Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which raised support from 145 000 EU citizens.

[3] Although EU citizens have low awareness about the specifics of the Nature Directives, Eurobarometer surveys show that 95% of EU citizens say protecting the environment is important to them personally (Eurobarometer 2014) and 77% agree that European environmental legislation is necessary for protecting the environment in their country (Eurobarometer 2014).

[4] [2] EEB’s PR on European Commission’s Better Regulation package.

For further information contact:

BirdLife Europe: Luca Bonaccorsi, +32 478 20 62 84, luca.bonaccorsi@birdlife.org

WWF EPO: Stefania Campogianni,+32 499 53 97 36, scampogianni@wwf.eu

European Environmental Bureau: Philippa Nuttall Jones, +32 471 57 01 81, philippa.jones@eeb.org

 

 

For more info, please contact:

Philippa NUTTALL JONES

philippa.jones@eeb.org Communications Manager

Tel: +32 (0) 2289 13 09