In a report published today by the RSPB and BirdLife International titled ‘2010-Turning or Breaking Point for Europe’s Wildlife?’, conservationists summarized the EU progress towards the 2010 biodiversity target as measured by 18 criteria spanning 10 major groups of indicators. Of 27 EU countries, only four nations “adequately” addressed 6 or more of the 18 criteria (Sweden, Poland, Lithuania and Finland), 17 nations “inadequately” addressed at least 15 of the 18 criteria, and 4 nations were “highly insufficient” in addressing 12 or more of the 18 criteria.
As measured by the number of “Highly Insufficient” ratings, Cyprus scored absolutely the worst, failing horribly in 15 or 18 of the assessed categories. Runners-up (Failed criteria) are Ireland(14/18), Malta (12/18) and Spain (12/18).
And on the Overall score, 8 nations ranked “Highly Insufficient” (Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Romania, and Spain).
Two key messages put forward in the report, which I found interesting:
1. Strong EU legislation and local enforcement are key to preventing direct persecution of birds and other wildlife. [Cyprus, Greece and Malta have the worst records of enforcing biodiversity laws stemming from the Habitats and Birds Directives.]
2. The low status of national biodiversity strategies is a black spot, showing very low attention paid to the Convention on Biological Diversity at the national level. [Only Luxembourg has a national biodiversity strategy that is adequate.]