Biodiversity: Brussels wants to save the animals
4 May 2011
El Periódico de Catalunya
“A quarter of European animal species are threatened with extinction,” reports Spanish daily El Periódico. The evaluation was provided on May 3 by the EU Environment Commissioner, Janez Potočnik, who presented the EU’s strategy to combat the loss of biodiversity in Europe. Objective: to restore at least 15 percent of degraded ecosystems by 2020. Biodiversity loss “will eventually cost the EU some 50 billion euros per year,” notes El Periódico, which regrets that the strategy announced “lacks measurable objectives and represents, rather, a bundle of good intentions.”
El Periódico says that 88 percent of European fish stocks are overfished and that the survival of 22 percent of European species is threatened by “increasingly aggressive” species invading from other ecosystems.
For its part, French daily Le Monde condemns the “miserable failure” of the previous plan of the EU, and stresses that the objectives set on May 3 “mark a rift in the community approach” as “the document ceases to make biodiversity an autonomous sector and imposes its objectives on the sectoral policies of the Union – agriculture, forestry, fishing – where the impact is greatest.” Le Monde notes that Potočnik, with the ambitious objectives of the plan, “blithely tramples on the toes of his colleagues in agriculture and fisheries”, which could create “frictions” in Brussels and among member states. The document will be discussed in Parliament before the end of the year.