Euro rules would favour business over wildlife

Capercaillie2web

More than 100 conservation groups have come together to oppose changes to European laws

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12th May 2015 by Graham Martin 1 Comment

More than 100 conservation groups have come together to oppose changing European laws that protect Scottish wildlife.

Campaigners say the European Birds and Habitat's Directive, which is under European Commission (EC) review, should be left alone.

They claim it has protected some of Scotland’s best loved and most iconic landscapes, from the Flow Country peatlands to the Caledonian pine forests of the Cairngorms, for over 30 years. 

The fear is that the review will lead to lower conservation standards in favour of easier conditions for business developments, which the green groups claim would endanger vulnerable Scottish wildlife such as the basking shark, the harbour porpoise,  the capercaillie and the corncrake.

Not only should our amazing wildlife be protected for itself, but it is also hugely economically important

The Joint Links Group, representing 100 voluntary organisations across the UK, has  published a position statement warning that the EC’s actions are the single biggest threat to UK and European nature and biodiversity in a generation.

Campaigners say the directives are under threat of being weakened by those who mistakenly regard them as a block on business and economic growth.

Any revision of the directives could leave the long-term future of Europe’s biodiversity vulnerable to short-term political priorities.

Convener of Scottish Environment Link’s Wildlife Forum Deborah Long said: “Scottish environmental NGOs are delighted to join with our colleagues from across the UK to sign this statement.

“Not only should our amazing wildlife be protected for itself, but it is also hugely economically important in attracting people to visit Scotland and in marketing Scottish produce. Those who see protecting nature as somehow getting in the way of business are often just wrong.”

The Joint Links group has created a response to the EC consultation, setting out a huge volume of evidence that demonstrates the effectiveness of the directives in protecting nature, providing huge benefits for people and providing a stable framework for responsible businesses.

Voluntary organisations have also today launched the Nature Alert electronic tool, enabling the public to have their say. 

13th May 2015 by Nora

This is the worst moment in Europe after World War Two. This specimen, Juncker, with all his Commission, has to resign immediately. This Commission does not represent the interests of the citizens anymore, it represents the interests of ill corporations. Europe has the least nature of all continents. How can anywone even think for a moment to give up on nature protection?! The Commission, instead of forcing the backward countries to respect the Directives, wants to drop out them. This outraging undertaking can not be covered by negligence and laziness. This is for sure corruption. We have to hit the streets and ask Junker to go, with his criminal ideas. Europe seems kind of numb now, it has to arouse. The danger is too huge, the steaks to high. If we give up now on the few nature we have left, the continent will be irreversably destroyed.