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What has Europe ever done for wildlife?

Posted: Tuesday 1st March 2016 by BrianEversham

Bewick's swans by Gillian DayBewick's swans by Gillian Day

This is a question for us all to consider approaching the referendum on whether the UK should leave or remain in the European Union (EU). I would encourage you to do three things between now and the EU Referendum on 23 June:

1) Challenge: So far the environment and wildlife have been all but absent in discussions and media coverage about the pros and cons of leaving or remaining in the EU. Ask campaigners or politicians on both sides of the debate how they will ensure adequate protection for wildlife and habitats. Let’s play our part to ensure that the environment and wildlife is central to the decision whether we leave or remain in the EU. Whatever the decision, our wildlife needs to be protected in the long term.

2) Research: Our handy school report on the EU’s environmental performance to date is a good starting point (see below) 

Let’s not forget that the future for EU environmental legislation is also uncertain. As part of the REFIT review of so-called EU ‘red tape’ the Birds and Habitats Directives have been challenged. They provide essential protection for our most threatened landscapes and species, including the Nene Valley, Woodwalton Fen and Devil’s Dyke, and provide extra protection to species ranging from Spined Loach to Stag Beetles. Thanks to all of you who signed our petition to support the EU Nature Directives. I'm happy to report that following an EU Parliament debate in February the Demesmaeker Biodiversity Report (which explicitly opposed any revision of the Nature Directives) was adopted by a massive majority (592+ 52-). The review of the Nature Directives is not yet over, but it’s excellent to have such strong political support.

3) Vote: If you’re reading this, I hope you will vote in the referendum on 23 June - it’s one of the most important choices facing us. Whether we choose to stay in the European Union or elect to go it alone, our decision will affect wildlife and people for generations to come.



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EU Report3.23 MB

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