Preserving biodiversity in Europe: Is sustainability the answer?

A male brown bear is seen at the courtyard of a high school in the Transylvanian city of Csikszereda, Romania, 21 August 2018. The bear broke into several houses and was eventually killed by a hunter. [EPA-EFE/NANDOR VERES HUNGARY OUT]

While most of the world is focusing on climate change and the steps needed to curb it, another critical environmental aspect – that of biodiversity – is failing to get the attention it deserves.

A growing number of reports show that biodiversity and ecosystems are deteriorating rapidly in Europe and around the world. This suggests that tackling nature and biodiversity problems is becoming more urgent than ever if we want to preserve our planet as it is today.

The European Commission adopted a new biodiversity strategy in June, with an action plan aiming to put Europe’s biodiversity on the path to recovery by 2030. The Green Deal is also a step in that direction, as it seeks to create the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050 and make the EU economy sustainable and nature-friendly.

But this will not be enough unless other countries follow suit. The population sizes of mammals, birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles around the world have seen an alarming average drop of 68% since 1970, according to the Living Planet Index.

This Special Report, published during EU Green Week, sheds light on how sustainability and biodiversity fare in Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Poland, and Spain.

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