CrisisWatch

Biodiversity & natural resources

#NatureAlert: vital EU nature laws are threatened

Today over 100 environmental NGOs across Europe will launch a joint online action to save European nature from Commission President Juncker’s deregulation agenda. An internet action called Nature Alert will allow citizens across the 28 EU countries to participate in the European Commission public consultation and, by doing so, save the laws that protect nature in Europe. The International NGOs BirdLife, the European Environmental Bureau, Frien...
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New law undermines Hungary's natural wealth

Budapest, Hungary, 28 April - Today the Hungarian Parliament accepted a bill which endangers the country's natural resources by taking land management rights away from state nature conservation organisations. This act leaves no doubt that the government has the intention to further decrease the level of nature conservation. Decisions in recent years have already put the conservation system in Hungary on a downhill run. Hungary was in the foref...
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Bulgarian green groups opposing ski resort receive threat calls

Threat calls from persons associating themselves with plans for further developments at the ski resort of Bansko (Pirin National Park) have been addressed to members of the  environmental coalition "For Nature in Bulgaria", of which WWF is a founding NGO. The coalition reported to the General Prosecutor's office that certain of its members received threatening telephone calls warning them to “take adequate, personal measures", with a request...
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New law undermines forest conservation in Spain 

A particularly controversial new law on forests was approved by the Spanish Government’s first cabinet meeting for 2015. Environmental groups, including WWF Spain and SEO/Birdlife, heavily criticised the new law. According to their analysis, it contains provisions that allow for the downgrading of public woodlands by new urban development schemes. A most threatening provision, article 50, allows for land use change and the exception of burnt fo...
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Public outcry stops Greek Parliament from voting anti-forest bill 

As environmental rollback on the pretence of economic development has become political routine in Greece, a new bill submitted to Parliament in early December aimed to sanction a new set of illegal land uses and buildings, declassify burnt forest lands from special reforestation status and essentially abolish the forest maps (currently most important forest protection legal tool).  The bill titled “Acts for contribution in land and cash –...
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Environment minister defoliates Greece’s forests of vital legal protection

Four months after the voting of the controversial Law 4280/2014 on housing development in forests and woodlands, Greece’s Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change submitted to the Parliament a new bill, which further undermines the conservation value and clarity of forest legislation. Titled “Acts for contribution in land and cash – Land expropriation and other provisions” and submitted by Alternate Environment Minister Nikos Ta...
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Will the Spanish Parliament weaken the conservation of national parks?

A proposed amendment to the Law on National Parks has caused public outcry in Spain. The legislative initiative was submitted by the Popular Party to the Congress of Deputies on October 20th and threatens to institute an unprecedented blow to the conservation status of the country’s 15 natural treasures, which include unique areas such as Doñana, Sierra Nevada and Guarajonay.  Amendment 278 states that public authorities will pursue voluntar...
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NGOs contest Spain’s approval for oil exploration offshore the Canaries

A coalition of Spain’s five largest environmental groups is taking legal action against the official authorisation granted by the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism to oil giant Repsol for hydrocarbon exploration offshore the Canary islands. Despite massive protests against the planned project, the Spanish Government gave Repsol an “all-clear” licence for offshore exploration in three marine plots close to the islands of Fuerteventur...
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Greek Parliament votes anti-forest law

A new forest law was voted at the Hellenic Parliament by a Government majority of 50-47 on August 5th. The new law was heavily criticised by environmental organisations, citizens groups, individual citizens and part of the media, as it introduces a series of critical changes to forest legislation, essentially altering its conservation character. In response to a three-day urgent call by WWF Greece for public action, over 1,000 people personally a...
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