CrisisWatch

Biodiversity & natural resources

Despite crisis, Europeans agree more funding is needed for biodiversity

A recent Flash Eurobarometer survey on the “Attitudes towards biodiversity” may offer a clear message that the majority of EU citizens do not favour measures that undermine the conservation of Europe’s natural treasury. According to the Flash Eurobarometer 379, which was published earlier in November, “[r]oughly  three  quarters  of  Europeans  totally  agree  that  the  EU  should  better  inform citizens about the importanc...
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Civil society teams up against oil drilling in the Canaries

Spain’s major environmental NGOs, including WWF Spain, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, Ecologists in Action and SEO/Birdlife, have united under a joint campaign to halt the oil extraction plans offshore Lanzarote and Fuerteventura islands by energy giants Repsol, RWE and Woodside. The $10 billion project is currently undergoing review by the MAGRAMA, Spain’s Agriculture, Food and Environment Ministry, following a period of public comments...
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Romanian Parliament rejects controversial gold mining investment

The commission established by the Romanian Parliament with the mandate to review the investment of Gabriel Resources Ltd in the region of Rosia Montana, rejected the giant gold mining plan with 17 votes against and two abstentions. Although it is anticipated that a new law will be submitted to the Parliament, given the Government’s firm decision to proceed with the approval of the investment, this is indeed a landmark decision, following mass p...
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Bitter strawberry plan threatens Doñana biodiversity hotspot

The lease by the Government of Andalucia of ecologically important publicly owned natural lands (montes publicos) in the Donana National Park has heightened concerns about the conservation future of this unique and globally significant biodiversity hotspot. A large part of these lands is currently illegally occupied and cultivated, primarily for the production of strawberries....
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Mass anti-gold protests rock Romanian Government

Triggered by a Government legislative initiative that allows extraordinary rights to Rosia Montana Gold Corp. (largely owned by Canadian group “Gabriel Resources”, massive protests have swarmed Romania’s major cities. The tailor-made law was submitted by PM Victor Ponta to the Parliament in the end of August and voting probably will take place in November....
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Greece’s woodlands fall prey to myopic crisis policies

In a draft law rushed through a 7-day public consultation process, the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change proposes the declassification from protection status of over 15% of Greek territory. The aim of this act is to allow for the development of touristic and industrial uses on lands currently protected under the national Forest Code, on the basis of article 24 of the Greek Constitution. Through the proposed amendments, the State...
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Italy’s protected areas undermined by draft law

Through an urgent legislative procedure, the Senate of the Republic of Italy is currently discussing draft law 119 on “New provisions relating to protected areas”. The urgency and a series of provisions included in the draft law have caused the reaction of environmental organisations and the Parks Federation (Fedeparchi)....
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Spain: fewer wildfires, more problems in forest protection

As the 2013 wildfire season has not yet ended, Spain has been fortunate to experience fewer in number and less devastating wildfire incidents, compared to previous years. This however was the consequence of a relatively mild summer and high levels of springtime rainfall - not the result of properly equipped and coordinated wildfire prevention and combatting mechanisms....
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1,500,000 EU citizens win battle against privatisation of water

Achieving the support of almost 1,500,000 EU citizens, campaign platform “Water is a human right” (right2water.eu) achieved a remarkable feat: Commissioner Michel Barmier for Internal Markets and Services announced that the EC will exclude water services from its Concessions Directive. “I fully understand why citizens are both angry and upset when they are told their water services might be privatised against their will. I would feel the s...
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