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Breakthrough agreement for Europe's threatened wildlife

785 million Euros Conservation fund

Negotiators in Brussels today announced a breakthrough agreement for a new €785 million scheme aimed at saving Europe’s most threatened wildlife. The ‘LIFE+ Nature and Biodiversity’ fund will co-finance projects for the protection of habitats and species that are conservation priorities for the whole of Europe. Owners and managers of land will be able to apply for funds to demonstrate innovative ways of maintaining the natural value of their land.

Sacha Cleminson, Senior European Advocacy Officer, said, BirdLife International has worked hard with negotiators to help make sure this fund delivers for wildlife how, and where, it is most needed.

The fund aims to restore and protect mammal species which might include Brown Bear Ursus arctos and European Bison Bison bonasus, majestic birds such as Lammergeier (sometimes called ‘bone-breaker vulture’) Gypaetus barbatus, or Gyrfalcon Falco rusticolus of the high arctic. It will also help conservation projects relating to other natural gems: tiny mosses and liverworts, fishes, snakes and endemic flowers.Europe’s richest habitats are also in line for help. Mediterranean salt steppes, Sub-Pannonic steppic grasslands, deciduous swamp woods in Scandinavia, Endemic macronesian heaths on the Atlantic islands, Caledonian forest, and the Irish Machair are to be priorities for funding.

We hope these EU-funded projects will help keep birds such as Spanish Imperial Eagle soaring over our countryside, enriching our lives. But they can also do more, by allowing natural systems to help safeguard and purify our drinking water and to keep us healthy by tempting us out to walk in an enriched countryside. said Cleminson.

The new fund will build on the current EU-LIFE funding scheme, which has supported many BirdLife Partner projects working to save Europe’s most threatened species. Most recently, BirdLife Malta launched the island’s largest ever conservation project, supported by €1 million of EU funding. The project will help secure the future of Yelkouan Shearwater Puffinus yelkouan that breed at Mellieha, by protecting habitat as well as improving the site for wildlife and visitors.

Find out more about BirdLife's European Community Office (ECO): http://europe.birdlife.org

4th July 2014