EU urges more effort on biodiversity goals

There is still a demand for "unprecedented effort" to meet the EU's environmental conservation targets, according to the environment minister Stavros Dimas.

He was speaking at the EU Biodiversity Action Plan Conference last week, where he discussed whether or not the EU will meet its 2010 target.

The action plan sets out measures to halt the decline of biodiversity across member states by restoring natural habitats and systems, such as through environmental schemes.

Mr Dimas explained that, despite progress “in many areas”, European biodiversity “is not in a healthy state”.

He said: “Half of European species of conservation concern remain either threatened or vulnerable. The situations with habitats is worse with 80% currently threatened or vulnerable.

“With 2010 less than a year away it is almost certain that we will not meet the official EU target of halting the loss of biodiversity.”

He also likened the biodiversity threat to that of climate change, claiming it is “every bit as serious”.

“It will not be possible to halt the loss of biodiversity without addressing climate change,” he added.

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