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Event 20 Years of Habitats Directive: European Wildlife's Best Hope

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Period [12/12/2012 - 13/12/2012]
Event location KBC building, Auditorium 3th floor Schoenmarkt 35, 2000 Antwerpen
Host Argus, VVOR
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Geographical coverage Europe, Belgium,
Keywords habitat,

The Habitats Directive forms the cornerstone of Europe’s nature conservation policy. It is built around two pillars: the Natura 2000 network of protected sites and the strict system of species protection. More than 18% of the surface of the EU is a part of the Natura 2000 network whereas over hundreds of animal and plant species are protected by the provisions of article 12 and 16 of the Habitats Directive. Yet, at its 20th Birthday, there seems little to no reason to cheer. At present only 17% of the protected habitats and species are in a favourable conservation status. According to IUCN Red List, 10 to 60 % of animal species, depending on the monitored groups, are threatened in Europe. This conference aims at assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the Habitats Directive in the light of the European ‘no net loss’ approach. In this respect focus will not only rest on the existing threats to biodiversity (e.g. nitrogen deposit) but also on new challenges, such as climate change and invasive alien species. Is the Habitats Directive robust enough to tackle these new and existing threats or do we need other or better legal instruments ?

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