NewsApril 15, 2016

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New report on the state of the UK's birds

Green Week 2017 – The transition towards a circular economy

25th anniversary of LIFE and the Habitats Directive

OpenNESS partners reflect on progress and impact

ECNC welcomes a new Network partner

Sea turtles and ‘plastic soup’ in the classroom

New issue of ECNC Update published

Nature Outlook report to be presented in Brussels

Healthy Seas in 2016 - more nets collected and exciting new activities

Ecosystem services and EU regulatory frameworks: How can Oppla help?

European Commission adopts the Environmental Implementation Review

EC launches public consultation on the Common Agricultural Policy

Today is World Wetlands Day

Successful Healthy Seas beach clean-up with schoolkids

New EEA report on climate change in Europe

PISCO/UNS publication on the science of marine protected areas

New issue of ECNC Update published

2017 - International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development

EU guide to environmental directives

Video message by Commissioner Vella in support of Healthy Seas

Ecosystem services seminar presentations available online

ALTER-Net team publishes paper on nature-based solutions

UN Biodiversity Conference: commitments for action on biodiversity

New French Agency for Biodiversity

New issue of ECNC Update published

Healthy Seas fashion exhibition in the Netherlands

IAGC and Healthy Seas announce ocean ghostnet clean-up partnership

Statement by Commissioner Vella on the Nature Directives Fitness Check

Oppla all set to serve European projects

New issue of ECNC Update published

Fruit and biodiversity in the Euregio Rhine-Waal

OpenNESS at the third EU Business and Biodiversity annual meeting

Sustainable Development: EU sets out its priorities

Users very enthusiastic about Oppla

Record number of cities apply for European Green Capital 2019 and European Green Leaf 2018 Awards

Second Atlantic Seminar: Knowledge exchange and roadmap for future cooperation

OpenNESS case studies to inspire European site managers

European companies awarded for their green business solutions

New issue of ECNC Update published

Bosland conference - increasing opportunities for nature and society

Stakeholders discuss actions and cooperation at Second Boreal Seminar

Draft results of restoration study presented at workshop

Embracing Estuaries – workshop results published

The 'umbrella effect' of Natura 2000

Bracenet develops fashion bracelets from ghost nets

Support the People4Soil initiative

Ecosystem services: We must now deliver societal impact

What the EU should do to better protect nature in Europe

Best practice in restoration

EEA ‘My City’ photo competition: public vote now open

Nature lends a hand

Launching Oppla: a global platform for nature-based solutions

European Commission adopts first EU list of invasive species

Enter the Green-Go short film contest 2016!

Registration now open for conference ‘Bosland 10 years – Passion for Nature’

New issue of ECNC Update published

Registration open for study workshop on restoration and the EU biodiversity strategy to 2020

Sharing knowledge and experience for regions and biodiversity

New issue of ECNC Update published

LIFE Platform meeting on restoration of sand dune habitats

Implementing ecosystem restoration and green infrastructure in Europe

Nature supports Europe’s sustainable cities

Food and health the focus of Tilburg Nature Market 2016

New issue of ECNC Update published

2016 Natura 2000 Award winners announced

Workshop on Mediterranean forest management and Natura 2000

OpenNESS annual meeting reflects on four years of work

New issue of ECNC Update published

ECNC and Lithuanian Government preparing the Second Boreal Natura 2000 Seminar

People 4 Soil initiative

Symposium 'Biodiversity in the Netherlands, one step beyond'

Odra Delta Nature Park - testing new business models

Finalists of the 2016 Natura 2000 Award announced

New issue of ECNC Update published

Call for practical restoration evidence for new EU study on ecosystem restoration

Vote for the European Natura 2000 Citizens’ Award!

Research to support innovating with nature

Department of Landscape Architecture, Ankara University, joins ECNC Network

New issue of ECNC Update published

Integrating nature into circular economy

Quality Destination in action!

New project to promote ecosystem restoration

European Ecosystem Services Conference: call for sessions open!

New issue of ECNC Update published

Land and Soil Management Award – Apply now!

Alpine Grassland Management Workshop addresses long-term protection of grasslands

European biodiversity indicator process revitalized

Promoting sustainable tourism in Uzundere through the QualityDestination programme

New issue of ECNC Update published

Natura 2000 Award 2016 - Deadline extended until 15 December!

Tackling nitrogen deposition in nature areas requires an integrated approach

Ecosystem services for nature, people and prosperity

Seminar discusses Natura 2000 management issues

Data to underpin Dutch Parliament view on EU nature legislation

’Eco-crossovers’ in the German–Dutch Euregio Rhine-Waal

How small businesses operationalise ecosystem services

New issue of ECNC Update published

ECNC networking for Europe’s nature and biodiversity

Biodiversity meter unveiled in Delft

Natura 2000 Award 2016 - apply now!

Symposium ‘Biodiversity in the Netherlands, one step beyond’


On 13 April 2016, ECNC’s Executive Director Rob Wolters delivered a ‘setting the scene’ speech at the European symposium ‘Biodiversity in the Netherlands, one step beyond’, held at Eemlandhoeve, in Bunschoten-Spakenburg, the Netherlands.

Participants came from 20 European countries; the various stakeholder groups included nature conservationists, farmers, and EC and national government officials.

Rob Wolters introduced the state of nature in Europe, while zooming in on the Netherlands. He compared the situation during the Dutch Presidency of the EU in 1991, when the EU Habitats Directive was politically adopted, with that of the current Dutch Presidency. In view of the inadequate progress made in five of the six targets of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020, he recommended a change of paradigm in dealing with biodiversity and Natura 2000.

Mr Wolters stressed that nature and biodiversity are not threats to land use or economic development in the EU, but are vital elements. He proposed mobilizing the full potential of nature and Natura 2000 to boost circular and green economy. An important recommendation was the inclusion of all relevant local stakeholders in the functioning of Natura 2000 areas in order to strengthen Natura 2000 as a people’s network. He made a plea for market mechanisms paying for ecosystem services delivered by land users, including farmers, and said: ‘We should finally make it work.’

He said that we should work towards a Common Agricultural Policy that does not greenwash but truly greens our countryside by delivering public goods. Millions of people are passionate about ‘their’ nature, ‘their’ landscapes, ‘their’ species, and we should cherish this. He emphasized that it is important to remember that millions of farmers work hard to make a living and it was farmers who created many of the landscapes that we now value.

Mr Wolters said it is time to move Europe and EU nature and biodiversity to the field of positive energy again: ‘Time to build, time to trust, time to focus on people and nature, on “diversity in unity in the EU”, and on pride.’

He concluded his speech by stating that in order to achieve a truly circular and competitive Europe, we have to focus on people and nature: ‘Economy should serve, not lead and determine.’