Independent MEP, Nessa Childers is encouraging citizens to take part in the European Commission’s consultation into EU nature legislation as part of its Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT).
‘There is a very real concern that this consultation is a first step towards sacrificing the Birds and Habitats Directives in a bid to become more “business friendly”.
These Directives have been responsible for protecting very valuable areas of natural beauty not only in Ireland, but across all of Europe. Nature creates prosperity , and nature and wildlife are part of our identity and culture, and are also a valuable source of employment.’
Last January Childers voted against the European Commission’s Work Programme which contained the commitment to revoke EU legislation in areas such as environment and equality.
‘This is all being done in the name of cutting red and so called “green” tape, as if no regulation in these areas meant better regulation. However, the Commission has failed to explain how these gaps are supposed to help our economy grow.
To take part in the consultation please follow these links
Description of the EU Directives under review
The European Union boasts some of the strongest nature protection laws in the world, supported by the extensive Natura 2000 network of conservation sites. It covers almost a fifth of the EU’s land area and 4% of its seas.
Designed to “maintain the population of all species of wild birds in the EU at a level which corresponds to ecological, scientific and cultural requirements”, the Birds Directive bans activities like collecting eggs and destroying nests. Hunting is also limited to specific seasons, methods and species.
The Habitats Directive aims to “maintain or restore natural habitats and species of EU interest” by providing special conservation status for over 1,000 species of plants and animals in some 230 different habitat types.