Review of Biodiversity support
A new review states that all EEA and Norway Grants supported biodiversity projects are very relevant to the achievement of national and international biodiversity obligations, and calls for more attention to biodiversity issues within public authorities and among the public.
During the commitment period 2004-09, the EEA and Norway Grants awarded €49 million in support to safeguarding biodiversity. The largest proportion of projects (15) is in Poland, followed by the Czech Republic, Greece and Slovakia with 5 each. Bulgaria, Estonia and Portugal have 4 projects each, whereas Cyprus, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Spain have between 1 and 3 projects each. Of the 52 individual projects covering biodiversity issues, 35 target the conservation of flora and/or fauna, whereas the rest are divided between research and educational projects and awareness-raising.
The review states that projects were generally off to a late start but were found to be progressing well and expected to deliver on planned results. Furthermore, all EEA and Norway Grants supported biodiversity projects are very relevant to the achievement of national and international biodiversity obligations and/or research to establish key data to assist with species and habitats protection and management.
The review remarks that the number of projects and the amounts committed to biodiversity are modest, and calls for an innovative approach when it comes to raising public awareness about biodiversity loss. The report points to a lack of focus on and priority of biodiversity issues within ministries and public authorities in the beneficiary states, and remarks that applicants have focused more on visible infrastructure and pollution-oriented projects.
The review of the EEA and Norway Grants support to biodiversity projects has been carried out by the Slovenian consultancy PITIJA svetovanje d.o.o.