Review of support to biodiversity projects
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.
While biodiversity is everywhere, it is generally under threat from urban development, industrial agriculture, tourism, etc. There is a global agreement to conserve biodiversity, and within the European Union (EU), a start has been made to realise this through the ‘Birds Directive’ and the ‘Habitats Directive’, and the designation of special sites, forming the ‘NATURA 2000’ network.
Key overall findings
• The number of biodiversity projects coming forward has been restricted, either by pre-set allocations or preferences of applicants for pollution abatement infrastructure projects, which have a more obvious and direct impact on the environment and respond to public concern.
• The supported projects are relevant to the achievement of national and international biodiversity objectives and obligations, and for research to establish key data to assist with the protection and management of species and habitats and the projects are estimated to have long term positive impacts.
• Of the 52 projects investigated, only ten focused on education or public awareness, which has been identified as a major obstacle for citizens wanting to take action to arrest the decline in biodiversity.
• Project ownership is good, with Project Promoters ensuring their projects remained active during the long gestation period, often by securing other resources.
• Better prioritisation of biodiversity actions
• Facilitate involvement by NGOs