Poland gives a hand to nature

Nine Environment Ministers have given a clear message to the Commission: EU nature laws are in excellent working order

UPDATE: Since this blog was posted, eight further EU Environment Ministers have written a joint letter to Commissioner Vella, stating their strong support for the Birds and Habitats Directives. We’re delighted.

Now, we’re waiting for the rest. Will nineteen more ministers speak up for nature?

The Polish government has called on the European Commission, asking that it doesn’t downgrade protection for Europe’s wildlife.

It’s in good company – this call echoes the appeal of over half a million Europeans this summer.

Poland’s Minister of the Environment Maciej Grabowski has written a letter to the Commission, making clear that Europe’s wildlife laws are strong and working well.

In the letter, Grabowski tells Commissioner Vella how effective the laws have been in defending nature and highlights public support for the Natura 2000 networks of European protected areas. In fact, Poland has one of the largest numbers of Natura 2000 sites in Europe, home to animals like the white-tailed eagle and Eurasian crane.

Monitoring the Commission’s review of the Birds and Habitats Directives has been a priority for ClientEarth and many other environmental organisations this year. We’ve called for the laws to be kept as they are – and we’re expecting the conclusions soon.

Protected areas in the Natura 2000 network are home to species such as the white-tailed eagle

In the coming weeks, officials responsible for wildlife conservation all over Europe will meet at various events to discuss the future of the wildlife laws.

Poland has shown it understands that governments have real power to influence what happens to these laws. It’s good to see such a powerful statement at this critical time for nature in Europe. It would be great to hear equally strong calls from other countries in the lead-up to these decisions.

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