Fears EU funding cut will harm biodiversity

23rd June 2011


Related Topics

Related tags

  • EU ,
  • Agriculture ,
  • Biodiversity

Author

IEMA

EU payments to help farmers protect wildlife could be under threat due to budget cuts, warn the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).

The RSPB has voiced concerns that under the new EU budget, due to be published on 29 June 2011, spending under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) cut considerably.

According to the wildlife charity, there are rumours that money will be saved by removing funding for the Pillar Two subsidies that support initiatives promoting wildlife-friendly and protecting biodiversity.

RSPB conservation director Martin Harper said the group was staggered by the possible move, which it labelled as a “devastating blow” to the environment and the long-term future of farming.

“Rewarding farmers for protecting threatened wildlife has provided a lifeline to many sensitive species, which would otherwise have ebbed away,” he said.

“If the EU continues with this plan, there is no doubt that wildlife will suffer, with the possible ultimate UK extinction of some threatened species, including the turtle dove and the cirl bunting.”

A Defra spokesperson confirmed to the BBC that the CAP budget needed to be cut substantially, but that it too was concerned by the rumours that Pillar Two was to take the brunt of the cuts.

"Pillar Two is better value for money, contributing to economic growth, supporting the environment and agricultural competitiveness, and should have a larger share of a smaller CAP budget," the spokesperson confirmed.

Harper said that cutting Pillar Two funding would equate to reneging on the EU pledge to halt the decline in wildlife by 2020.

“If the European Commission president approves this budget, he risks erasing wildlife from the map of Europe, breaking promises and undermining decades of conservation effort, which has spared the greatest wildlife losses. Cuts to agri-environment funding would be totally unacceptable.”

The news came as the European Council endorsed the recently published EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020, and confirmed it was deeply concerned that Europe had missed its biodiversity targets in 2010.

In a statement the council emphasised the need to take action to integrate the strategy into relevant policies, including the CAP, and called on the commission to incorporate biodiversity measures and concerns in its proposals for the legislative framework of the next future financial perspectives – the EU’s multi-annual financial framework review.


Transform articles

Royal Botanic Gardens unveils new strategy to tackle biodiversity loss

The Royal Botanic Gardens (RBG) in Kew has today unveiled a new strategy to tackle biodiversity loss and develop sustainable nature-based solutions to some of humanity’s biggest global challenges.

28th September 2021

Read more

An application for judicial review was dismissed in the case of R. (on the application of Langton) v Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

23rd September 2021

Read more

IEMA has contributed to the creation of two new British Standards on biodiversity and natural capital. IEMA policy and practice lead Nick Blyth and several other IEMA members are on the committees that oversaw the creation of the standards.

23rd September 2021

Read more

The UK government must develop regulation to stop the financial sector from providing billions of pounds to companies that threaten rainforests worldwide, WWF has said.

10th September 2021

Read more

Over two million hectares of Brazilian rainforest could be legally converted to supply the UK with soy under a new anti-deforestation law proposed by the government, the WWF has found.

26th August 2021

Read more

The UK government is not on track to deliver on its promise to improve the environment within a generation and is failing to stem the tide of biodiversity loss, a damning new report from MPs has revealed.

1st July 2021

Read more

Businesses from across the UK’s economy have come together to launch a new forum aimed at mainstreaming biodiversity throughout the private sector.

28th May 2021

Read more

Business initiatives on climate change are now being repurposed to prevent the destruction of nature, reports Catherine Early

26th March 2021

Read more

The world must adopt new metrics for economic success that account for the benefits of investing in nature, an independent review on global biodiversity has concluded today.

2nd February 2021

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert