EU celebrates 20th anniversary of endangered species, financing programs

Brussels, 21 May 2012 – Today is the 20th anniversary of two key instruments for the conservation and sustainable use of nature in the EU: the Habitats Directive and LIFE, the EU financing programme for the environment. Twenty years ago, EU Member States unanimously adopted the Habitats Directive to safeguard the most threatened species and habitats across Europe.

This was in response to concerns over rapidly declining wildlife and loss of natural habitats, resulting from land-use changes, pollution and urban sprawl. To give species and habitats space to recover, the Directive set up the Natura 2000 network of protected areas and the LIFE financial instrument has provided strategic support to its development.

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