EU "doing the splits" on nature-rich farmland
Simultaneous trends towards agricultural intensification and land abandonment are posing serious threats to high nature value farmland, the European environment agency (EEA) and UN environment programme warned on Thursday. In a joint report, they estimate that such farmland covers 15-25% of Europe's countryside. EU environment ministers agreed last year to identify all high nature value farmland by 2006. Without new efforts to safeguard these areas, the EU will not reach its goal of halting species loss by 2010, the two agencies warned. See press release and the report.