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New EU countries "on track" with conservation

Environmental group WWF has praised the performance of the EU's new ten states, plus future members Romania and Bulgaria, in implementing the bloc's Natura 2000 conservation network. Most countries have submitted comprehensive lists of proposed sites, it said in a report, which generally cover larger proportions of their territory than the 18% average currently protected in the EU-15. The report highlights the threat posed to potential sites by mass tourism and road infrastructure, and laments EU delays in deciding future financing for the network. See press release and report.

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