Natura 2000 fears over finance drought

EU forest and nature directors urge extension of funding schemes to assist ailing conservation project

The European Commission has been issued a stark warning that the success of the EU Natura 2000 programme is under serious threat if a steady stream of new financing, in particular through the common agricultural and fisheries policies, is not ensured. The warning came at the first joint meeting of nature and forest directors throughout Europe, hosted last week by the Danish presidency and attended by a number of Commission officials.

Presidency conclusions from the meeting urged greater stakeholder involvement from the outset in the development of sites under the Natura 2000 project. "There has been anger over the way that some countries went ahead [with the process of nominating sites] without informing land owners," explained Hans Berglund, forests programme director at WWF Sweden and a speaker at the meeting.

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