In 1996, Species Action Plans were published for the 23 globally threatened bird species in Europe. A review of progress in implementing these plans showed that, five years after publication, about 50% of the high priority actions had yet to be undertaken.
In 1993, BirdLife International was asked by the European Commission to develop Species Action Plans (SAPs) for the 23 globally threatened bird species occurring in Europe. These documents were produced following an extensive consultation process involving many experts, and were approved and endorsed by several inter-governmental committees and organisations, including the Berne and Bonn Conventions. In 1996, the SAPs were published as a book and on the internet (Heredia et al. 1996). All the species covered were considered a priority for funding under the LIFE-Nature programme which provides co-finance for nature conservation projects in the European Union (c.€300 million during the period 2000–2004).
In 2001, a review of progress in implementing these SAPs showed that, five years after their publication, over 500 nationally based actions had been nearly or fully completed (Gallo-Orsi 2001). This is an encouraging example of how an NGO-government collaboration can stimulate conservation action for threatened species. However, overall, only c.50% of the 4,000 high priority or essential actions were underway, despite broad acceptance of the SAPs, stakeholder involvement and the potential for funding (see figure). Given that the majority of threatened bird species in Europe occur in several countries, actions must be undertaken across their entire ranges if their overall status is to improve significantly. Most of the actions still to be implemented relate to the integration of the species’ requirements into sectoral policies such as those on agriculture, fisheries and forestry.
BirdLife International (2004) In Europe, many essential nationally based actions have been undertaken but more must be addressed. Presented as part of the BirdLife State of the world's birds website. Available from: http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/sowb/casestudy/216. Checked: 16/04/2014
|Key message: Many actions are underway but there are still gaps|