The main pressures and drivers causing biodiversity loss are well known and include habitat loss or change, introduced species, pollution, over-exploitation, and climate change. The principal pressure is habitat fragmentation, degradation and destruction due to land-use change. Nearly 30 % of the fragmented EU land is mostly due to urban sprawl and infrastructure development. Urban sprawl, for example, can impact land changes through the transformation of urban-rural linkages. Infrastructure development involves both settlement expansion as well as the expansion of transport networks.
Reforming the €336 billion Cohesion (regional) Policy, second largest EU fund, will be a decisive tool for shaping EU’s future resource efficient and low carbon economy. It could play a crucial role in steering local economies and in accelerating the transition progress towards building sustainable economies within ecological limits. While the total budget can only serve as catalyst to a transition towards a low carbon economy it is crucial that funding is concentrated while allowing for regions to support their potential.
Stichting BirdLife Europe gratefully acknowledges financial support from the European Commission. All content and opinions expressed on these pages are solely those of Stichting BirdLife Europe.