Europe and Central Asia

BirdLife Europe & Central Asia Press Release - 24 May 2018

European Commission aims high and approves plans to protect birds

Today, the European Commission presented their plans to support the approval of nine Species Action Plans at the “Eyes on the Flyways” conference organised by BirdLife Europe. [1] The action plans are crucial to help protect some of the most threatened bird species in Europe that are declining at an alarming rate. [2]

The nine Species Action Plans (SAPs) are the result of over three years of collaborative work by Member States, NGOs, multi-lateral agreements and the European Commission. Ready for adoption, the SAPs must be urgently implemented in Member States to ensure that the rapid decline of these species comes to an abrupt end.

One of the action plans tackles the decline of the Turtle Dove, a species suffering dramatic declines across its European flyway. The action plan put forth includes a clear reference to the threats affecting this species, in particular the habitat loss due to intensive farming, but also the need to apply the precautionary approach to other existing threats, such as unsustainable hunting levels.

Anna Staneva, LIFE EuroSAP Project Coordinator, BirdLife International:
The publication of the SAP comes at a crucial timing before the imminent publication of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform. The rapid decline of the Turtle Dove for example, is heavily linked to intensive farming practices which destroy nesting and breeding grounds. The recent CAP leak suggests the protection of nature will be at greater risk, meaning initiatives, like the EuroSAP project, are more crucial than ever.


For further information, please contact:
Anna Staneva, LIFE EuroSAP Project Coordinator, BirdLife International
+44 (0) 122 37 47 556


[1] The ‘Eyes on the Flyways’ conference is the final conference of the LIFE EuroSAP project and is organised by BirdLife Europe and its project partners, with the financial support of the European Commission, the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement and the MAVA Foundation.

[2] On 23 May 2018, the Action Plans were approved by the EU Member States and submitted for adoption by the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) and the CMS by the end of 2018. In order to promote and monitor SAP implementation across Europe, Africa and Asia, a web-based platform for collecting and sharing relevant information was created.

BirdLife Europe and Central Asia is a partnership of 48 national conservation organisations and a leader in bird conservation. Our unique local to global approach enables us to deliver high impact and long term conservation for the benefit of nature and people. BirdLife Europe and Central Asia is one of the six regional secretariats that compose BirdLife International. Based in Brussels, it supports the European and Central Asian Partnership and is present in 47 countries including all EU Member States. With more than 4100 staff in Europe, two million members and tens of thousands of skilled volunteers, BirdLife Europe and Central Asia, together with its national partners, owns or manages more than 6000 nature sites totalling 320,000 hectares.