An alliance for millions of Europeans who spend more than CAP on biodiversity

23 November 2011 | News story
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Naturalliance aims to help everyone whose work or recreation depends on nature. It builds up the knowledge you need, in your own language, for local decisions to manage and restore land, water and wildlife, whilst recording the good work you are doing for nature across Europe.  

The Naturalliance project launched at the English Game Fair this summer, is a partnership of IUCN’s European Sustainable Use Specialist Group (ESUSG) with by the UK Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust and two SMEs, Anatrack and Tero Ltd. The Naturalliance web portal, now in 20 languages, was launched across Europe on 7 November 2011 at the “Planning for Biodiversity” conference in Warsaw, a key event, in the Polish Presidency in the Council of the European Union. IUCN Regional Director for Europe, Hans Friederich participated in the event.

For production and employment, Europe needs farming and forestry, horticulture and aquaculture, but land and water are also important for culture and recreation. ESUSG research across 30 countries revealed that 100 million Europeans spend more than 60 billion Euros annually on four activities that depend on a healthy and beautiful natural environment: gathering wild products; watching and feeding wild creatures; fishing and hunting game. The similar Common Agricultural Policy budget is less than 30% for agri-environment measures.

Naturalliance was designed by an EU-funded project (www.tess-project.eu) that used software now on the portal for work in local communities to map deer, hares, lynx and their habitats in England, Germany and Portugal, recreational routes in Estonia, Greece and Hungary, wetlands and their tourism in Poland and wild plant products in Romania. The partners now aim to help everyone whose work or recreation depends on nature to build up the knowledge needed, in all European languages, for local decisions to manage and restore the riches of nature through sustainable use. Although government makes decisions to protect nature, the designers found that local citizens’ decisions on use of land and water, when averaged across the area that they gradually change, are thousands of times as frequent as formal planning. For production, recreation and employment, both citizens and government have a vital role to play in planning together the long-term sustainability and of land use and species.

For more information, contact Prof. Robert Kenward, Chair for Europe of IUCN Sustainable Use Specialist Group at reke@ceh.ac.uk.


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