Developing countries need an example not lecturing

2010 - 10 - 29

Europe has confirmed its role as a leader in the field of biological diversity. The director of the European Wildlife conservation organisation, Dalibor Dostal, appreciated the procedure by the European Commission and individual European countries at the international Conference for protection of worldwide natural diversity and fair use of natural resources, which has just ended in Nagoya Japan.

The European Union can be credited with negotiating compromises, which enabled acceptance of the new strategic plan for protection of natural diversity up to 2020. This includes the commitment to expand the area of protected areas and nature parks on dry land to 17 percent of the total area of dry land worldwide. According to the UNO environmental programme (UNEP) approximately 12.5 percent of the world is currently protected. Marine protected areas should be expanded from the existing one percent to 10 percent. The plan also includes procedures by which the required areas should be attained, including assistance to developing countries.

According to the European Wildlife conservation organisation negotiations with developing countries would be much more effective if they were able to perceive developed countries as an example worth following. “Only one percent of the original landscape has been preserved in Europe. It is very difficult to convince developing countries to stop destroying their natural resources when we have destroyed the original, untouched nature on 99 percent of the continent’s area,” Dalibor Dostal the director of the European Wildlife conservation organisation commented on the negotiations.

According to his belief European countries should help increase the area of regions with unspoilt nature to at least three percent of the continent. “If Europe gives developing countries a good example, proving that economic development can go in hand with the protection of the environment and biological diversity, both groups of countries will be much more successful in negotiating fulfilment of commitments from Nagoya,” emphasised Dalibor Dostal.

There are currently very good conditions in Europe for restoration of natural ecosystems. In some areas farmers are abandoning their land, because its cultivation is no longer economically sustainable. Restoration of original ecosystems on unused agricultural land is the most effective method of care of the landscape.

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