Treasures under threat
The Green Heart of Europe is in danger
• Illegal and unsustainable logging of virgin and other High Conservation Value Forests.
• Construction of roads, ski areas and other infrastructure, some of it illegal and much of it poorly planned.
• “Wild” construction of hundreds of large and small hydro- and wind-power stations, many with limited benefits in terms of clean energy but massive impacts for streams, rivers and wildlife.
• Unsustainable agricultural practices.
Half way there
We already have many of the tools needed to save the Green Heart of Europe, including:
• Strong legislation, from the EU Water Framework Directive to the EU Timber Regulation.
• Regional protection frameworks, including the Carpathian and Danube Protection Conventions.
• Government commitments to protect virgin forests, save Danube sturgeons, and more.
• International agreements, including the Lower Danube Green Corridor and Mura-Drava-Danube Biosphere Reserve.
• Economic incentives included in EU regional development policies and the EU Danube Strategy, and growing importance of certification schemes like FSC as well as payments for ecosystem services (PES).
• A strong network of partners stretching from the public to the private and non-profit sectors.
We now need to bring these together and ensure that they are both fully implemented and actively used.