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Protection of nature and biodiversity


Increased urbanisation and the spread of human infrastructures, over-exploitation of natural resources, pollution in all its forms, the introduction of exotic species into our ecosystems - these factors are all highly damaging for biodiversity. As a result, 42% of mammals, 15% of birds and 52% of freshwater fish across Europe are under threat. In addition, nearly 1000 plant species are at serious risk or on the verge of disappearing completely. In order to safeguard biodiversity and combat the extinction of animal and plant species, the European Union has set up a vast network of protected sites (the Natura 2000 network) and made the protection of biodiversity one of the key objectives of the Sixth Environment Action Programme.

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