Blueprint to Safeguard Europe's Water Resources released


The European Commission recently released its Blueprint to Safeguard Europe's Water Resources, outlining proposals to ensure better implementation of the EU’s water policy objectives. Several initiatives recognise the benefits of river restoration to improve the ecological status of Europe’s waters.

The Blueprint includes proposals on natural water retention, ecological flows and water accounts, and encourages restoration measures in the River Basin Management Plans and Flood Risk Management Plans submitted by Member States.

View the Blueprint submission by RESTORE and partners: http://www.restorerivers.eu/Publications/tabid/2624/mod/11083/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/3297/Default.aspx

View the Blueprint: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/water/blueprint/index_en.htm




Report: More than half of EU surface waters below ‘good’ ecological status


The European Environment Agency recently released its report European waters - assessment of status and pressures. The report found that water pollution and physical modifications are still affecting the ecology of many of Europe’s lakes, rivers, transitional water bodies and coastal waters. It concludes that these problems are likely to prevent the water bodies reaching ‘good’ status by 2015, the target set by the EU’s Water Framework Directive (WFD).

View the report: http://www.eea.europa.eu/highlights/more-than-half-of-eu

Does putting a price on rivers and rainfall diminish us all ?


In his typically lively and thought provoking manner, George Monbiot  of the Guardian, stepped into the fray with his analysis of ecosystem services on Monday. Monbiot says 'The argument in favour of this approach is coherent and plausible. Business currently treats the natural world as if it is worth nothing. Pricing nature and incorporating that price into the cost of goods and services creates an economic incentive for its protection. It certainly appeals to both busines and the self-hating state. The Ecosystems Markets Task Force speaks of ''substantial potential growth in nature-related markets- in the order of billions of pounds globally'.

But he says 'it doesn't end there. Once a resource has been commodified, speculators and traders step in'.

20th anniversary of the European Union’s LIFE programme


 The 20th anniversary of the European Union’s LIFE programme, the first dedicated financial instrument for funding environmental activities, was celebrated at the Europe House in London in May. Launched in 1992, LIFE was timed to coincide with the EU Habitats and Birds Directives coming into force, both aimed at preserving Europe’s biological diversity. 


Jonathan Scheele (Head of UK office for the EU) with Tony Grayling (Head of Climate Change and Communities, Environment Agency) at LIFE 20 years celebration.