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EU Enlargement And Biodiversity


EU Enlargement And Biodiversity

On the 1st of May 2004, all eyes will be on the European Union and the additional 75 million people who will be joining. Although it is undoubtedly for the benefit of all Europeans, the environment is among the most complicated issues to be dealt with during the process of enlargement of the European Union. The enlargement presents some long-term challenges for the rich natural heritage of the new member states.

Accession countries are enriching the EU through the biodiversity they are bringing, as they represent a large proportion of Europe's remaining natural wealth. The new members harbour about one fifth of the continent's forests, have ample freshwater resources, and are rich in animal and plant diversity. However, the greatest challenge for the new EU member states today is to retain their natural resources while offering their citizens opportunities for improving their well-being.

IUCN - The World Conservation Union takes stock of the biodiversity assets of the new member states and highlights opportunities and challenges for biodiversity conservation in an enlarged EU.

Read the IUCN Media Brief on EU Enlargement and Biodiversity: http://www.iucn.org/info_and_news/press/mediakiteu.pdf

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