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 22 may 2018 16:54 

World Biodiversity Day: farmers and cooperatives crucial for biodiversity

Farmers and forest owners provide consumers with quality food, preserve landscapes, reduce land abandonment and maintain biodiversity.

They integrate biodiversity friendly farming practices into their daily business, preserving and restoring endangered species and habitats throughout the EU, through schemes such as  the Natura 2000 network.

“Farmers’ and forest owners success in achieving this can come at a cost, raising socio-economic problems for rural areas and the farming community, especially livestock farmers, forest owners and beekeepers. Damages resulting from large carnivore attacks like wolves on livestock and from other conflicting species protected under the EU Nature Directive have increased significantly, reaching intolerable levels in some cases”, said Copa and Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen.

“Livestock farming must continue to be prosperous, without having to bear significant damages and needing costly protection measures”, added Pesonen. To achieve this, Copa and Cogeca believe that better population control and damage management are needed. Environmental protection and species protection must be in harmony with the economic development of rural areas. Conservation measures should focus more on the sustainable and productive use of land, to achieve the right balance between nature and maintaining farmers livelihoods.

Copa and Cogeca are calling for an update of the annexes under Natura 2000 and an effective use of derogations provided under the EU Nature Directives.

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