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Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Brussels to tackle Europe's alien species

On 9 September, the European Commission proposed rules to combat the estimated €12 billion of damage caused every year to EU farming and infrastructure by invasive animal and plant species.
The EU executive estimates that there are over 12,000 species in the European Union which are alien to the natural environment. With 15% of these growing in number, this has significant implications for the EU’s biodiversity and economy, the Commission says.
For example, the coypu, a large semi-aquatic rodent originally native to South America, has devastated crops agricultural yields in rural France, Euractiv reports. In France, it is considered a pest and authorities have taken steps to eradicate it.
But these efforts are undermined if a bordering member state does not carry out the same eradication measures, European officials believe: “Combating invasive alien species is a prime example of an area where Europe is better when working together,” said Janez Potočnik, the EU environment commissioner.
The EU executive plans to draw up a list of 50 of the EU's most threatening species to target and harmonise eradication effort across the European Union. The rules will focus on prevention, spotting pathways for alien species such as contaminated goods.

Source: EurActiv

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