EU Biodiversity and Nature Directors' Meeting

Taking place on 17-18 September, this meeting was held under the Cypriot EU Presidency in Paphos, Cyprus was attended by FACE’s Angus Middleton.

The meeting followed on from the European Commission’s Coordination Group on Biodiversity and Nature. A number of important items were presented, including a discussion on the Biogeographic Seminars and Natura 2000 Management, where Angus gave an intervention on behalf of the Natura 2000 User Forum (a group of EU land management and user NGOs including FACE, ELO, COPA-COGECA, CEPF and EAA) which outlined the fact that we represent some 45 million citizens who are active stakeholders in conservation inside and outside of protected areas. This was generally well received and supported by presentations made by the French and Flemish Ministries.

The other areas covered included the financing of environmental objectives in the upcoming EU Multi-Annual Financial Framework (2014-2020), an area which FACE is not involved in but could gain from by supporting improved environmental financing through the various budget lines.

There was also an opportunity to meet with the President of the Cypriot Hunters’ Federation Antonis Kakoullis and the Director of the Cyprus Game Fund to discuss various issues. First hand impressions of the management measures undertaken for wildlife were very good. Apart from the usual hunting issues it is clear from the discussions that new solutions need to be found regarding the trapping issue and this will require some collective thought.