BirdLife Europe e-news, Vol XII, Issue 7, July 2015
In this issue

By Luca Bonaccorsi

It covers more than 2/3 of planet Earth. Nearly half of the worlds population relies on it for a substantial portion of its vital proteins. And when it comes to climate change, it's the largest carbon sink we have. We are talking about our seas of course. So we must be doing everything we can to take care of these precious resources that are like a synonym of life itself, right?

Not really.

Instead, we poison our seas with all sorts of waste and pillage their resources relentlessly.

Europe unfortunately is no exception to the exploitation and destruction of life at sea: only 5,9% of the EU marine area is protected and the Mediterranean is almost completely overfished.

That is why, with possibly millions of Europeans flocking to beaches to enjoy a cool dip in the water, we decided to dedicate this month's issue to the marine world (particularly the seabirds, of course).

Why is Europe so bad at caring for its seas? It's not that we lack knowledge or laws to protect them. Instead, short-sighted economic interests have long overshadowed scientific knowledge and sound economics, and when it comes to laws… well, they're mostly ignored and now possibly under revision.

The Natura 2000 network of protected natural areas, created with the Habitats Directive in 1992, did envisage the inclusion of marine areas, too. But today, marine protected areas are still not being designated, and national governments mostly get away with it. To make matters worse, the laws itself is now under attack.

The marine side of the environmental emergency in Europe is too often ignored. That is why our campaign #naturealert becomes#seaalert in July. But, remember, whether you feel“green”or“blue, the place to show that you care is still

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Special Guest

Fighting the ‘Taliban’ of Europe’s natural world
Timmermans and Juncker want to improve the Nature Directives? We have our doubts, but if that’s really true, here’s what they should be looking for...
Alistair Gammell, father of the Birds Directive, speaks out

Marine News
Natura 2000, a haven for seabirds in simmering seas
Our seas are becoming warmer and acidified, extreme weather events are whipping them into a turbulent frenzy. European seabirds are in trouble... By Euan Dunn
Why protected areas matter
An off limit beach isn’t there to offend, it’s a special place that has been set aside for the conservation of some animal, plant, or habitat. By Bruna Campos 
Gulls, turtles and seals, three marine triumphs
The Nature Directives work when they are put to good use. Here is the proof... b.c,
Troubled waters for our seabirds
Seabirds across Europe are in trouble and lines on maps will not bring them back alone. But effective management of protected areas can give them a fighting chance to claw, peck and soar their way back. By Marguerite Tarzia

Seabirds & fishing gear - a conundrum

Seabirds can’t help but pursue fishing boats, the bait, and the promise of a tasty and easily caught meal. But they often get too close, accidentally getting hooked or entangled in fishing gear. m.t. 

Exotic plants, invasive rats, and fish nets

Invasive rats and cats eating seabird eggs and chicks, accidental entanglement in fish gear, exotic plants changing island ecology. By Nuno Barros

Keeping an eye on the Balearic Shearwater

We need to keep a more careful eye on the ‘Critically Endangered’ Balearic Shearwater or else we might notice too late that it’s gone forever. By Pep Arcos et al,
Planning for our seas
Will H.A. Cole’s vision come true? As we move into a new era, the seas can be planned in a way where marine nature can be safeguarded while supporting economic prosperity. By Alec Taylor
WATCH: Nature in Europe is on Alert - #itsmynature
Nature in Europe is on Alert
Other News from Europe and Central Asia

Venturing into new territory, Africa and Asia

Newly industrialized nations are catching-up to ‘western’ standards: more money, more cars, more everything. With it comes a growing demand for cement and building materials, so BirdLife/HeidelbergCement have ventured into new partnership grounds. By Boris Barov 

Keep them circling: a hymn to vulture beauty

Big, bald and ugly, consumers of rotting flesh and bone, it’s not surprising that vultures have long been misunderstood creatures. They've been pretty much wiped out, but the Vulture Conservation Foundation (VCF) and its partners are doing everything possible to make sure they keep circling high above us.  By Lisa Benedetti 
Bye-bye Latvia, hello there Luxembourg
It’s not targets, graphs or indicators which are at play, but bees, birds and ecosystems. Luxembourg Presidency, this is your chance to set the stage for economic yet sustainable prosperity in Europe. By Tatiana Nemcová 

Three blades or none?

Spinning through flying space, three blade wind turbines are good for the climate, but are known to kill birds. Strategic positioning and shut downs during peak migrations help, but a Spanish company may have invented an even better solution that will come onto the market soon, the Vortex Bladeless. l.b.
PEGASUS - Public Ecosystems Goods and Services from Land Management
BirdLife is happy to announce participation in the Pegasus Horizon 2020 project. Over the next 3 years, 14 partners from 10 EU countries will aim to transform rural land management  approaches by unlocking synergies between the ecomic and environmental benefits provided by agriculture and forest areas. Follow Pegasus: website and twitter
NOW: Call for submission for the 2nd annual "Good Practice of the Year" Award is open! Deadline 13 August

2-6 August: 27th International Congress for Conservation Biology and the 4th European Congress for Conservation Biology, Montpellier

21-23 August: BirdFair, Hope for migratory birds in the Eastern Mediterranean: action against illegal killing, Egleton, Rutland, UK

14 September: BirdLife and EEB conference: “Is the EU on the right path towards long-term food security?

24-25 September: Innovation in Environmental Education, ICT and Intergenerational Learning, Sant’ Apollonia Auditorium, Florence, Italy

24-26 September: International Wolf Conference, Wolfsburg, Germany

1-4 October: Sagres Birdwatching and Nature activities Festival, Portugal, France

9-10 October: Avifauna and Climate Change, ahead of COP 21, LPO and National Museum of Natural History, Paris
Project OfficerBirdLife International is looking for a motivated and passionate Project Officer to be based in Musoma, Tanzania. Closing date: 9 July 2015

Global Flyways Programme Coordinator: We are looking for someone to develop and coordinate our thematic programme on migratory birds and flyways. Closing date: 2 August 2015

Ecosystem Services Internship at BirdLife Americas Secretariat
BirdLife International’s Secretariat for the Americas, based in Quito, Ecuador, is offering an interesting internship opportunity, working with the regional team and projects implementing TESSA all over the continent. 

Fundraising Director: BirdLife International is looking to apppoint a new Fundraising Director.

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