Home » Key findings Fitness Check published and next steps agreed

Key findings Fitness Check published and next steps agreed


The conclusions of the interim evaluation of the Biodiversity Strategy and the current Fitness Check of the Birds and Habitats Directives show that more effort is needed. The instruments are there, it comes down to better implementation and strengthening nature conservation in other sectors. This week, Birdlife International presented the key findings of the Fitness Check, the challenges identified and the steps required to achieve the EU’s conservation objectives by 2020 in the report “From Nature Alert to Action”.

At the same time, Birdlife Netherlands and Eurosite member Natuurmonumenten organised the symposium “Biodiversity in The Netherlands, one step beyond”. More than 120 participants from NGOs, regional and national governments, researchers, European Commission and farmers of more than 20 EU countries discussed the next steps for nature conservation and how the Netherlands, as a densely populated delta, can be an inspiration for other EU countries.

Eurosite’s President Stefan Versweyveld spoke about the ecological infrastructure in and around the Port of Antwerp in order to restore habitats and fullfil the demands of the Habitats and Birds Directives. He stated that the Directives can positively lead to cooperation with businesses, sectors which are not natural allies of each other.

DG Environment’s François Kremer thanked Dutch NGO’s for their input in the Fitness Check and confirmed its findings. The Nature Directives are fit for purpose, but for its implementation, intensive dialogue is essential. Also, Member States must see the Natura 2000 network as their own network and create partnerships to make it a network of people.

Facing this challenges, the action plan for nature in the Netherlands “Protecting nature in the Netherlands: full steam ahead!” was handed over to the European Commission and the Dutch government. Its most important components are:

  • Improve the implementation of nature conservation policy and legislation
  • Anchor the protection of nature in other policies
  • Create and seize opportunities for biodiversity

For more information, you can browse the Twitter feed #naturealert

Photo: Sander Turnhout