2021: it’s Now or Never for Mediterranean Wetlands

It’s World Wetlands Day on 2 February – and there has never been a more important time for us to take stock of what’s being celebrated and why. That’s because the future of our wetlands and the future of humanity itself are inextricably connected, and 2021 is our best opportunity …

Many Obsolete Barriers Harm Europe’s Rivers

A European Environment Agency (EEA) briefing, published today, looks at the issue of river barriers and their impact on ecosystems. The EU’s biodiversity strategy for 2030 aims to restore at least 25 000 km of free-flowing rivers by 2030, by removing barriers and restoring floodplains and wetlands. The EEA briefing ‘Tracking barriers and their …

A Pretty Stream in Belgium Is so Polluted Its Water Could Be Used as...

The idyllic stream that meanders through the Flemish countryside has been called the most polluted stream in Europe. When you think of a polluted waterway, what do you envision? For me, a dark, oil-slicked river studded with garbage comes to mind, or maybe a malodorous and oddly colored creek in …

EU Clean Water Laws Under Attack from Industry Lobbyists

Industry lobbies are mounting a push to roll back EU clean water regulations, even though less than half of the continent’s rivers, wetlands and lakes are in a healthy state. The lobby offensive is aimed at weakening the bloc’s floods and water framework directives, which require all states to ensure …

One Million Plant and Animal Species ‘Now at Threat of Extinction’

One million plant and animal species are now at threat of extinction. That’s the troubling conclusion reached in a new report from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), which suggests many of these organisms could die out within decades, at a faster rate than ever observed …

Prosecco Production Is Destroying Soil in Some Italian Vineyards

Sorry to burst your bubbly, prosecco lovers, but skyrocketing demand for the sparkling wine might be sapping northeastern Italy’s vineyards of precious soil — 400 million kilograms of it per year, researchers report in a study posted online January 10 at bioRxiv.org. That’s a lot of soil, but not an …

Valuable Wetlands Are Disappearing 3 Times Faster Than Forests, New Study Warns

Wetlands around the world are disappearing at an alarming rate. New research shows that these valuable ecosystems are vanishing at a rate three times that of forests. Unless significant changes are made, the disappearance of wetlands could cause severe damage around the globe. The Global Wetland Outlook, which was completed …