Biodiversity Loss in Europe
The EU published the results of a "Flash Eurobarometer" survey last week. This has nothing to do with Antoine de Caunes, but seems to be a way of justifying a programme called Natura 2000 (?). The survey asked people across the EU about their attitudes towards biodiversity, and its results were entirely predictable. Less than half of Europeans know what biodiversity means (which castes a bit of a query over the rest of the questions in the survey!). 15% participate in organizations dedicated to biodiversity, though. Nearly all Europeans think biodiversity is threatened by our activities, and over 90% think aspects of its loss, like disappearing forests, are "serious". 97% agree that it is important to halt biodiversity loss. So far so good. This is where the problems start, however. Although the majority of respondents thought the EU should spend more money on nature protection, only 16% think biodiversity loss is already affecting them. This feeling means that when you start drilling down to detailed questions in the survey the numbers become more ambivalent. Who should pay for protecting nature? Not the respondents, apparently. Like the renewables tariffs in the UK, when push comes to shove it's the "green crap" which is shelved. There's still not nearly enough of a sense of urgency about these issues to mean they are addressed in the face of politically expedient short termism. Folk have to understand biodiversity loss is a problem for them as well as their children, and that there is an economic advantage to reversing it. Valuing "ecosystem services", for example, might seem a bonkers exercise, but it does help generate a sense of perspective.