European Newsletter
November 2011
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Dear Members, dear readers,

Welcome to this European Newsletter dedicated to animal and plant species.


Just a few weeks ago, the latest update of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species declared the Western Black Rhino extinct. Can you imagine a dry savannah and rhinos roaming on it? Forget it, it is gone forever.


But what is happening in Europe? Are species surviving in our increasingly industrialized and urban world?

> Read more
Hans Friederich

European Environment: alarming decline in plants, molluscs and freshwater fish

Europe's natural heritage is showing an alarming decline, according to new research published today. The European Red List, a part of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™, assessed a considerable portion of Europe’s native fauna and flora, finding that a large proportion of molluscs, freshwater fish and vascular plants now fall into a threatened category.

> Read more
> Overview of the results
Beta Patula

Red means Act! – Launch event at the European Commission

“I am proud to support the development of the European Red List of Species. Excellent work!” With these words EU Commissioner for the Environment Janez Potočnik addressed a red crowd gathered for the launch of the European Red List on 21 November at the Berlaymont building in Brussels. To show their commitment to biodiversity participants were asked to wear something red.

> Read more
> Watch EU Commissioner Potočnik's intervention
Red means Act!

Critically Endangered: Ammerseekilch (Coregonus bavaricus)

This small fish is endemic to the subalpine lake Ammersee in the south of Germany. It is one of many species of whitefish that are endemic to one or few lakes in Europe. More than 100 years ago, it was a species of commercial importance; today, only one or two individuals are caught each year.

> Fact sheet: Ammerseekilch
> Read about other threatened species
Ammerseekilch (Coregonus bavaricus)

Interview with Mary Seddon, Chair of the IUCN SSC Mollusc Specialist Group

The assessment to which you contributed revealed that freshwater molluscs are the most threatened group, among those considered, in Europe. Why are molluscs in such a bad conservation status?

"Freshwater molluscs in Europe have very high levels of endemism, as the Mediterranean region is one of the top 15 hotspots in the world for this group of organisms. Many of the very range restricted species are found in small freshwater springs or the groundwater systems that feed these springs."

> Read more

The European Red List grows: bees and medicinal plants to be assessed by IUCN

In the next three years, IUCN will assess the status of two species groups which are fundamental to our well-being: pollinators and medicinal plants. These species play an essential role in delivering key ecosystem services and supporting livelihoods.

> Read more
Scabious Mining-bee Andrena hattorfiana

Europe overseas' biodiversity needs more protection

Giant “Mountain Chicken” frogs, the 25 million bird island, and a rainforest the size of Portugal are increasingly threatened by the impacts of climate change and in need of greater protection, according to a new report published by IUCN.

> Read more
> Join Europe Overseas Forum
Grand Cayman Blue Iguana (Cyclura lewisi), a species endemic to Cayman Islands and listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™

IUCN-Med call for species experts

The IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation (IUCN-Med) is calling for voluntary experts to submit their expression of interest to contribute to the Red List assessment of different taxonomic groups in the Mediterranean Region, taking also part in the IUCN project entitled Mediterranean Biodiversity Assessment Phase II Responding to major gaps in knowledge in the Mediterranean region.

> Read more

Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) in a Changing Climate: From Practice to Policy? Lessons learnt from islands

On 3 December 2011, IUCN, in cooperation with the European Commission, is organizing an event on EbA policy and practice to better inform of the role of EbA in the climate change adaption policy debate. The event will take place during the United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP 17) in Durban, South Africa.

> Read more
UNFCCC COP 17 Durban

How do Europe overseas contribute to global policies?

On 20 December 2011, the European Parliament Intergroup on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development will host a conference on Europe overseas' contribution to international biodiversity and climate change policy and practice. More details to follow soon.

Clown fish in Moorea, French Polynesia

Natural solutions to climate change: the role of protected areas

Vashlovani PA, Georgia Protected areas play a vital role in contributing to climate mitigation and adaptation, both on global and local scale. However, their role in responding to climate change is currently insufficiently recognized in the development of national strategies and policies of Georgia.
> Read more


New approaches to protected areas governance in South Caucasus

Tusheti, Georgia Supporting and increasing public participation in Protected Areas management and introducing new governance approaches will contribute to sustainable natural resource use and reduce/eliminate existing and potential latent or open conflicts.
> Read more


Tiere live: teaching biodiversity

Website One of the main aims of biology and environmental education is to promote the respectful and emotional understanding of nature and environment among children and the youth. “Tiere live” is a joint project of the Bavarian Academy for Nature Conservation and Landscape Management (ANL) and the Academy for Teacher Training and Personnel Management (ALP).
> Read more


Transboundary Joint Secretariat and IUCN strengthen collaboration

Tusheti The Transboundary Joint Secretariat (TJS) for Nature Conservation and the IUCN Caucasus Cooperation Centre (CCC) have joined forces for Southern Caucasus protected areas.
> Read more


International support to biodiversity conservation in Albania announced

Shebenik-Jabllanicë National Park, Albania Representatives of Albanian and Italian Governments, Albanian local government, international organizations, donors, universities, civil society and the media gathered today to mark the start of a project focused on institutional capacity building and support to the environmental protection in Albania.
> Read more
> Interview with Andrea Ghiurghi, Project Manager


Hidden benefits of peatlands revealed by new Inquiry

Peats at Newmarket, Isle of Lewis, Outer hebrides, Scotland The enormous importance of our peatlands for people and wildlife has recently been revealed with the publication of the findings of the IUCN UK Commission of Inquiry on Peatlands.
> Read more


The EU should take a leading role at Climate Conference

Portrait Ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Summit Conference (UNFCCC COP 17), taking place from 28 November to 9 December in South Africa, MEPs voted on 16 November on a resolution calling on the EU to take on a leading role at the UN Climate Change Conference in Durban and fight to continue the CO2-cutting Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012.
> Read more


IUCN (The International Union for Conservation of Nature) © 2011

IUCN helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges. It supports scientific research, manages field projects all over the world and brings governments, non-government organizations, United Nations agencies, companies and local communities together to develop and implement policy, laws and best practice. IUCN’s European region covers the European continent, Russia and Central Asia, and includes the European Union overseas entities. Representing one third of the global membership, this is IUCN’s largest programmatic region.

Photo credits: Hans Friederich, IUCN; Beta patula, ISOPlexis GeneBank, Madeira University; Red means Act!, IUCN/Chantal van Ham; Ammerseekilch, U. Schliewen; Mary Seddon; Scabious Mining-bee Andrena hattorfiana, Nico Vereecken; Grand Cayman Blue Iguana, Steve Maier; IUCN Med; COP 17 logo; Clown fish in Moorea, French Polynesia, Jean-Philippe Palasi; Vashlovani PA, Georgia, IUCN CCC; Tusheti, Georgia, IUCN CCC; Tusheti, IUCN CCC; Shebenik-Jablanica National Park, Albania, IUCN/A.Ghiurghi.