Analytics, Ecology, Estonia, EU – Baltic States, Legislation

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Tuesday, 28.11.2023, 21:51

State of Estonia's biodiversity better than European average

BC, Tallinn, 22.10.2020.Print version
According to the report by the European Environment Agency, none of the goals for improving the biodiversity status of the European Union have been achieved, but the biodiversity status of Estonian nature is better than the European average, informs LETA/BNS.

According to the report, the largest number of obstacles to achieving a favorable status in the European Union are related to agriculture, significant reasons also include the effects of urbanization and recreation, and the third biggest influence is forestry, the Ministry of the Environment said.

In addition, pollution is important, most of which, about half, comes from agriculture. Illegal bird hunting is also an important problem from the European perspective.

According to the report, the European Union has come closest to its target with non-bird species with regard to the Birds and Habitats Directives -- a 12% gap remains to achieve the target for habitats, a 20 percent gap remains for bird species and only a 2% gap remains for non-bird species.

In Estonia, biodiversity trends are broadly the same as in Europe, although the status of Estonian habitats and species is better than the European average. Forests, heritage meadows and also marshes are in the worst condition also in Estonia.

The most common reasons in the report on Estonia are drainage -- both agricultural and forestry drainage --, felling and cessation of grassland management, as well as changes in the species composition of communities, agricultural pollution and changes in water bodies.

Data on Estonia show that 57% of habitats are in favorable condition, 37% in insufficient condition and 7% in poor condition. Of the species living in Estonia, 56% are in favorable condition, 27% are in inadequate condition, 10% in bad condition and the condition of 7% is unknown.

"Based on the results of the report, it can be concluded that Estonia is on the right track with its restoration activities. We are focusing on heritage communities, that is grasslands, which remain rich in species only in cooperation between man and nature, and active restoration of bogs has been going on for 10 years already," Marku Lamp, deputy secretary general of the Ministry of the Environment for wildlife, said. "We will also continue with forest protection."

The report provides an assessment of birds, protected habitats and protected species. The Birds Directive report shows a slight deterioration, with a slightly better situation for habitats and species in the Habitats Directive.

The report clearly shows the important role of the Natura 2000 network. Improvement is mainly shown by those species and habitats that are in the extent of more than three quarters of their total area or population on Natura 2000 sites. Of habitats, semi-natural grasslands and forest habitats are in poor condition the most.

There are at least 215,000 square kilometers of habitats in the European Union as a whole that need to be improved through restoration activities and at least 11,000 square kilometers of areas where habitats need to be restored.

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