Culture, Heritage and Diversity

Conserving European Natural Heritage : the biodiversity challenge

Over thirty years ago, an innovative legal text was adopted to protect Europe’s wild plants and animals. The Council of Europe’s Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (1979), or Bern Convention, was the first international treaty to protect both species and habitats and to bring countries together to decide how to act on nature conservation.

Climate change, collapsing fish stocks, widespread damage to soils, costly flood damage, and disappearing wildlife are only some of the sad result of neglecting biodiversity. Ecosystem degradation is often irreversible and science and engineering cannot always repair what has been destroyed: when species are lost, they are lost forever.

Yet biodiversity is a critical to economic prosperity, social justice, security, health and other aspects of our daily life, including human well-being.

The Bern Convention works for the preservation of most of our natural heritage and promotes the participation and representation in the environmental debate, monitoring and, to some extent in the decision-making process.

Illegal killing of birds

Meeting of the Group of Experts on Amphibians and Reptiles, 1-2 July 2015, Bern, Switzerland
Adoption of the Pisa declaration : press release
Useful links

Bern Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats
Ecological Networks
(Emerald Network)
  Danube Delta - Romania - Paradise of Birds - Photo: Daniel Petrescu
European Diploma for Protected Areas