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Win-win for nature, economy and society: more green infrastructure throughout Europe

May 27, 2013 / CIPRA Internationale Alpenschutzkommission
Since May the countries of the European Union have received guidelines on how to promote green infrastructure. The European Commission has adopted its strategy on this topic with the aim of better integrating natural processes into spatial planning and strengthening the benefits of intact ecosystems for the economy and society. In addition, Natura2000 and Emerald sites have been further recognized as major elements in an ecological network.
Green infrastructure
Image caption:
How can green infrastructure be financed with EU funding? The "SURF Nature" project gives answers to this question in its "Thematic Booklet on Green Infrastructure".
By the end of this year, the Commission will provide guidance on how green infrastructure should be taken into account in the main policy areas such as agriculture, forestry or transport. The Commission will check the opportunities for developing an EU-wide network of green infrastructure elements and support the improvement of knowledge. As its final pillar, the strategy foresees a financing facility to foster the implementation of green infrastructure projects.
The green infrastructure strategy is a priority tool in implementing the EU's biodiversity strategy. Natura2000 and Emerald sites have recently been further recognized as areas of major importance for biodiversity. The European Court of Justice has decided that Natura2000 sites may not be damaged through development and infrastructure measures except where there is an extraordinary public interest. In Switzerland the ecological network has taken shape with the official recognition of 37 Emerald sites. Switzerland is the first non-EU country to take this step towards the implementation of the Berne Convention.

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