In Europe, as in the rest of the world, human activities are causing rapid biodiversity loss. Over the last two decades, the EU has been trying to tackle this in various ways, including through the Natura 2000 Network of protected areas. This includes over 27 000 protected areas, covering over million km2, making it the largest coordinated network of protected areas in the world. The Natura 2000 Network creates a framework for mainstreaming conservation into a range of sectors. The European Commission led the development of the Natura 2000 Network.
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European countries are planning massive investments in renewable energy, which will mean that many more transmission lines will be needed to transport the energy produced. This is essential for reducing carbon emissions, but without careful planning, transmission lines can create a range of risks for biodiversity. The Renewables Grid Initiative (RGI) was launched in 2009 as a neutral platform, enabling Transmission System Operators (TSOs) and NGOs from across Europe to come together as equal partners.
In order to enhance the implementation of the Article 8j of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), to better safeguard the rights of the indigenous Saami people and to secure participation and involvement of the Saami people in protected area management planning process, the application of the voluntary Akwé: Kon Guidelines of the CBD were piloted in the development of the Management Plan of Hammastunturi Wilderness Area in Finnish Lapland.