Natural Habitats in Europe at Risk

Due to climate change, urban sprawl, and intensive farming of the region, Europe’s parkland and biological diversity are under an increasing amount of pressure.

Natural parks play a crucial role in preserving Europe’s biodiversity and provide economic, environmental, health and cultural benefits. Climate change and industrial activities are challenging European habitats, meaning that specially protected areas are also increasingly confronted with environmental pressures. These areas urgently need to monitor changes, adapt management strategies, and consider flexible responses to future developments.

Core zones and controlled natural zones in national parks or Sites of Community Importance (SCI) within the Natura 2000 network have been established to halt the loss of biodiversity by providing and conserving habitat space for a critical mix of species. Climate change will become an additional important driver influencing habitats and their quality in future decades. New tools for nature conservation agencies will be necessary in order to monitor changes and offer flexible new responses to ongoing developments.

The Habit Change project, headed by the Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER) in Dresden, Germany, will focus on adaptive management measures for habitats in protected areas of Central and Eastern Europe that may be affected by climate change. The main aims of the project are to evaluate, enhance, and adapt existing management and conservation strategies in protected areas so they can proactively respond on likely impacts of climate change which threaten habitat integrity and diversity.

For more information on the Habit Change project, please click here.

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