Thousands of protesters are expected tonight on the streets of central Sofia and 15 other Bulgarian cities, objecting to corruption and the illegal decision to permit a ski resort and commercial logging in Pirin National Park. It coincides with a visit of all EU Commissioners and the opening ceremony of the Bulgarian Presidency of the EU in Sofia.
A spectacular nature haven in southwestern Bulgaria, home to twice as many butterfly species as the whole of the UK and protected by EU nature laws, is under threat from an illegal EU-funded motorway from Sofia to Greece.
The Bulgarian Government in October 2017 decided it will carve an international highway through the 16km-long Kresna Gorge, supported by hundreds of millions of EU taxpayer funds – in spite of an EU order to bypass the Gorge.
Norway’s environmental minister Vidar Helgesen has just approved the biggest wolf hunt in Norway for a hundred years. Only 52-56 wolves live in Norway, but the minister wants 42 of them to be shot this winter, among them two important family packs in Osdalen and Julussa, near the border to Sweden. This is the second winter in a row that such a major cull has been allowed – but last year’s was prevented after a major popular and international outcry.
Next week EU Member States will discuss and may vote on a proposal from the European Commission to ban bee harming neonicotinoid pesticides on all crops outdoors.
This would be a huge step forwards to help combat the worrying decline of bees and other insects, and increase protection for our pollinators.
On the Days of Action, NOAH decided to call out false solutions. Volunteers visited a number of board members of The Danish pension fund PKA. The message was clear: if PKA wants to live up to its green credentials it must divest from MGT Teesside.
The Bulgarian government yesterday announced it will construct an international motorway partially through EU protected wildlife haven Kresna Gorge, threatening tragedy for one of Europe's most biodiverse nature sites, and a potential showdown with the European Commission.
Commenting on today’s State of the European Union speech by European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker, Leida Rijnhout from Friends of the Earth Europe said:
“We need a fundamental rethink of the kind of Europe we want – in some areas President Juncker seems to recognise this, but in others it is very much business as usual. It remains to be seen whether his proposals will go far enough to really bridge the gap between the EU its citizens.
Over the past week Danielle van Oijen, from the forest team in Milieudefensie/Friends of the Earth Netherlands, joined the action camp for Białowieza forest just a few kilometers from the border with Belarus. Here, she shares her reflections on her time there.
Activists fighting plans to build over 300 hydropower plants in Bosnia and Herzegovina have painted a giant mural of a woman smashing an old, broken dam on the Bašćica River.
Center for Environment/Friends of the Earth Bosnia & Herzegovina – part of the Coalition for the Protection of Rivers in Bosnia & Herzegovina, the group behind the 15 metre high installation – is calling for dam building to stop and for development to be focused on tourism and job-producing traditional activities.
A legal complaint submitted today to the European Commission by campaign groups  alleges that the construction of a controversial EU-funded motorway is already breaking EU nature laws, and warns that completing the final section through Kresna Gorge nature reserve in Bulgaria would be catastrophic for protected animals and plants in the region.