On 2 February 2016, MEPs overwhelmingly approved a report prepared by the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee of the EU Parliament, which calls for the maintenance of the two Nature Directives: the Birds Directive and Habitats Directive. The report includes some very important provisions such as proposals at a European and National level on how to achieve the targets of the EU Biodiversity Strategy by 2020 and also gives a strong message against suggestions for the amendment of the EU Nature Directives. In addition, the report stresses the need for full implementation of these laws and adequate financing.
BirdLife Cypurs prepared a letter on the issue which was sent to all Cypriot MEPs prior to the crucial vote on 2 February asking them to support this report. This letter was also co-signed by other Cypriot ENGOs (Federation of Environmental Organisations, Ecological Cyprus Movement, Friends of the Earth Cyprus, Friends of Akamas and Terra Cypria).
In addition, following the Nature Alert campaign, where over 520,000 people across Europe defended the Nature Directives last summer, engaged citizens also urged the MEPs to defend nature and wildlife by voting in favour of the report, through letters, emails and tweets in the days leading to the vote.
The final vote was 592 MEPs in favour, with only 52 against, out of 751 MEPs in total, a decisive result for nature conservation. Of the five Cypriot MEPs present, all voted in favour.