Biodiversity: New report shows progress made on invasive alien species but challenges remain

The European Commission has today published the first Report on the application of the Invasive Alien Species (IAS) Regulation, which aims to minimise the threat posed by these species to native animals and plants. The report finds that the IAS Regulation is delivering on its objectives, as prevention and management measures, information-sharing and awareness of the problem have improved. Yet, implementation is a challenge in several respects. Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for the Environment, Fisheries and Oceans, said: “Invasive alien species are a major driver of biodiversity loss in Europe. Today’s report shows that taking action at EU level has real added value. This Regulation will be an essential tool to continue to address this threat and put biodiversity on the path of recovery under the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030.” The projected increase in global trade and travel, together with climate change, are expected to increase the risk of the spread of invasive alien species for instance plants such as the water hyacinth, and animals like the Asian hornet or the raccoon. This may lead to increased adverse impacts on biodiversity and ecosystems, human health and the economy. Based on the analysis of data from 2015 to 2019, the report shows that Member States have often taken effective measures to prevent the intentional or unintentional introduction of invasive alien species of concern into the EU. Nevertheless, the report also reveals that that there remain numerous challenges and areas for improvement. The Commission will take steps to improve compliance with the IAS Regulation

EU Cohesion policy: First Gender Equality Report maps female achievements and disadvantages in EU regions

The Commission has published the first Regional Gender Equality Monitor of the EU. It provides an accurate picture of where women achieve the most at regional level in Europe, and where they face the largest disadvantages. Commissioner for Cohesion and Reform, Elisa Ferreira, said: “I am delighted to bring forward this ground-breaking work on mapping the glass ceiling that women face at regional level in Europe. The report demonstrates that there is still a lot to do to help women achieve the same opportunities as men. The Commission will continue working hard towards a gender-equal Europe.” The paper is based on two specially developed indices: the ‘Female Achievement Index’ and the ‘Female Disadvantage Index’. They reveal both the regions where women are achieving more and where they are at a disadvantage compared to men. The paper shows that, on average, women in more developed regions are able to achieve more and are at less of a disadvantage, while most women in less developed regions face big challenges. Within countries, women in capital regions tend to achieve more and are at less of a disadvantage. In general, regions with a lower female achievement index have a lower gross domestic product per capita, while regions with a higher level of female achievement have a higher level of human development. Finally, the quality of government is higher in regions where women achieve more

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