FACE meets Environment Commissioner Sinkevičius on the Birds Directive

Brussels, 9 September 2020 – Today, the European Federation for Hunting and Conservation (FACE) had a productive meeting with the Environment Commissioner, Virginijus Sinkevičius where a range of issues linked to regional hunting, Turtle Dove and the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) were discussed.

FACE President, Torbjörn Larsson together with FACE staff, delegates from the French National Hunters’ Federation, the Royal Spanish Hunting Federation and the Italian Hunting Federation participated.

At the outset of the meeting, FACE reaffirmed its commitment to help promote implementation of the Birds Directive and the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030. FACE also highlighted the need to recognise hunters’ contribution to habitat conservation, and the cultural significance of regional hunting practices to many rural areas in Europe.

On the European Turtle Dove, both referred to the relevance of the international action plan and the work of the European Commission on adaptive harvest management, launched earlier this year.

Commissioner Sinkevičius underlined that even if land use change is a key factor for the decline of the Turtle Dove in Europe, hunting should only continue if its sustainability can be ensured. In this context, FACE highlighted the progress being made to implement conservation measures at national level, ensuring that harvest is sustainable and that interest is maintained in the species.

Referring to moratoriums, Dr David Scallan, FACE Secretary General stated: “We have seen moratoriums on huntable species resulting in them falling off the list of conservation priorities, and declines persisting. The opportunity for conservation success for the Turtle Dove should not be lost in this way”.

Both FACE and Commissioner Sinkevičius, agreed on the need for greater coherence between the nature directives and the CAP. In light of this, FACE clarified that its Members are active in calling for effective agri-environmental measures to promote the recovery of small game populations including Turtle Dove.

Both FACE and Commissioner Sinkevičius agreed on the need for greater dialogue on sustainable hunting and good cooperation moving forward.

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