First success for #ProtectWater campaign
Thanks to an extensive collaborative effort from over 100 NGO's across Europe, including S&TC, an important first milestone has been achieved in the defence of our water's environmental protection laws.
A paper drafted by a group of government officials, seeking to weaken the laws which currently protect our waters, has NOT been endorsed at the recent Water Directors' meeting.
Government officials from Member States prepared a paper for last week’s meeting of Water Directors - who represent their national governments on all decisions related to water management. The paper included a series of proposed changes to the WFD which, if ever put into effect, would constitute a significant weakening of the legislation.
Collaborative effort from NGO's
However, thanks to a joint and sustained policy and communications effort from NGO's across Europe, the paper was not endorsed by Water Directors. Prior to the meeting, Water Directors were sent numerous letters and communications urging they maintain the environment and protect the WFD - as explicitly recognised in the discussion and in the final report of the meeting, which stated:
"Water Directors reiterated their conviction that the WFD is a center-piece of EU water legislation and has been highly instrumental for progress achieved in protecting and improving the status of European waters so far.
They emphasized that the level of ambition of the WFD and its objectives should be maintained. They also stressed the need to focus efforts on achieving the WFD objectives, and highlighted that water using sectors responsible for the pressures leading to a failure in achieving the objectives should contribute to these efforts."
These succesfull communications and documents were borne of, and sent on behalf of, the Living Rivers Europe coalition; as well as a multitude of individuals, NGO's and other government officials. Water Directors were receptive, indeed;
"They thanked the consultation group for its work and the document prepared. They took full note of the concerns raised by NGOs and stakeholders".
This could not have been achieved without such a co-ordinated effort, and this result is a testament to the power of the #ProtectWater movement of 100+ organisations, of which S&TC are proud to be a part of.
The paper will now be discussed at the meeting of the Strategic Coordination Group (SCG) early next year; the issues it contains to be addressed by the Water Directors of the Member States only after various European Commission assessments, i.e. the end of 2019.
So there is still a long way to go, and we still need many more submissions to the European Commission's consultation...
Help us Protect Water and wild fish in the UK
Despite this strong start, the battle is far from over and we still need your help to keep our water laws strong, especially on the eve of Brexit.
Please click here to find out more about the campaign and to have your say with the European Commission, using our simple consultation form. Please, for the sake of our wild fish and their habitats, ACT NOW and help us #PotectWater.