Image: European Parliament

Cork oaks among species that should be protected – Ursula Von der Leyen

President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has warned today of the need to protect the European Union’s (EU) “unique biological diversity”, such as the cork oaks of the South, and the “reality of a planet on the boil”. “From the mighty coniferous forests of the North and East, through the last vestiges of virgin oak and beech forests in Central Europe, to the cork oak forests of Southern Europe: all these forests are an irreplaceable source of goods and services” and show that biodiversity needs to be protected, she said in her State of the Union address to the European Parliament. Considering the government is intent on bulldozing over 1,800 mature cork oaks to make way for a wind farm near Sines, it will be interesting to see whether Ms Von der Leyen’s comments help activists campaigning against the plan. Indeed, activisits suggest the toll of trees to be bulldozed will be closer to 3,000.