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Science for Environment Policy, Issue 381

Science for Environment Policy, Issue 381

A service from the European Commission...

Industry may not be paying its way in packaging waste management
Many EU businesses are failing to cover the net cost of recycling packaging waste, new research suggests. Industry is required to take responsibility for treating and recycling waste packaging in the EU; however, this study shows that producers in France, Portugal and Romania do not fully cover waste management costs.
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Loss of cooling effect of aerosols can be offset by greenhouse gas reductions
The net cooling effect that aerosols have on the climate will be lost as emissions drop in the future, new research suggests. However, the consequent warming will ultimately be counter balanced if policies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are put in place.
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Coordination across Member States benefits Eurasian otter conservation assessments
Species surveys should be standardised across Member State borders to assess conservation status accurately, a new study concludes. The researchers assessed the conservation status of the Eurasian otter across the Republic of Ireland-UK border, finding that it was favourable for the whole island of Ireland. This provides a case study of surveys designed to provide data that is comparable across borders, say the researchers.
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Fishing ban enforcement is key factor in restocking fish in marine protected areas
Marine protected areas (MPAs) in which fishing is prohibited contain substantially more fish, including commercially valuable species, than either partially protected or unenforced MPAs, according to a recent survey of rocky reef fish in the Mediterranean Sea. This suggests that MPAs need to be highly protected to offer the best chance of recovery for fish stocks, say the researchers.
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Small mammals flourish under UK agri-environment scheme
Small mammals clearly benefit from a UK agri-environment scheme (AES), a recent study concludes. Numbers and diversity of voles, shrews and mice were found to increase on and around farmland with 6 m wide field margins and patches of semi-natural habitat - features encouraged under the government-led AES.
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New tool to identify best management plans for Natura 2000 sites
A new decision-making aid to identify the best type of management plan for Natura 2000 sites has been developed by researchers. Using extensive data on different facets of biodiversity and human impacts, the researchers created two indices to show where conservation measures need to be integrated with socio-economic development. This study used sites in Italy as a case study but the method is widely applicable to all Natura 2000 sites, the researchers stress.
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Catfish reveal polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon contamination in northern Italy
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) contamination in catfish in Italian rivers has been found to exceed EC limits, a new study has found. Benz[a]pyrene, which can potentially cause cancer, was found in all samples and in 9% exceeded limits set in EU food safety legislation. Heavy road traffic and inadequately treated wastewater are the most likely cause of these high levels of PAH pollution, say the researchers.
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