Important environmental achievements thanks to European collaboration

Tinka Murk, prof. dr, Wageningen University

Image author:

Feeling overwhelmed by today’s environmental challenges is understandable, but it’s crucial to remember that positive change is possible. While it may seem daunting to reverse biodiversity loss and reduce CO2 emissions, I’ve found inspiration in my own experiences.
Growing up in Katwijk aan Zee, I witnessed environmental degradation firsthand, from carpets of dead fish in the river Rhine that I crossed while biking to school, to tar balls at the beach that required us to always clean our shoes after a walk. Almost all sea birds that washed ashore were oil-stained and car exhausts polluted our cities with soot. As a student in the 70s, concerns about acid rain, air pollution, DDE-induced egg thinning and overfishing weighed heavily on me. Back then, it felt like there was little hope for improvement.
Yet, looking back over 40 years, I’m amazed by the progress we’ve made. As a student I could not have imagined that 40 years later I would safely swim a 5 km tour in the river Rhine. International collaboration and effective policies, especially in Europe, have played a significant role. Crises like the toxic pollution of the river Rhine following the Sandoz fire and pesticides coming down hundreds of km from where they were sprayed forced us to confront the interconnectedness of our environment, leading to action and tangible results. Member States have agreed to take measures to achieve or maintain Good Environmental Status and they are required to really do so.
While we’ve made strides, challenges like PFAS chemicals and consistently high nitrogen and emissions persist. International agreements and government action are crucial to address these issues. By strengthening the European Union and making informed choices in elections, we can pave the way for a healthier, more biodiverse future.
So, let’s not lose hope. With persistence and dedication, we can continue to make strides towards a better world. Let’s keep our eyes on the future and work together for meaningful change. #EuropeForNature #EnvironmentalHope #EUProgress #VoteWisely

This story was also published on:

Share the Post:

Related Posts

Weemoed en hoop

Een tijdje geleden werd ik door een student geïnterviewd over natuurbeleving en hoe belangrijk biodiversiteit voor mij persoonlijk is. Tijdens

Read More