Entries by YEE

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Everything you need to know about air pollution in the EU

Everything you need to know about air pollution in the EU

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What is air pollution ?

First and foremost, it is important to distinguish between indoor air pollution and ambient air pollution, as the agents responsible for indoor and outdoor air pollution are not the same. The purpose of the reform voted April is related to ambient air.

Air pollution or poor air quality is referred to when the concentration of certain harmful substances is too high.

The WHO defines a list of pollutants responsible for numerous harmful effects. The main pollutants on this list are:

Fine particules (PM)

These are a collection of particles that can be of different natures (sulphates, nitrates, ammonia, sodium chloride, black carbon, mineral dust) which are too fine to settle and therefore remain suspended in the air. They are labelled as PM and are classified according to their diameter. Thus, PM2.5 are particles that are 2.5 micrometres in diameter.

Carbon monoxide (CO)

A toxic, colourless, odourless gas produced by the incomplete combustion of carbon-based fuels such as wood, petrol, charcoal, natural gas, and kerosene.

Ozone (O3)

A gas that forms from other pollutants emitted by human activities as well as vegetation under the influence of solar activity. This is why ozone pollution is particularly noted in the summer during periods of intense heat.

Nitrogen dioxide (NO2)

NO₂ is a gas commonly released during the combustion of fuels in the transport and industrial sectors.

Sulphur dioxide (SO2)

SO₂ is a colourless gas with a pungent smell. It is produced from the combustion of fossil fuels (coal and oil) and the smelting of sulphur-containing ores.

The WHO therefore defines guidelines on the concentration thresholds not to be exceeded to avoid effects on health and biodiversity. The concentration levels are expressed in micrograms per cubic metre, noted as µg/m³.

Learn more about WHO recommendations.

Where do these pollutants come from? 

To put it simply, almost all human activities contribute to pollution (although some natural elements can also cause high levels of pollution, such as a volcanic eruption or a forest fire).

Most of these pollutants are the result of the combustion of fossil fuels (coal, oil, and gas) and are therefore mainly linked to industries, particularly construction due to the production of cement and steel, or the energy sector, which requires the burning of large quantities of fossil materials. Road and air transport are another significant source of air pollution, and finally, the agricultural sector is also to be blamed.

What are the consequences of air pollution? 

On human health

The invisible particles penetrate the cells and organs of our body: our lungs, heart, blood, and brain. This leads to diseases such as asthma, strokes, heart attacks, cancer, dementia, and in many cases, death.

The WHO considers air pollution to be the most important environmental threat to humans in the world. Nearly 7 million premature deaths are attributable to it annually. In Europe, this is nearly 300,000 each year.

The WHO considers air pollution to be the most significant environmental threat to humans worldwide. Nearly 7 million premature deaths are attributed to it annually. In Europe, it accounts for nearly 300,000 deaths each year.

Economic impacts

Pollution hampers productivity by affecting workers, which severely impacts overall economic activity. According to the World Bank, the loss of global GDP attributable to air pollution is estimated at 6.1%. 

Additionally, the numerous diseases caused by this pollution are costly to taxpayers through healthcare systems. Air pollutants also affect agricultural yields, as indicated by the European Environment Agency, which estimates that some agricultural states have lost up to 5% of their wheat production, costing 1 billion euros.

On biodiversity

Certainly, these pollutants significantly affect ecosystems and vegetation, notably through a process called “eutrophication,” which involves the rapid growth of algae and aquatic plants, facilitated by concentrations of nitrogen oxides and ammonia in the air. When these plants decompose, they reduce oxygen levels, harming fish and other aquatic organisms. This phenomenon also leads to freshwater acidification and affects forest soils.

Key numbers to evaluate air pollution  

 

 

Good

Fair

moderate

poor

Very poor

Extremely poor

(PM2.5)

<10µg/m3

<20µg/m3

<25µg/m3

<50µg/m3

<75µg/m3

+80µg/m3

(PM10)

<20µg/m3

<40

<50

<100

<150

+160

(NO2)

<40µg/m3

<90

<120

<230

<340

+350

(O3)

<50µg/m3

<100

<130

<240

<380

+390

(SO2)

<100µg/m3

<200

<350

<500

<750

+760

Source : European Environmental Agency

The political context

Today, two main legal texts at the European Union level regulate air quality standards:

  1. Directive 2008/50/EC sets the objectives for ambient air quality to prevent or reduce the effects of air pollution on human health and the environment as a whole. It defines measures for the assessment of ambient air quality in all Member States as well as the conditions for obtaining information on ambient air quality. The Directive aims at increasing cooperation between the Member States in reducing air pollution.
  2. Directive 2004/107/EC is more of a technical. It sets mandatory levels of fine particles, arsenic, cadmium, mercury, nickel and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in ambient air and defines methods and criteria for the assessment of concentrations of these substances in the ambient air.

In 2022, the European Commission introduced a proposal to reform this legislative package.

The main elements of this reform are:

Yet a few issues remain with the current version of the draft. For starters, the new air quality standards remain above the pollution levels recommended by the WHO:

While the current draft of the directive lowers the values for fine particles (PM2,5) from 25 to 10 µg/m3 and for Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) from 40 to 20 µg/m3. The most recent World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations advise not to exceed 5 μg/m3 for PM2,5 and 10 μg/m3 for NO2.
If the current draft also includes a review clause, the review of the alignment of EU’s air quality standards with WHO will not be done before 2030

Secondly, the implementation deadline is too long. The main deadline for the implementation of the new standard is the 31st of January 2029, but the current draft includes a postponement clause allowing under certain conditions to extend the deadline till 2040

To find out more detailed information see the European Council’s press release.

More articles about air quality

Air pollution is a significant environmental challenge facing the European Union (EU). It is crucial to understand the various aspects and implications


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We want Clean Air Now!

We want Clean Air Now!

YEE organises a fully-funded 3-days programme about clean air in Berlin.

Practical information

  • When

    5th to 7th September 2024

  • Where

    Berlin

  • Fees

    Fully funded

  • How

Funded by

Related project

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Why are we doing this

The European legislative framework on air quality is being updated.  This is the perfect occasion to get involved in a matter of public health that concerns us all!

What do we have planned?

  •  The Seminar: We want Clean Air Now! (5th – 6th of September)

Before action comes reflection. That is why we want to start by taking the time to talk about air quality.

Over the course of this 2 days seminar, we will go through the main aspects of what air pollution is, how it is measured and which consequences it has (from a medical, environmental and even economic standpoint).

We will investigate the main causes of air pollution and work together to discuss concrete action points through interactive sessions.

We will be joined throughout this seminar by experts from different fields helping us to refine our thought process to ensure we come up with actionable solutions and a clear advocacy strategy.

  • The race (7th September)

”Run for clean air” is a relay race designed to draw public attention towards the ongoing process of reforming the Ambient Air Quality legislative package.

With this run, we want to bring to light the issue of air pollution to the German population because Germany has been particularly reluctant to include ambitious air quality targets in the European law to safeguard the auto industry.

The race will consist of a 1km path, run by several teams representing different cities with various degrees of air pollution.

This race follows a similar style as previous event – “It’s not the finish line” – that we organised in Strasbourg on the day of the vote in the plenary session of the European Parliament of the last draft of the reform. 

All the participants of the seminar are invited to join. 

All participants are required to:

  • *Priority will be given to participants from Germany, France and Belgium

Other upcoming events

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Ending Bottom Trawling: A Call for Real Protection of the Marine Environment

Ending Bottom Trawling: A Call for Real Protection of the Marine Environment

Youth and Environment Europe and Global Youth Biodiversity Network (GYBN) Europe Advocate for a Complete Ban on Bottom Trawling in Marine Protected Areas

What is bottom trawling and why is it problematic

Bottom trawling is one of the most destructive fishing methods used worldwide, with as much as 40% of sea life being removed during a single trawling pass. The large weighted nets being dragged across the ocean floor are responsible for vast amounts of by-catch, discards and collapse of fish stocks.

Despite the restriction of human activities to conserve their rich biodiversity, Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) suffer greatly from the effects of bottom trawling. Even with its devastating and irreversible consequences, bottom trawling is still allowed in 90 percent of all offshore EU MPAs. 

The impact of bottom trawling on marine ecosystems

Bottom trawling is responsible for reducing the complexity, productivity, and biodiversity of seafloor habitats, with sponges and corals facing the highest impacts. Unfortunately, most affected ecosystems are unable to recover from the damage they endure. For the few that do manage to recover, the estimated recovery time is estimated to be between 7.5 and 15 years.

The impact of bottom trawling on climate change

Bottom trawling not only causes significant harm to marine life, but according to a recent study, it also contributes up to 370 million metric tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere annually. The same study discovered that within an average of years, between 55 and 60 percent of emissions from underwater bottom trawling are released into the atmosphere, while the remaining CO2 can lead to more acidic conditions in the areas where it has been released, thus clearly contributing to the greenhouse effect and global warming of our planet.

The EU’s position on bottom trawling

Currently, there only exists an EU-wide ban on bottom trawling at depths greater than 800 metres, however the EU aims to extend a bottom trawling ban to all its MPAs by 2030, urging its Member States to draw up national roadmaps towards a bottom trawling plan as part of the 2023 Marine Action Plan (find our article about the EU’s Marine Action Plan here).

At the moment, Greece and Sweden are the only EU Member States to have announced a ban on bottom trawling in all their national marine parks and protected areas, with Sweden extending the ban to all its territorial waters (up to 12 nautical miles from the shore). This marks a significant step forward for these countries in the protection of marine biodiversity.

In contrast, the majority of EU countries have missed this year’s March deadline to outline national roadmaps for phasing out bottom trawling. The EU’s national governments need to demonstrate greater ambition for marine protection and commit to the Marine Action Plan and the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030. 

Protecting 30% of its marine areas by 2030 is incompatible with the highly damaging practice of bottom trawling, therefore the European Commission must take further action to ensure compliance with the existing legislation in countries that still permit bottom trawling inside the MPAs of their territorial waters.

YEE and GYBN calls for a ban of bottom trawling in Marine Protected Areas

As representatives of young people committed to environmental protection, Youth and Environment Europe and Global Youth Biodiversity Network Europe strongly advocate for the conservation of marine ecosystems and the promotion of sustainable fishing practices. Our position on the issue of bottom trawling comprises the following:

  • YEE and GBYN Europe firmly oppose bottom trawling in Marine Protected Areas. This fishing method is highly destructive to seafloor ecosystems, causing irreversible damage to habitats such as coral reefs and seagrass beds. To achieve the 30×30 goal of protecting 30% of European waters by 2030, MPAs must offer genuine protection, which is incompatible with the destructive nature of bottom trawling. The practice of bottom trawling also needs to be reviewed in cases where it takes place close to MPA boundaries, in sensitive habitats such as spawning grounds, and in coastal waters. 
  • We show our strong support for ongoing initiatives by NGOs and civil society groups that advocate against bottom trawling. Notable examples include the joint campaign led by Oceana, Seas at Risk, Sciaena, and the Irish Wildlife Trust, as well as awareness raising and lobbying by WWF, Blue Ventures, the Blue Marine Foundation, Client Earth, and others. These organisations play a crucial role in raising awareness and driving policy changes.

Bottom trawling is a destructive practice that poses a significant threat to marine ecosystems and biodiversity.

As YEE and GYBN Europe, we urge EU Member States to prioritise ocean conservation and take decisive action. We firmly believe that young people, as the voice of the future, hold the power to enact the change they envision. With the recent EU elections, it is crucial for youth to push the newly elected MEPs to take action towards the protection of our oceans. Advocacy for stronger regulations, such as those in the Marine Action Plan, is essential to safeguard marine ecosystems. Join advocacy campaigns, engage with environmental organisations and use your voice to demand the preservation of our seas.

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Learn more about marine conservation

Youth and Environment Europe and Global Youth Biodiversity Network (GYBN) Europe Advocate for a Complete Ban on Bottom Trawling in Marine Protected


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YEE Calls for Ambitious National Roadmaps for EU Marine Action Plan Implementation, including a ban on bottom trawling in MPAs


Read More

Youth and Environment Europe and Global Youth Biodiversity Network (GYBN) Europe Advocate for a Complete Ban on Bottom Trawling in Marine Protected Areas


Read More

YEE Calls for Ambitious National Roadmaps for EU Marine Action Plan Implementation, including a ban on bottom trawling in MPAs


Read More

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Time to Act! – What can we do to support insect conservation

Time to Act! – What can we do to support insect conservation

Let’s talk bugs!

Written by

Contents

By doing this we can, see how the species evolves in the basements, by looking for new unmarked insects and then learn to create the best habitat and find the best way to live together with the Blaps mucronata!
JNM – Jeugdbond voor Natuur en Milieustudie
Jef Hendrix & Ewout De Vos

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In our last article, we explored the numerous challenges insects face. Fortunately, there are many ways to support their survival. As our series on the world of insects concludes, we turn our focus to the solutions and actions that can help protect these vital creatures.

Let’s first delve into how two of our member organisationsUK Youth 4 Nature (UKY4N) and Jeugdbond voor Natuur en Milieu (JNM) – are actively contributing to insect conservation before giving you some practical steps to follow to take action!

UKY4N: Raising Awareness Through Creative Campaigns. 

UKY4N empowers young people in nature decision-making in the UK. In 2022, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Rachel Carson’s iconic book, “Silent Spring”,  they organised a youth insect photography competition, which showcased stunning images of UK insects. The winning photos were displayed at an exhibition at Oxford’s Museum of Natural History. 

In their Natural Kingdom: Wild Walls campaign, they included insects in murals across UK cities and towns, highlighting local wildlife in decline. A notable mural featured the beautiful tiger beetle in Liverpool. They also create digital art for social media, organise bee walks and hold online workshops.

As part of the “Not so Freshwater” campaign they even hosted a chemical cocktail bar event in London, highlighting the impact of chemical pollution on insects with youth artwork of a mayfly. 

What’s Next?

UKY4N plans to continue their successful initiatives, including the “Your Wild Streets” campaign  that will  advocate for pesticide-free urban areas in the UK to help pollinators thrive! 

JNM: Research and Human-Insect Cohabitation

JNM, based in Belgium, focuses on conservation through hands-on projects. A notable example is their work with the Cellar Beetle (Blaps mucronata), a rare species that was first found in their main secretariat building’s basement in 2006 but then thought extinct after the building was renovated in 2016, disturbing the beetle’s habitat. However, five years later, a fresh dead specimen was found, and after an extensive search, 15 living specimens were discovered.

What makes this beetle so special?

20 to 25 mm in size with pitch-black, with smooth shields and long legs, they require old, not-too-clean cellars with high humidity, stable temperatures, and lots of hiding places. They are now quite rare in Belgium, making JNM’s discovery even more significant. Originally, the Cellar Beetle was found mainly in southern Europe, living in caves and later adapting to human-made cellars. 

Inside JNM, a dilemma arose because the beetles were found in the same basement where tents and camp materials were stored, which need to be kept dry. To address this, JNM initiated a survey where beetles were caught, marked, and released back into a more humid basement to better suit their needs. 

Taking action: How can YOU help

In your garden: 

  • Maintain insect habitats: Plant native flowering plants and leave some areas of your garden wild to provide shelter and food for insects. Did you know that branches left on the ground and dead wood are extremely useful and provide micro-habitats for the fauna? 
  • Create water sources: Provide small, shallow water sources like bird baths or shallow dishes with stones for insects to drink from, especially during hot and dry periods.
  • Reduce pesticide use: Minimise or eliminate the use of pesticides in your garden to create a safer environment for pollinators and other beneficial insects.

With your community: 

  • Support conservation efforts: Get involved with local conservation groups and participate in initiatives like habitat restoration.
  • Participate in insect monitoring: Join insect monitoring programs to help scientists track insect populations and health. Your observations can contribute valuable data for conservation efforts
  • Advocate for pesticide-free Zones: Work with your local community to create pesticide-free zones in public spaces, such as parks and gardens, to protect pollinators.
  • Educate others: Share your knowledge about the importance of insects with friends, family, and the community. Host workshops, give talks, or use social media to spread awareness.

By highlighting these inspiring examples and offering practical steps, we hope to empower you to take action and make a difference in insect conservation. You can help ensure a future where insects continue to thrive and play their crucial roles in ecosystems!

More articles about biodiversity

Let’s first delve into how two of our member organisations UK Youth 4 Nature (UKY4N) and Jeugdbond voor Natuur en Milieu (JNM)


Read More

Many arthropod groups are not well understood or equally loved as other arthropod groups by the average European. One such group are


Read More

Have you ever wondered how the intricate relationship between insects, plants, and humans came to be? Let’s travel through time to uncover


Read More

Let’s look at some of these arthropods that are often hidden in plain sight


Read More

Learn about the risks for ecosystems posed by climate change identified in the EEA’s Climate Risk Assessment.


Read More

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Call for a Communications and Campaigns Coordinator​

Call for a Communications and Campaigns Coordinator

to join our Communications team.

18 h/ week

12 EUR/hour

remote

1 year contract

Start 1st August 2024

YEE is seeking a Communications and Campaigns Coordinator

YEE is looking for a part-time Communications and Campaigns Coordinator, to work with the organisation’s advocacy portfolios. The work will be mainly centred on the deliverables of the Environmental Law Portfolio.

The Communications and Campaigns Officer will be responsible for creating content for the organisation’s social media platforms and the website, for developing communication strategies and campaigns, and for helping the advocacy projects produce various visual content such as infographics and designs for articles/booklets.

This position is remote, and requires 18 hours of work per week, with a gross salary of 12 EUR/hour. The position will run from 01/08/2024 to 31/07/2025 (with possible extension upon funding). 

Application deadline:

10th July 2024

Your responsibilities

  • ⚬ Create and produce informational content about events, resources and activities of the different advocacy portfolios
  • ⚬ Consistently create social media content for Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok
  • ⚬ Proof-read and publish articles and handbooks on topics related to the projects
  • ⚬ Work closely with the Communications team to develop communications material
  • ⚬ Create and design infographics nd visual designs to support policy briefs and handbooks
  • ⚬ Participate in weekly department-, project- and staff meetings
  • ⚬ Support the Advocacy Working Group’s campaigns and projects by helping with articles, creating social media posts and advising on communication strategies
  • ⚬ Update the visual identity and communications strategy for the Environmental Law project
  • ⚬ Filming and producing reels, short videos and TikToks related to topics of Environmental Law
  • ⚬ Recruiting and collaborating with influencers to create content
  • ⚬ Producing social media content related to Environmental Law and Climate Litigation
  • ⚬ Working on communications material for the Climate Law Hub (which YEE is a founder of)
  • ⚬ Assist the YEE team in conducting the communications deliverables assigned to YEE for our communications contributions to the BeLIFE consortium

Candidates we are looking for

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Hovering on the edge

Hovering on the edge

Let’s talk bugs!

Written by

Contents

Eupeodes corollae

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Our last article on the history of human insect coevolution already indicated that insects face many challenges. This week the journey continues and we will dive deeper into the challenges faced by insects. We will do this from the perspective of the humble jet, very important hoverfly.

What even is a hoverfly and why are they so important?

Here already we encounter our first challenge. Many arthropod groups are not well understood or equally loved as other arthropod groups by the average European. One such group are hoverflies.

The unknown pollinators

Hoverflies are close relatives of common house flies but unlike house flies are important pollinators instead of decomposers. That’s right, bees and butterflies have another important coworker. Due to the shape of their mouthparts, hoverflies prefer to visit flat instead of cone-shaped flowers. Even though they have important ecological roles, they are unfortunately often forgotten when insects are discussed.

The impact of agricultural intensification

The second challenge faced by hoverflies, as well as many other insects, is agricultural intensification. It is not just the growing of monoculture crops that threatens many hoverfly species, but excessive pesticide use has significant negative effects both on farmland and outside.

Ever heard of a pesticide drift?

This is when, oftentimes invisible, clouds of pesticide travel through the air and into surrounding areas. Because of this, even insects that are kilometres away in a protected area can experience negative consequences of pesticide use. 

The impact of urban development

We as humans like to modify our environment to suit our needs. In doing so we often change very important habitat characteristics that are very important for other organisms.

One of these habitat modifications impacting hoverflies is obstructing and controlling the flow of natural waterways. Certain hoverfly species depend on the consistent flow of clean water for the proper development of their larva. This is of particular concern for wetland hoverflies.

When development does not consider the ecological impacts we risk losing valuable habitat characteristics for hoverflies and other insects. Once an ecosystem is lost it can be hard to get it back. 

The impact of urban development

We as humans like to modify our environment to suit our needs. In doing so we often change very important habitat characteristics that are very important for other organisms.

One of these habitat modifications impacting hoverflies is obstructing and controlling the flow of natural waterways. Certain hoverfly species depend on the consistent flow of clean water for the proper development of their larva. This is of particular concern for wetland hoverflies.

Urban and industrial development can destroy hoverfly habitat like flower rich meadows, but it can also create opportunities. Promoting flower rich roadsides and changing mowing regimes in urban environments can create additional habitat for hoverflies closer to home.

When development does not consider the ecological impacts we risk losing valuable habitat characteristics for hoverflies and other insects. Once an ecosystem is lost it can be hard to get it back. 

Prioritising Habitat Conservation for Arthropod Species Protection

The final challenge we will look into might seem obvious but is not always considered. There are currently 340 hoverfly species considered threatened and many more arthropod species. So it is simply not possible to put species specific conservation measures in place.

Thankfully, on the EU level hoverflies have received attention. But the same can not be said for other arthropod groups. The most effective way to address this challenge is to focus on conserving suitable habitats (not just those under the habitats directive) and enacting policies that take a holistic approach to problem solving. In this regard the EU farm to fork strategy and Nature Restoration Law are crucial.

You as an individual can also contribute by providing hiding places for these insects (dead wood is much appreciated), planting native flowering plants and using less pesticides in your garden.

More articles about biodiversity

Let’s first delve into how two of our member organisations UK Youth 4 Nature (UKY4N) and Jeugdbond voor Natuur en Milieu (JNM)


Read More

Many arthropod groups are not well understood or equally loved as other arthropod groups by the average European. One such group are


Read More

Have you ever wondered how the intricate relationship between insects, plants, and humans came to be? Let’s travel through time to uncover


Read More

Let’s look at some of these arthropods that are often hidden in plain sight


Read More

Learn about the risks for ecosystems posed by climate change identified in the EEA’s Climate Risk Assessment.


Read More

, , ,

YEE’s Annual Meeting 2024

YEE’s Annual Meeting 2024

from 12th to 14th July 2024 in Prague, Czechia

Practical information

  • When

    12th July to 14th July 2024

  • Where

    Prague, Czechia

  • Fees

    Fully funded for official delegates

  • How

    Hybrid

This event it funded by the European Union.

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Youth and Environment Europe would like to announce that the Annual Meeting and the General Assembly of YEE will take place on from 12th to 14th July 2024 in Prague, Czechia.

We are happy to say that it will take place in person with an option to join in remotely. Hereby, we would like to ask each YEE member organisation to appoint a delegate to represent and vote on behalf of your organisation during the General Assembly (GA).

Food, accommodation, and visa expenses or the duration of the annual meeting will be covered in full. Travel expenses will be reimbursed according to the Erasmus+ Programme Guide 2024.

How can you join?

Open calls

Become a board member

Responsibilities

Become an internal auditor

Responsibilities

Have questions? Get in touch!



Other upcoming events

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Hidden in plain sight

Hidden in plain sight

Let’s talk bugs!

Written by

Contents

Eresus sandaliatus

Photo credits: Ewout de Vos

Phyllodesma tremulifolium

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If it has 6 legs it’s an insect and if not it is something else.

With all the hustle and bustle going on in our lives, especially for those of us living in big cities, our time spent in nature is limited to short walks in nearby parks. Even when we do attempt to visit our national parks, some creatures often go overlooked. Many of these overlooked organisms belong to the phylum (group) of arthropods.

The reason why we use the word arthropod instead of insect is because all insects are arthropods but not all arthropods are insects.

Confused? Don’t worry, just look at the legs. If it has 6 legs it’s an insect and if not it is something else.

Examples of insects include: 
  • Bees 
  • Butterflies
  • Beetles 
  • Praying mantis

Examples of non insect arthropods are:
  • Shrimp
  • Spiders
  • Millipedes
  • And yes even ancient trilobites

Let’s look at some of these arthropods that are often hidden in plain sight

One of the more unexpectedly cute ones is the Lady bird spider (Eresus sandaliatus). As with many species in nature, it is the male that boats such vibrant colours. Though they look fuzzy and cute, try not to pick them up as a bite can cause some discomfort. Spiders, even those that look more menacing, play an important role in our ecosystems. These arthropods are mostly predators, as such they control the population of other arthropods lower in the food chain. We call this top down control. In doing so they prevent any one species from becoming too dominant in the ecosystem.

Moving on to some flying arthropods, we have wild bees. Most people are familiar with honey bees and their importance in European agriculture. But did you know that out in nature wild bees are more important than honey bees? Certain bees specialise only on certain groups of plants like yellow asteraceae. There are even bees that parasitise other wild bee nests like the Cuckoo bees from the genus Nomada.

The final arthropod we want to highlight is the Aspen lappet (Phyllodesma tremulifolium). Unlike our first arthropod, the Lady bird spider, the Aspen lappet will definitely go overlooked during your next visit to your favourite Natura 2000 area thanks to its amazing camouflage. The ability to blend in with your surroundings has proven to be beneficial for both predators and pray alike. Praying mantises use it to ambush prey and moths and butterflies like the Aspen lappet use it to avoid becoming lunch. And have you ever wondered why moths are so fuzzy? Well, this is an adaptation that helps them avoid detection from predators and keep them warm so they can fly at night.

So next time you’re in nature don’t forget to keep an eye out for those cool arthropods hidden in plain sight!

More articles about biodiversity

Let’s first delve into how two of our member organisations UK Youth 4 Nature (UKY4N) and Jeugdbond voor Natuur en Milieu (JNM)


Read More

Many arthropod groups are not well understood or equally loved as other arthropod groups by the average European. One such group are


Read More

Have you ever wondered how the intricate relationship between insects, plants, and humans came to be? Let’s travel through time to uncover


Read More

Let’s look at some of these arthropods that are often hidden in plain sight


Read More

Learn about the risks for ecosystems posed by climate change identified in the EEA’s Climate Risk Assessment.


Read More

, ,

Impacts of the European Climate Lawsuits | Webinar

Impacts of the European Climate Lawsuits | Webinar

Unpacking the recent ECtHR decisions on climate cases with Victorine Nagels and Theresa Amor-Juergenssen.

Practical information

  • When

    9th May 2024

  • Where

    Online

  • How

    Sign up

This webinar is part of the Legal Seeds project.

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Why are we doing this

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) recently delivered decisions on three different climate change-related cases. These were all lawsuits brought forward by citizens across Europe, who argued that states have not done enough to mitigate climate change and to protect their citizens.

By immersing ourselves in discussions on participation, human rights, and environmental protection, we aim to ensure that the voices of young people are integral in shaping policy recommendations, as well as to create a platform where your insights and contributions can drive tangible change, fostering a global community dedicated to environmental advocacy.

In this webinar, one month after the historic decisions, we will unpack the results of the three different climate lawsuits brought forward to the ECtHR:

Who will be speaking

The speakers for the event are Victorine Nagels (lawyer) and Theresa Amor-Juergenssen (legal advocacy deputy at WYCJ). These experienced speakers will analyse the ECtHR decisions and reflect on the significance that these have on States’ climate commitments. They will also analyse what are going to be the consequences of these judgements on climate action and litigation advanced by youth and on the rights of children, youth, and future generations.
 

Have questions? Get in touch!



Other upcoming events

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Inside the European Parliament: Country Breakdown of Major Political Groups

Inside the European Parliament: Country Breakdown of Major Political Groups

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Good to know

During the elections, you are going to vote for a national party and usually, they are also going to be part of one of the major European groups with representatives from different countries.

Learn more about EU Groups in the European Parliament, their principles and ideology, and their view on the environmental issues!

What is the European Parliament

The European Parliament is composed of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) who are organised into several political groups, each representing a spectrum of ideologies. These groups are not based on nationality but on political affiliation.

Here’s a brief overview of the major political groups:

  • EPP – Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats)
  • S&D – Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats
  • Renew Europe – Renew Europe Group
  • Greens/EFA – Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance
  • ID – Identity and Democracy Group
  • ECR – European Conservatives and Reformists Group
  • The Left – Confederal Group of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left
  • NI – Non-Inscrits” (Non-Attached Members)

Overview of the major groups in the European Parliament by country

Check out the national parties in the political groups of the European Parliament!

How to do that?

  1. Click on the country of your interest
  2. Click on the a political  group
  3. Discover the national parties*

* If you hover on the name, you can see their website to get more info

Check out the national parties in the political groups of the European Parliament!

How to do that?

  1. Click on the country of your interest
  2. Click on the a political  group
  3. Discover the national parties*

* If you hover on the name, you can see their website to get more info