Agriculture in eastern Europe--a call for co-operation. A major concern that was highlighted at the ICBP's European Continental Section Conference in Aachen, Germany, this May was that agricultural developments in eastern Europe should not result in declines in the wildlife similar to those seen in the West. Western Europe's birds have been greatly decreased by agricultural practices since the Second World War. In particular, the EC Common Agricultural Policy has hugely reduced the amount of suitable habitat for birds. Farmland in eastern Europe, which is worked much less intensively than in the West, still hosts great numbers of birds, and species such as Corncrake Crex crex and White Stork Ciconia ciconia, now rare in western Europe, are still relatively common. Thirty-six delegates from 13 countries in central and eastern Europe and the former USSR participated in the Conference, making it one of the most significant meetings for the conservation of Europe's birds ever to take place. The delegates from the East requested that western European conservationists should assist them in trying to prevent the mistakes of the West being repeated in their countries. The ICBP, under its ' Wings Across Europe" programme, is already providing financial and technical aid to develop non-governmental conservation organisations in six countries in the region, and is seeking ways to help more. Support is provided by several of the ICBP's member organisations in western Europe, particularly the RSPB in the UK, the Schweizer Vogelschutz in Switzerland, the Vogelbescherming in die Netherlands and the Dansk Ornitologisk Forening in Denmark. 

Issue 8
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