Global Edition

Brussels to bash the rhodi?

7.25am 6th May 2009 - Management Topics

A major European Commission Biodiversity Conference in Athens on 27th April called for a new set of EU policies to tackle Invasive Species.

Although native in Southern Europe, Rhododendron is an Invasive Species in the north. Future EU biodiversity policies may make it far more difficult for those clubs in Northern Europe wanting to retain their Rhododendron.

Commenting on the Conference, Golf Europa Director Steve Pope, said, “The European Commission has been examining Invasive Species for some time now and this Conference is another step forward in their policy development. Although EU legislation on Invasive Species is only a long-term possibility, it makes sense for golf course managers to review this issue now to avoid unplanned golf course disruption in years to come.”

EU biodiversity legislation already impacts on the golf industry but the current influence is focused on golf clubs in priority areas designated by the EU Natura 2000 network and the EU Habitats and Birds Directives.

The importance of EU biodiversity policy is set to spread throughout Europe. As Jacqueline McGlade, executive director of the EU’s Environment Agency told the conference, “We must not focus all our efforts on preserving islands of biodiversity while losing nature everywhere else.”

For more detailed information on the Conference and its agreed eight-point plan for nature protection, go to

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