Nature protection and biodiversity - Drivers & Pressures

What are the related drivers and pressures?

Species and habitat diversity are under threat from habitat loss and landscape dissection caused by human settlements, infrastructure, business parks and industrial estates. In Austria, a further 12 hectares are taken every day for settlement and transport, while the total area of land taken by development (including sports facilities, quarries etc.) is 22 hectares (average for the years 2006-2009). Source:


Since 1995, the area of sealed land nationwide has increased by more than 170% (see Figure 3). Sealed land accounts for more than 6% of the permanent residential space (which covers only around 37% of Austria’s total area), and is steadily increasing (Fiala 2009a).

Figure 3: Percentage of sealed land 1995-2009 (Fiala 2009a).