Restore our ecosystems
The natural environment benefits society. The services provided by our ecosystems –such as food, clean water and fertile soils– underpin all economic activity. ‘Biodiversity’, the web of life on this planet, is essential for these services to function. Yet it is likely that the EU will comprehensively fail to meet its own target to halt the loss of biodiversity by 2010. Perversely, many EU policies are accelerating that loss, while funding for biodiversity remains sorely lacking. An ambitious commitment is now needed to turn the tide for the conservation of nature and lay out a rescue plan for our ecosystems.
• Adopt a target for 2020 that goes beyond halting the loss of biodiversity to championing the recovery of habitats and species in the EU. At its heart should be the key role of biodiversity in combating climate change.
• Build on and strengthen successful EU biodiversity policies such as the visionary Natura 2000 network of protected areas and the Birds and Habitats Directives.
• Ensure that the many EU policies that impact and damage biodiversity are reformed to secure the environmental services upon which society depends.
• Ensure at least €3-4 billion per year is dedicated from the EU budget to protect and manage the Natura 2000 network as the backbone of the EU’s ecosystems. Land managers should be fairly rewarded for these critical public goods.
Scientists do not exaggerate in suggesting we are causing the 6th great planetary extinction of species, the last of which caused the extinction of the dinosaurs.
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