When fully implemented, the Birds and Habitats Directives will save biodiversity in the EU. However, implementation has been slow and incomplete, with insufficient dedicated financial resources. In addition, some other policies such as the EU Common Agricultural Policy and the Common Fisheries Policy have stood in the way of implementation of the Directives. The threat of invasive alien species and the impact of EU policies and consumption outside the EU need additional action.
Recognising the urgency and importance of safeguarding our ecosystems, the EU leaders have adopted a Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 in 2011. The Biodiversity strategy aims to halt biodiversity loss and the degradation of ecosystem services by 2020 and to restore them as far as feasible, and to step up the EU contribution to averting global biodiversity loss.
The Strategy has six targets:
- Target 1 commits EU Member States to a full and swift implementation of the Birds and Habitats Directives.
- Target 2 commits EU Member States to establish green infrastructure and to restore 15% of degraded ecosystems in the EU.
- Target 3 commits the European Commission to reform the Common Agricultural Policy so that increases its contribution to biodiversity conservation on farmland and to improve forest management
- Target 4 commits the European Commission to reform the Common Fisheries Policy so that it reduces its ecological impacts, including its impacts on marine ecosystems.
- Target 5 commits the European Commission to combat Invasive Alien Species including through preventing the establishment of these species and through control and eradication.
- Target 6 commits the EU to step up its contribution to combatting global biodiversity loss.
However, targets and strategies are only as good as the action actually taken. The BirdLife Europe and Central Asia Partnership has undertaken a first stocktaking exercise of progress made ‘on the road to’ the 2020 target in 2013, and will continue to follow the implementation of the Strategy closely until 2020.
EU Nature and Biodiversity section
EU 2020 target
EU 2020 target halting the loss of biodiversity and the degradation of ecosystem services in the EU by 2020, and restoring them in so far as feasible, while stepping up the EU contribution to averting global biodiversity loss.
By 2050, the European Union biodiversity and the ecosystem services it provides - its natural capital - are protected, valued and appropriately restored for biodiversity's intrinsic value and for their essential contribution to human well-being and economic prosperity, and so that catastrophic changes caused by the loss of biodiversity are avoided.
Stichting BirdLife Europe gratefully acknowledges financial support from the European Commission. All content and opinions expressed on these pages are solely those of Stichting BirdLife Europe.