What do we need to achieve the new 2020 biodiversity target?
The EU has clearly failed to halt the loss of biological diversity within its own territory and beyond by 2010.
The principal reasons in the EU for this failure in 2010 are well known and can be identified in the incomplete implementation of the EU Birds and Habitats Directives, which are the backbone of EU nature conservation policy, the failure to integrate biodiversity concerns into other policies such as agriculture or fisheries, and a severe shortage of funding for biodiversity and the Natura 2000 network.
In March 2010 EU Heads of States adopted a new biodiversity target, which aims at “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”.
If the EU wants to be serious this time and achieve its new biodiversity target, rapid and decisive action is needed. In this context BirdLife International and the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) have set out a series of specific actions in a response to the Commission stakeholders’ consultation that would enable a new EU biodiversity policy framework to achieve its goals. These actions build on the successes of the existing policy framework such as the EU Birds and Habitats Directives, while also seeking to reinforce and address gaps in this framework.
"The EU must respond in a comprehensive, rapid and decisive way to the deepening biodiversity crisis" —Ariel Brunner, Head of EU Policy at the BirdLife International European Division
Ariel Brunner, Head of EU policy at BirdLife International, commented “The European Commission is expected to publish its new EU Biodiversity Strategy at the end of 2010. The EU must respond in a comprehensive, rapid and decisive way to the deepening biodiversity crisis by launching an effective ‘biodiversity rescue package’. It is more than symbolic that this all is happening in the International Year of Biodiversity.”.
The new joint BirdLife EEB document, ‘Delivering the 2020 Target - Priority initiatives for the EU Biodiversity Conservation Policy beyond 2010’ draws the outline of the main themes such a package should include.
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Credits: BirdLife European Division, EEB