Yesterday, the European Commission adopted a comprehensive new Biodiversity Strategy to bring nature back into our lives.
The new Biodiversity Strategy tackles the key drivers of biodiversity loss, such as unsustainable use of land and sea, overexploitation of natural resources, pollution, and invasive alien species.
Adopted in the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic, the strategy is a central element of the EU’s recovery plan, crucial to preventing and building resilience to future outbreaks and providing immediate business and investment opportunities for restoring the EU’s economy. It also aims to make biodiversity considerations an integral part of EU’s overall economic growth strategy.
The strategy proposes to, among others, establish binding targets to restore damaged ecosystems and rivers, improve the health of EU protected habitats and species, bring back pollinators to agricultural land, reduce pollution, green our cities, enhance organic farming and other biodiversity-friendly farming practices, and improve the health of European forests.
The strategy brings forward concrete steps to put Europe’s biodiversity on the path to recovery by 2030, including transforming at least 30% of Europe’s lands and seas into effectively managed protected areas and bringing back at least 10% of agricultural area under high-diversity landscape features.
The actions foreseen in nature protection, sustainable use and restoration will bring economic benefits to local communities, creating sustainable jobs and growth. Funding of EUR 20 billion/year will be unlocked for biodiversity through various sources, including EU funds, national and private funding.
Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal Frans Timmermans said: “The coronavirus crisis has shown how vulnerable we all are, and how important it is to restore the balance between human activity and nature. Climate change and biodiversity loss are a clear and present danger to humanity. At the heart of the Green Deal the Biodiversity and Farm to Fork strategies point to a new and better balance of nature, food systems and biodiversity; to protect our people’s health and well-being, and at the same time to increase the EU’s competitiveness and resilience. These strategies are a crucial part of the great transition we are embarking upon.”
Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius said: “Nature is vital for our physical and mental wellbeing, it filters our air and water, it regulates the climate and it pollinates our crops. But we are acting as if it didn’t matter, and losing it at an unprecedented rate. This new Biodiversity Strategy builds on what has worked in the past, and adds new tools that will set us on a path to true sustainability, with benefits for all. The EU’s aim is to protect and restore nature, to contribute to economic recovery from the current crisis, and to lead the way for an ambitious global framework to protect biodiversity around the planet.”
More information :
Presse release : https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_884
Question and Answers on Biodiversity Strategy :