“Halting biodiversity loss constitutes the absolute minimum level of ambition to be realised by 2020”, MEPs stated in an own-initiative report adopted on July 14. Noting that several factors – such as the incomplete implementation of legislation, poor integration into sectoral policies, insufficient scientific knowledge and data gaps, and insufficient funding – have prevented the EU from achieving its 2010 biodiversity target, the Committee presented its priorities for future EU policy in this field.
The report urges member states to take prompt action to achieve full implementation of the Birds and Habitat Directives, calls for a coordinated strategy to tackle the problem of invasive alien species, and pleads for better mainstreaming of biodiversity into other EU policy areas.
MEPs believe public spending alone will not suffice to achieve the EU’s headline target and they therefore underscore the importance of corporate responsibility in protecting biodiversity. The Commission is asked to focus more on ecosystem services in its future biodiversity strategy and to look at ways of implementing policies that encourage investment in nature conservation.
MEPs also underlined the need to incorporate biodiversity-related externalities into the final price of products on the markets. The EU should strive to step up international efforts to avert biodiversity loss and thus help achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, the report adds.