Brussels, 2 February 2016 - The chance that Europe’s Nature Directives will be revised, has slimmed further. With an impressive majority, today’s plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg adopted its own report on the EU Mid-Term Review of the 2020 Biodiversity Strategy. The European Parliament calls upon the Commission and the EU Member States to fully implement the Habitats and Birds Directives, restore ecosystems and promote Nature Based Solutions, in order to halt the ongoing loss of biodiversity in Europe by 2020.
Sadly, the European Union is still not on the right path to reach this main objective of the 2020 Biodiversity Strategy. Though there have been some successes, biodiversity loss in the EU continues. Actions must be accelerated to reach the target.
According to the IUCN European Red List, more than a quarter of around 10,000 European species are now threatened with extinction.
Luc Bas, Director of the IUCN European Regional Office in Brussels, comments on the vote by the European Parliament: “This is a strong signal that the Commission needs to focus on supporting faster and better implementation of the Nature Directives. The EU and the Member States can only halt the loss of biodiversity if they implement the rules they have established themselves years ago.”
Other key measures that IUCN is asking for to improve the 2020 Biodiversity Strategy:
- Obtain sustained financial means for the Nature Directives;
- Complete the so-called mapping and assessment of ecosystems by the Member States, to increase the knowledge base for decision-makers;
- Lay down concrete proposals by Member States to the ‘Bonn Challenge’ of restoring globally at least 150 million hectares of degraded forest landscapes by 2020 and another 200 million hectares by 2030;
- Mainstream biodiversity into other policies to address threats from sectors like agriculture, fisheries and forestry;
- Improve scientific monitoring of biodiversity – such as the IUCN European Red List of Threatened Species.
Joop Hazenberg, IUCN European Regional Office, +32 496 70 36 38, email@example.com
IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges. IUCN is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental organization, with more than 1,200 government and NGO members and almost 11,000 volunteer experts in some 160 countries. IUCN’s work is supported by over 1,000 staff in 45 offices and hundreds of partners in public, NGO and private sectors around the world.
Visit the IUCN and IUCN Europe websites.