Today, European Member State Ministers responsible for the environment have agreed on the need to enhance actions for nature protection in the European Union. Recognising the negative impacts that unsustainable practices from agriculture, forestry, fisheries and infrastructure have on biodiversity, EU Ministers acknowledge the need to ensure regular and adequate EU investment in nature conservation.
The European Environmental Council conclusions encourage the Commission to integrate nature protection considerations within the key EU policies and EU funding mechanisms, such as in the common agricultural policy (CAP), the cohesion policy or the common fisheries policy. These conclusions follow the recent evaluation of the EU Nature legislation, whose results highlight that these laws are fit for purpose, but that achieving their goals will need an important push to improve their implementation.
IUCN welcomes this call to increase EU investments in nature, noting that not only EU funding, but also national funding should be increased. Luc Bas, Director, of IUCN European Regional Office said: “recognising the importance of investing in our nature - in our future - is a positive step forward. Now this needs to be materialised in future EU funding streams, including an enhanced greening of the future EU CAP. Furthermore, private investment into nature needs to be proactively promoted. ”
In their conclusions, EU Environmental Ministers also recall the global 2030 European Agenda for Sustainable Development, an agenda that still needs to be incorporated into the strategic planning of the European Union. As the five scenarios from the recent White Paper on the Future of Europe do not adequately reflect the relevance of environment for the future of our continent, more strategic thinking is needed to create a sustainable EU.