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EU Biodiversity Strategy

The Biodiversity Strategy is part of the European Green Deal. Its ambition is that by 2030 Europe's biodiversity will be on the path to recovery for the benefit of people, the planet, the climate and our economy, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and with the objectives of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. This will be achieved by

  • improved protection and management of protected areas,
  • restoration of degraded ecosystems for the benefit of biodiversity, climate mitigation, adaptation and disaster risk reduction,
  • reduced pollution including supporting farmers to shift to agroecological and organic practices
  • intensified battle against invasive species.

Restoring degraded ecosystems includes the restoration of 25.000 km’s of rivers to a free flowing state; increasing organic farming and biodiversity-rich landscape features on agricultural land; reducing the use and risk of pesticides by 50% by 2030 and planting 3 billion trees by 2030.

With the ‘do no harm’ vision, all EU policies will become more biodiversity-friendly, focusing on the sustainable use of ecosystems, supporting recovery, and bringing jobs and sustainable growth.

When it comes to management of protected areas the Biodiversity Strategy sets some clear gaols to be achieved by 2030:

  • 30% of EU land surface and 30% of its seas should be protected and at least 10% of agricultural area under high-diversity landscape features.
  • At least a third of this should be strictly protected
  • A true Trans European Ecological Network should be established through the creation of ecological corridors
  • All protected areas should be effectively managed.

To meet the needs of this strategy, including investment priorities for Natura 2000 and green infrastructure, at least €20 billion a year should be unlocked for spending on nature. This will require mobilising private and public funding at national and EU level, including through a range of different programmes in the next long-term EU budget. Moreover, as nature restoration will make a major contribution to climate objectives, a significant proportion of the 25% of the EU budget dedicated to climate action will be invested on biodiversity and nature-based solutions.

 

Summary commitments:

Nature protection:

  • Legally protect a minimum of 30% of the EU’s land area and 30% of the EU’s sea area and integrate ecological corridors, as part of a true Trans-European Nature Network.
  • Strictly protect at least a third of the EU’s protected areas, including all remaining EU primary and old-growth forests.
  • Effectively manage all protected areas, defining clear conservation objectives and measures, and monitoring them appropriately.

 

Nature Restoration Plan:

  • Legally binding EU nature restoration targets to be proposed in 2021, subject to an impact assessment.
  • By 2030, significant areas of degraded and carbon-rich ecosystems are restored;
  • Habitats and species show no deterioration in conservation trends and status; and at least 30% reach favourable conservation status or at least show a positive trend.
  • The decline in pollinators is reversed.
  • The risk and use of chemical pesticides is reduced by 50% and the use of more hazardous pesticides is reduced by 50%.
  • At least 10% of agricultural area is under high-diversity landscape features.
  • At least 25% of agricultural land is under organic farming management, and the uptake of agro-ecological practices is significantly increased.
  • Three billion new trees are planted in the EU, in full respect of ecological principles.
  • Significant progress has been made in the remediation of contaminated soil sites.
  • At least 25,000 km of free-flowing rivers are restored.
  • There is a 50% reduction in the number of Red List species threatened by invasive alien species.
  • The losses of nutrients from fertilisers are reduced by 50%, resulting in the reduction of the use of fertilisers by at least 20%.
  • Cities with at least 20,000 inhabitants have an ambitious Urban Greening Plan.
  • No chemical pesticides are used in sensitive areas such as EU urban green areas.
  • The negative impacts on sensitive species and habitats, including on the seabed through fishing and extraction activities, are substantially reduced to achieve good environmental status.
  • The by-catch of species is eliminated or reduced to a level that allows species recovery and conservation.

Please find the full text of the Strategy here.

Privet Hawkmoth caterpillar - Credit Natural England Allan Drewitt
Privet Hawkmoth caterpillar - Credit Natural England Allan Drewitt