Posted on 23 May 2019
Today, 23 May, the members of the European Habitats Forum publish their assessment on the implementation of the EU Biodiversity Strategy and joint recommendations for the post 2020 EU Biodiversity Strategy, on the opening day of the EU Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: a common agenda to 2020 and beyond conference.
Today, 23 May, the members of the European Habitats Forum (EHF) published their assessment on the implementation of the EU Biodiversity Strategy and joint recommendations for the post 2020 EU Biodiversity Strategy
, on the opening day of the EU Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: a common agenda to 2020 and beyond
It is evident that the EU is set to fail its 2020 target to halt biodiversity loss. Both the 2015 Mid-term evaluation of the EU Biodiversity Strategy and the recently published 2019 IPBES Global Assessment confirmed the continuing decline of biodiversity and the degradation of ecosystem services in the EU and globally. Nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history and unless this negative trend is stopped, we will not be able to fulfil commitments to address climate change and to achieve sustainability.
The main reasons the EU is failing to halt biodiversity loss have been known for a long time and they remain the same: 1) The insufficient implementation of existing nature, water and marine legislation; 2) The lack of ownership and mainstreaming with other sectors and policies; 3) The lack of resources and continuation of perverse subsidies.
The IPBES global assessment has clearly expressed the need for transformational change of our economic system as critical to stop the negative trends. The key challenge is to raise political will and ambition to implement effectively the necessary actions. The EU needs to make halting and reversing biodiversity loss by 2030 a top priority on the political agenda of Heads of States and not leave this crucial issue to environment ministers alone.
A number of recommendations for the post 2020 EU Biodiversity Strategy are summarised below:
- A transformational change of our economic system is critical to stop the negative trends.
- The linkages with the SDGs and the synergies between the climate change and biodiversity agendas need to be made explicit.
- The strategy needs to contain ambitious and SMART targets that will strengthen the implementation and enforcement of nature legislation (BHD, WFD, MSFD) and promote the synergies between them.
- A new approach for ecosystem restoration, with stronger commitments, is needed.
- The collapse in freshwater biodiversity should be better addressed.
- Mainstreaming nature protection and enhancement as an objective in other policies is the major challenge.
The complete list of recommendations can be found in the EHF position paper