Biodiversity | WWF
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Biodiversity
Despite world-leading nature laws, European biodiversity continues to plummet.
Biodiversity is fundamental to both planet and people. It provides us with clean air and water, food and medicines. But biodiversity is in crisis. Only 23% of species and 16% of habitats under the EU Nature Directives are in good health.

Habitat loss and fragmentation, unsustainable agriculture and climate change are leading drivers of biodiversity loss in the EU. In May 2020, the European Commission released the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2030. This strategy, along with the EU Farm to Fork Strategy, is a potential game changers for EU nature, food and farming policies. The strategies propose a new wave of essential and long overdue targets on topics such as protected areas, restoration of nature, organic farming and the reduction of agricultural chemicals.

At the core of the EU’s biodiversity policy are the EU Birds and Habitats Directives which underpin the world’s first and largest international network of protected areas, Natura 2000. It covers about 18% of the EU's land and over 9% of its seas.

'There's no more time to lose – we need to bring Europe’s nature back! The EU must put forward a legally binding restoration initiative to benefit people, nature and the climate.'

Sabien Leemans
Senior Policy Officer, Biodiversity
@SabienLeemans

© Fritz Pölking / WWF

What WWF is doing

WWF is committed to protecting all of Europe’s unique wildlife and biodiversity, in particular in WWF European priority regions, the Mediterranean and the Greater Black Sea Basin. We work to ensure that the EU and its Member States:
 
  • Fully implement the Birds and Habitats Directives and support the required financing;
  • Effectively enforce existing EU laws on nature protection;
  • Properly and consistently integrate biodiversity protection into key economic sectors through its agriculture, water, infrastructure and development, and climate and energy policies;
  • Improve green connectivity throughout the EU.

Now that the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2030 is released, WWF will work to ensure the European Parliament and the European Council support the objectives of the strategy and its implementation. along with sufficient financial support. WWF is also advocating for a strong EU leadership position at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity COP in 2021 to lead the way in a New Deal for Nature and People to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030.

Contacts

Sabien Leemans
Senior Biodiversity Policy Officer
+32 486 80 04 37
@SabienLeemans

Bartosz Brzezinski
Communications Officer,
Biodiversity & Agriculture
+32 484 28 15 10
@bartosz_wwf

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Nature restoration: Helping people, biodiversity and climate

The publication Nature restoration: Helping people, biodiversity and climate showcases a collection of real-world success stories of nature restoration and presents key asks for the upcoming legally-binding nature restoration targets to be proposed by the European Commission in 2021. From flourishing ecotourism in Romania to local cooperation with fishers in France, the stories clearly demonstrate that nature restoration benefits people and the planet alike.

WWF is calling on the European Commission to propose a target of at least 15% of land and sea to be restored by 2030 both at the EU and Member State level. In addition, WWF is advocating for 15% of rivers to be restored to a free-flowing status in 2030 by removing physical barriers like dams. A target for CO₂ removal by natural sinks, as a separate target from the EU 2030 emissions reduction targets, should also be included.