Further progress has been made on developing a new EU policy and strategy for halting biodiversity loss in Europe. A political mandate on new targets has been secured, while current EU and global biodiversity goals expire after 2010.
The options presented in the European Commission’s communication on this matter were discussed and endorsed by the 27 EU Member States in March this year – resulting in an agreement on the following headline target, which closely resembles the Commission’s most ambitious option:
‘To halt the loss of biodiversity and the degradation of ecosystem services in the EU by 2020, restore them in so far as feasible, while stepping up the EU contribution to averting global biodiversity loss.’
The annual loss of ecosystem services is equivalent to €50 billion a year according to the recently published study The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB). Current EU policies do not sufficiently recognise the value of such ecosystem services, so mainstreaming biodiversity and ecosystem services into other policy areas and sectors should be central to the EU’s future biodiversity policy.
The EU strategy will need to set clear, ambitious yet realistic and achievable sub-targets. This strategy will be taking into account the outcome of the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Nagoya, Japan in October 2010, which is due to adopt a global strategic plan for the Convention for the period 2011–2020.
Meanwhile, the EU aims that by 2050, biodiversity and the ecosystem services it provides – its natural capital – are protected, valued and appropriately restored for biodiversity’s intrinsic value and for their essential contribution to human well-being and economic prosperity, and so that catastrophic changes caused by the loss of biodiversity are avoided.
TEEB (The Economics of Ecosystem and Biodiversity project) issued the TEEB and Business report. You can find it at: