Parliamentary Assembly Session of the Council of Europe (PACE), Strasbourg
The Parliamentary Assembly called on the relevant member states of the CoE and the EU to more rigorously enforce the implementation of the recommendations of the Bern Convention and its expert bodies. The Bern Convention which was created over 30 years ago is designed to protect wild plants and animals, particularly endangered ones in their natural habitat. Prioritising it is essential considering the global political failure to meet the Biodiversity Target to stop biodiversity loss by 2010 as stipulated in 2002. The challenge will remain to reverse this trend and deliver the targets set by the UN Decade on Biodiversity 2011-2020.
Scientists warn that Europe is projected to experience greater warming than the rest of the world. It cannot be forseen how damaging the consequences of changing European ecosystems could be for human society, possibly challenging human rights such as those to food, land use, and access to water. Concrete measures are needed to facilitate the adaption of ecosystems to the processes of climate change, together with mitigation measures for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
Rapporteur Aleksei Lotman (Estonia, UEL) offered a positive model to encourage parliamentarians “I`m not going to name or shame anyone here but Croatia has proposed the designation of 40% of its territory as Emerald sites.” He also urged “Russia and San Marino to do their bit and sign the Convention” as the only two member states who have not yet done so.