Aside from climate change, human activities such as intensive farming, energy production, urbanisation and infrastructure development are causing unprecedented damage to our ecosystems and biodiversity. This negatively influences the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat, as ecosystems provide essential services such as food, fresh water and clean air, and shelter. They mitigate natural disasters, pests and diseases and help regulate the climate.
To protect Europe’s nature, the EU established the largest network of protected natural areas in the world, namely Natura 2000. However, the EU is not meeting some of its most important environmental objectives, such as the Aichi targets under the Convention on Biological Diversity. To address this and to ensure that the EU plays a key role in international discussions in the context of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, the European Commission put forward its 2030 Biodiversity Strategy, to be followed up by specific action in 2021. The strategy outlined global targets to protect biodiversity, as well as commitments to address the main causes of biodiversity loss in the EU.
At Institut Vert, we call for an increased part from the EU budget to be dedicated to biodiversity protection. We want the EU to reverse the trends of both biodiversity loss and resource consumption, reinforcing and expanding the regenerative economy. This requires full involvement of both public and private sectors, the latter notably through binding sustainability due diligence. The EU should provide funding and information support for cities and regions to promote biodiversity. Aside from developing and expanding protected areas network, a legally binding nature restoration plan is urgently needed to recover degraded habitats and keep nature connected. Biodiversity policies need to be integrated in all economic sectors. The EU should also continue promoting biodiversity protection and restoration at a global scale, in the framework of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.
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