European Commission announces new strategy to halt biodiversity loss within ten years
The European Commission presented a new strategy to protect and improve the state of biodiversity in Europe over the next decade. The strategy includes six targets which address the main drivers of biodiversity loss, and which will reduce the main pressures on nature and ecosystem services in the EU by anchoring biodiversity objectives in key sectoral policies. The global aspects of biodiversity loss are also addressed, ensuring that the EU contributes to combating biodiversity loss around the world. The strategy is in line with the commitments made by the EU in Nagoya, Japan, last year.
The strategy adopted today features six priority targets and accompanying actions to greatly reduce the threats to biodiversity. The actions include: (1) Full implementation of existing nature protection legislation and network of natural reserves, to ensure major improvements to the conservation status of habitats and species; (2) Improving and restoring ecosystems and ecosystem services wherever possible, notably by the increased use of green infrastructure; (3) Ensuring the sustainability of agriculture and forestry activities; (4) Safeguarding and protecting EU fish stocks; (5) Controlling invasive species, a growing cause of biodiversity loss in the EU; (6) Stepping up the EU contribution to concerted global action to avert biodiversity loss.
With regard to action 3, the specific aim for forests is that by 2020, Forest Management Plans or equivalent instruments, in line with Sustainable Forest Management (SFM), are in place for all forests that are publicly owned, and for forest holdings above a certain size (to be defined by the Member States or regions and communicated in their Rural Development Programmes) or receive funding under the EU Rural Development Policy.