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EU Biodiversity Strategy: latest developments

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On 23 January 2012, the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee (ENVI) of the European Parliament debated rapporteur Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy’s (Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, the Netherlands) draft report on the EU’s Biodiversity Strategy. In his draft report, MEP Gerbrandy highlights the need to mainstream biodiversity protection into all EU policies, as well as to maintain and restore ecosystems and their services. In this respect, he calls on the EU to set the restoration of 30% of degraded ecosystems as its target for 2020. In addition, he urges the European Commission to develop the ‘No Net Loss’ initiative urgently, ”drawing also on the standards which form part of the Business and Biodiversity Offsets Programme”, as well as to propose legislation to implement the Nagoya Protocol. In relation to financing, he calls for the identification of all existing environmentally harmful subsidies as well as the development of innovative financial mechanisms to support biodiversity.

On 12 December 2011, the Industry, Trade and Research Committee (ITRE) of the European Parliament published its draft opinion on the EU’s Biodiversity Strategy. In this draft opinion, rapporteur Romana Jordan Cizelj (Group of the European People's Party [Christian Democrats], Slovenia) calls on the European Commission to speed up its work on the Green Infrastructure Strategy. In addition, the document notes that well designed market based instruments can contribute towards halting the loss of biodiversity, if these are combined with incentives for green investments. The draft opinion is expected to be adopted on 6 February 2012.

On 19 December 2011 the Environment Council adopted council conclusions on the EU’s Biodiversity Strategy to 2020. This follows the adoption in June 2011 (June 2011 Eurobrief) of the Council conclusions and is the second political response of the Council on this topic. The December 2011 conclusions continue to highlight the importance of Green Infrastructure (GI), with the Council calling on the Commission to consider, within the scope of the GI Strategy under preparation, a number of issues including:

  • Options to integrate GI in existing policy instruments and importance of GI in terms of climate change adaptation;
  • Identifying opportunities for financing GI;
  • and communication and promotion of GI, targeting different stakeholders and sectors, in particular local authorities.

More information:

ENVI draft report

Council conclusions

ITRE draft Opinion

Amendments 1-35