Story | 09 Jun, 2021

EU Parliament backs a strong Biodiversity Strategy

IUCN welcomes the European Parliament seal of approval to the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2030. The vote is a clear signal to the European Commission and the EU Member States to move forward with fully implementing the strategy. 

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Chata pri Zelenom plese, Vysoké Tatry, Slovakia

Photo: Alex / @gasstan /Unsplash

Europe is no exception to unprecedented biodiversity loss. Over half of Europe’s endemic trees are threatened with extinction [1] and only 15% of the European habitats assessed show good conservation status [2]. Furthermore, the EU missed most of its 2020 biodiversity targets. 
IUCN welcomed the Biodiversity Strategy to 2030 last year, a crucial element of the EU Green Deal, and a signal of the European ambition to tackle this existential crisis. The EU Member States endorsed the targets of the Strategy, and now the Parliament fully supports the targets on protected areas (PAs), the protection of European forests, organic farming and pesticide reduction. The support to the 10% strict protection target is also positive: IUCN encourages all stakeholders to use IUCN’s PA categories as a valuable tool to help achieve this ambitious yet realistic goal. IUCN is also pleased to see the focus of the European Parliament’s resolution on binding targets on urban biodiversity and the promotion of nature-based solutions: our recent IUCN Global Standard on Nature-based Solutions can support these EU efforts.  

Alberto Arroyo Schnell, Senior Policy and Programme Manager at the IUCN European Regional Office, stated: "This is a promising move from the European Parliament. Now MEPs should raise their voices at the national level as the final details of the EU's agricultural policy are agreed: the CAP should help to achieve the biodiversity targets, which the Council has already endorsed, rather than work against them.” 

By bringing this Strategy to the table, and by supporting its implementation, the EU can be a credible leader in the ongoing negotiations at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) towards a transformative Global Biodiversity Framework for this decade. 


[1] Rivers et al. (2019) European Red List of Trees. Cambridge, UK and Brussels, Belgium: IUCN. viii + 60pp   
[2] European Environmental Agency (2020): State of Nature in the EU report