Biodiversity in Europe – Closer to a 2020 Target

The EU Environment Council reached an agreement on aims and ambitions for managing biodiversity loss across Europe on 15 March this year when it adopted the following conclusions:

“[The Council] AGREES on a long-term vision that by 2050 European Union biodiversity and the ecosystem services it provides – its natural capital – are protected, valued and appropriately restored for biodiversity’s intrinsic value and for their essential contribution to human wellbeing and economic prosperity, and so that catastrophic changes caused by the loss of biodiversity are avoided;”

“For this vision to be achieved [the Council] AGREES further on a headline target of halting the loss of biodiversity and the degradation of ecosystem services in the EU by 2020, and restoring them in so far as feasible, while stepping up the EU contribution to averting global biodiversity loss;”

These resolutions appeared on page three (paragraphs one and two) of the following document; “Council conclusions on biodiversity post-2010 – EU and global vision and targets and international access and burden sharing regime“.

These conclusions were later supported by the EU Council of Ministers, in the published conclusions of a meeting held on 25/26 March:

“There is an urgent need to reverse continuing trends of biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation. The European Council is committed to the long term biodiversity 2050 vision and the 2020 target set out in the Council’s conclusions of 15 March 2010.” (Page nine, paragraph 14).

The declaration of the EU target will no doubt inform discussions upon a formal successor to the target to slow biodiversity loss (to halt this decline in Europe), at the Convention on Biological Diversity meeting this October in Nagoya, Japan.