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Biodiversity: do we have the courage to save it? (Embargo: 22 May 2010)

Date

21 May 2010

Sections

Sustainable Dev.
Health & Consumers
Climate & Environment

Embargo: 22 May 2010

Brussels, 22 May 2010 – Today, with its groundbreaking new report on the state of biodiversity in the EU, BirdLife International [1] denounces the EU’s failure to reach its target of halting biodiversity loss by 2010 and indicates the necessary steps needed to stop the loss of biodiversity and to enhance its recovery in the EU.

“The message from this report is clear: the EU needs to take decisive action if it wants to turn the tide on the deepening biodiversity crisis and follow on the pledge of the European Heads of State, who adopted a new ambitious target during their last European Council” commented Ariel Brunner, Head of EU Policy at BirdLife International European Division. “We know what to do. The question is: do we have the will and the courage to take action before it is too late?” [2]

The report, entitled “2010-Turning or Breaking Point for Europe’s Wildlife?” [3], was compiled in cooperation with BirdLife Partners in all 27 EU Member States, and analyses the progresses towards the 2010 biodiversity target against 10 major groups of indicators. Worryingly, three were rated as ’highly insufficient’, while all the others as ‘inadequate’. [4]

“The EU has failed to achieve the 2010 target and is still a long way off from preventing further loss of wildlife and habitats. The picture emerging from our assessment is one of continuing impoverishment of biodiversity and inadequate responses” continued Mr Brunner. “Despite the overall failure, however, there are many examples of best practices and local success stories that show how the EU already has powerful conservation tools, such as the EU Birds and Habitats Directives”. [5]

As highlighted in the report, a strong post 2010 EU biodiversity policy must be properly implemented, especially focusing on its integration with other EU policies and on funding instruments. The report suggests specific actions that would enable a new EU biodiversity policy to achieve its goals, such as stronger enforcement of EU nature legislation, develop 2020 biodiversity strategies for key sectoral policies such as the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), new investments in green infrastructure and strong measures to counteract the causes of biodiversity and ecosystem loss.

The status of national biodiversity strategies shows that insufficient attention is paid to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) at national level. Therefore it is essential that the EU leads by example in the preparation of the next Nagoya COP10-CBD meeting later this year. [6]

“BirdLife International, official Partner of the International Year of Biodiversity, spotlights the need for the EU to show leadership by setting itself real and binding future targets ahead of next conference of the Convention of Biological Diversity in Nagoya, Japan, this October”, concludes Mr Brunner.

ENDS

For more information, please contact:

Alessia Pautasso, Communication & Media Officer at BirdLife International –

+32 (0) 2 541 07 81

Mobile: +32 494 542844

E-mail:  alessia.pautasso@birdlife.org

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