Environmental NGOs EU Biodiversity Strategy

Environmental NGOs
EU Biodiversity Strategy Implementation: Key Issues
Sue Collins & Andreas Baumüller
The EHF brings together leading European nature conservation organizations to provide advice
on the development and implementation of EU biodiversity policy with a special focus on the
EU Birds and Habitats Directives and the reform of sectoral policies critical to a successful
The role of the EHF
Aim to link EU policy debate with our field experience
Coordinate and exchange views among NGOs to come up with ‘one voice’
Provide expertise and give input at EU and national level
Advocate and lobby for environmental interests
Engage outside the ‘environmental corner’ - discuss issues with other sectors working
on agriculture, fisheries, finance, forest ...
... our job is to help ensure that EU meets its EU
Biodiversity Target endorsed by Heads of State
and governments ...
An efficient protected areas network needs to fulfill three basic principles:
• Network is designated (including the marine sites)
• Network is sustainably managed
• Biodiversity is monitored
The biggest challenge – however:
Opportunity: Prioritized Action Frameworks/PAFs
-> key tool for MS but also for EC
Europe is most fragmented continent of the world – restoration a more important
issue than ever. But it needs money!
Don’t divert money away from looking after the best areas for biodiversity;
find additional sources of investment. Prioritisation will be key!
Ecological issues
• Restorability
• Proximity to already
good ecological area
• Creation of useful
habitat mosaic
• Support for species
• Biodiversity recovery
• Improvements in ecosystem
functioning and resilience
• Social benefits from greener
areas close to people
• Ecosystem services
delivery(eg pollination, flood
management …)
• Feasible
• Suitable land / willing
owner available
• Investment and skills
• Ongoing funding for
Targets 3 and 4: Agriculture, Forest and Fisheries
CAP and CFP reforms critical but who is responsible?
– Agriculture and Fisheries Ministers, not Nature Directors, so..…
Use Heads of States’ commitment to halt the loss and restore biodiversity by
Opportunity for you (with us?) to create a platform with all relevant players,
including different Ministries and stakeholders, at a national level, to discuss
how to meet what was endorsed at the European Council on 26th March 2010.
We cannot ask you to change these key EU
reforms but we can ask you to (re-)initiate
discussions with relevant sectors and to
put them in the framework of the EU 2020
biodiversity strategy.
Target 3: Agriculture Reform – High Potential to contribute to
Biodiversity Recovery
• Only 9% of HD Habitats and Species dependant on Agriculture in
Favourable Conservation Status (Article 17 Reports)
• Ongoing declines in species (eg grassland butterflies, farmland birds)
could be halted and reversed
• Losses of semi natural pastures due to ploughing, afforestation or
abandonment could be halted
• Much biodiversity dependant on High Nature Value farming systems ie
extensively grazed pastures – more CAP support needed for HNV
farmers to halt declines
• Opportunity to conserve biodiversity rich wood pastures, reverse
landscape fragmentation and green intensive farming
Target 3: Increasing the contribution of Agriculture and Forestry
to Biodiversity
Rationale for Ecological Reform of Common Agriculture Policy
• Responsible land stewardship – agriculture predominant land use
across EU
• Public money should buy public goods (ie those not supplied by the
• Costs to society of unsustainable agriculture unacceptable; biodiversity
losses clear; intergenerational equity – ethically important
• Long term food security depends on healthy ecosystems and services
including pollination and soil fertility
• Farmers’ licence to operate and to receive public subsidies will depend
on public perception of their activities – losses of biodiversity and
damage to the environment need to be avoided
Target 3: Common Agriculture Policy Reform Opportunities
Growing body of knowledge of what works to maintain and restore
biodiversity in the farmed landscape and of what is damaging
CAP Reform 2013 possibilities
• Support for Natura 2000 areas (Euros 5.6 bn pa needed)
• Protection of semi natural pastures from ploughing and support for
farmers managing semi natural meadows sustainably
• Greening of Pillar 1 (Environmental Focus Areas, crop rotation etc…)
• Targeted Agri-Environment payments and support for organic
farming and for cooperation between farmers in an area
• Spreading biodiversity and ecosystem knowledge via Farming
Advisory Services and Innovation Partnerships
Target 4: Ensure the sustainable use of Fisheries Resources
Stress the benefits of protecting marine biodiversity
Promote Common Fisheries Policy/CFP reform to:
Achieve the Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) target by 2015
Guarantee the implementation of the Ecosystem Based Approach
Support the development of Marine Protected Areas, in particular to protect
essential Fish Habitats
Eliminate discards and destructive fishing practices
Phase-out harmful fishing subsidies
Support implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive
... and the Habitats Directive:
Accelerate the designation of marine N2000 sites, to achieve a coherent network by 2012
and put in place effective management measures
Target 5: Combat Invasive Alien Species (IAS)
Large economic losses from Invasive
alien species
Big threat to sustaining and restoring
• Prevention
• Early warning and eradication
• Long-term control and containment
EU Legislation and resources needed
Target 6: Help Avert Global biodiversity loss
Implement the CBD commitments at EU and national level, some example:
- National accounting (Aichi target 2)
- Reduce perverse subsidies (Aichi target 3)
- Reduce indirect drivers (Aichi target 17)
Of course, the most critical onces for the next COP:
- Access and Benefit Sharing (Aichi target 16)
- CBD Finance (Aichi target 20)
Halting biodiversity loss
• Complex issue
• Very different actors
• Many different sectors
Biggest challenges are not new!
• Better implementation of key policies for which the environment
sector is responsible
• Timely action
• Integration of biodiversity in different sectors
We all face the same challenges to achieve the 2020 target.
EHF Role
• Support implementation
• Highlight gaps
• Lobby for sectoral reforms
Key EU Reforms - CAP, CFP and EU budget negotiations in 2012/13
• Opportunities
• Tough but essential to engage
• After 2013 opportunities are gone
• Let us work together to achieve necessary change
NGOs believe that there is a need to design effective action programmes at
the national/local level to implement the EU Biodiversity Strategy and that
these should be clear on their contribution to meeting the Strategy targets.
Do EU nature directors share this view?
EHF members are active in all EU Member States. What is your view on
how NGOs should best engage and support EU Biodiversity Strategy
implementation at a national/local level?
Thank you!
Sue Collins, Vice Chair, EHF
Andreas Baumüller, Chair EHF
EHF - European Habitats Forum

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