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EU nature conservation policy is based on two main pieces of legislation:
Both directives provide the basis for the Natura 2000 network, a network of nature reserves which extends across the Union to safeguard species and habitats of special European interest. EU nature conservation policy benefits from a specific financial instrument, the LIFE-Nature fund.
In its 2001 Strategy for Sustainable Development, the EU set itself the target to halt the loss of biodiversity and restore habitats and natural systems by 2010. The European Commission's 2006 Biodiversity Communication has provided the main policy framework up to 2010.
Other policies relevant to biodiversity at EU level include:
- The EU Sixth Environmental Action Programme 'Our future, our choice', adopted in 2002, in which conservation of biodiversity is one of the four main issues to be tackled.
- The 2004 'Message from Malahide', presenting 18 priority objectives for halting the loss of biodiversity, many of which relate to sectoral integration of biodiversity issues.
2010 has seen the adoption of a new vision for biodiversity and a target for 2020. Specific targets and subtargets are now being developed under coordination of DG Environment of the European Commission
In 2015, a mid-term review of the EU biodiversity strategy to 2020 was carried out. The review included an assessment of progress towards the key targets and actions of the strategy, as well as key trends in status since the EU 2010 biodiversity strategy.
Pan-European and global biodiversity policies
In 1992, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) marked the international community's commitment to addressing biodiversity loss. In response, the Pan‑European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy was endorsed by the countries covered by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.
For references, please go to www.eea.europa.eu/soer or scan the QR code.
This briefing is part of the EEA's report The European Environment - State and Outlook 2015. The EEA is an official agency of the EU, tasked with providing information on Europe's environment.
PDF generated on 24 Jul 2016, 12:58 AM