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The issue

Biodiversity – the variety of ecosystems, species and genes — is essential to human well-being, delivering enormously valuable services that sustain our economies and societies. Its huge importance makes biodiversity loss all the more troubling. Species are going extinct globally at 100–1 000 times the historic rate and, despite progress, the EU, like other regions, failed to halt biodiversity loss by 2010. Land use changes, pollution, climate change, overexploitation of resources and invasive species continue to have negative impacts. The EU has set ambitious goals for halting and reversing biodiversity loss by 2020 but achieving them will require better policy implementation, coordination across sectors, ecosystem management approaches and a wider understanding of biodiversity's value.

Review process

In 2011 and every three years thereafter EU Member States will report on implementation of the Directive on the conservation of wild birds, which the Commission will compile into a composite report and publish. There is currently an ongoing process to streamline, synchronise and improve reporting under both nature directives with a view to moving further from process to outcome reporting. In 2012 and every six years thereafter, Member States will report on implementation of the Directive on the conservation of natural habitats and wild flora and fauna. The Commission will publish a composite report no later than two years after receiving the Member State reports. December 2013 marks the end of the implementation period for national strategy plans under the Regulation on support for rural development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).

Links to SOER 2010 and other EEA products

Global megatrends


Thematic assessments

Other EEA products

  • Population
  • Understanding climate change
  • Urban
  • Ch. 2: Climate change
  • Mitigating climate change
  • Health
  • Adapting to climate change
  • Accelerating technologies
  • Ch. 4: Natural resources and waste


  • Continued growth
  • Ch. 5: Environment and health
  •  Land use


  • Global power shifts
  • Soil


  • Global competition
  • Marine and coastal environment


  • Consumption and environment



  • Material resources and waste



  • Water resources: quantity and flows


  • Global regulation and governance


  • Freshwater quality




  • Air pollution




  • Urban environment


Note: Above cells with hyperlinks lead to specific SOER 2010 information and other EEA products that are relevant to the policy area on this page.


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