Biodiversity policies

Page Last modified 05 Sep 2018
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While it has been acknowledged at various levels that the target to halt biodiversity loss by 2010 has not been met, setting the target has certainly increased public awareness. Over the past 10 years, both policies addressing biodiversity loss and indicators assessing progress have been improved significantly. The new EU biodiversity strategy will help integrate further biodiversity needs into the development and implementation of sectoral policies.

EU policies

 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:

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.


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Filed under: biodiversity, policies
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