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Date : Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Preserving Biodiversity in the EU: Halting the Loss and Protecting Wildlife

Energy, Environment and Climate
Date: Wednesday, 20 March 2019 10:00 - 16:30

Venue: Central Brussels

The loss of biological diversity is one of the main environmental challenges facing the planet. The WWF’s Living Planet Report 2018 shows a 60% decline in size for mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians’ populations in only 40 years. The influence of human activity in the loss of biodiversity is undeniable. The issue has gained prominence and is considered as “serious” by 80% of the European population despite limited knowledge on the topic. (Eurobarometer, 2015).

In response to the issue, and in compliance with the Aichi Biodiversity Targets set by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the European Union developed a Biodiversity Strategy in 2011 to stop the loss. The strategy contains six targets and twenty actions focusing on halting the loss of biodiversity; protecting species and habitats; restoring ecosystems and ensuring that farming and fishing are more sustainable by 2020. Moreover, under the Birds and Habitats Directives, the Natura 2000 network is ensuring the survival of endangered species and their habitats by protecting land and marine areas. The network now covers 18% of the EU land. In 2016, the European Parliament reviewed the Biodiversity Strategy. The review showed progress but also noted that the targets will "not be achieved without additional, substantial and continuous efforts."(European Parliament, 2016) The review highlighted the importance of collecting additional data, improving financial tools and developing appropriate frameworks to prevent the deterioration of habitats.

It is unlikely that the strategy targets will be fully reached by the deadline. Greater efforts and innovative solutions to limit human activity are necessary in order to tackle the loss of biodiversity Ahead of the CBD in November 2018, the Council of the European Union encouraged the Commission and MemberStates to work harder to reach the targets. The environment ministers called for an ambitious new plan beyond 2020 providing a new framework for all stakeholders, insisting on the need for biodiversity and ecosystem protection to be on top of the political agenda.

As the 2020 deadline approaches, this symposium offers an opportunity to identify priorities for meeting the biodiversity targets and to discuss future steps. It also enables delegates to share best practices for protecting habitats and halting the ongoing loss of biodiversity both in cities and rural areas. Finally, delegates will have the opportunity to exchange views and experiences about ongoing projects and the necessity of a multi-stakeholder approach. 

Delegates will:

- Discuss the results of the EU Biodiversity Strategy and the 2020 objectives

- Consider further steps to safeguard natural habitats and ecosystems

- Reflect on ways of enhancing the cohabitation of wildlife and humans in urban areas- 

- Explore ways to increase the understanding of the impact of biodiversity loss

- Explore ways to strengthen multi-agency collaboration  

- Identify the role of human activity on biodiversity loss

- Develop ways  to create public awareness and encourage citizens’ initiatives



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All Dates

  • Wednesday, 20 March 2019 10:00 - 16:30

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