European Parliament Shows Determination on Biodiversity Protection | WWF

What would you like to search for?

Our News

European Parliament Shows Determination on Biodiversity Protection

At the CBD COP 15, a global biodiversity framework to 2030 will be agreed that could help save the sturgeons and other threatened species in CEE.

16 January 2020 - Today, the European Parliament gave a resounding 'yes' to biodiversity protection and restoration by voting for a strong EU position at the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) COP 15 summit in October of this year. With one million species facing extinction, time is of the essence. 
For example, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) sturgeons are the most endangered group of species on Earth. Up to 23 of 27 sturgeon species are on the brink of extinction, and four species are possibly already extinct. The Lower Danube is the only river in the EU that still contains naturally reproducing populations of sturgeon, but their status is critical. The Conference of Parties (COP15) of the Convention of Biological Diversity in October 2020 is critical for creating the long-term conservation framework for sturgeon and other species faced by extinction
At the CBD COP 15, a global biodiversity framework to 2030 will be agreed that could help save the sturgeons, large carnivores, and other threatened species in Central and Eastern Europe. Parliament’s resolution calls for the EU to lead the way at the COP in a global legally binding agreement to bend the curve of biodiversity loss by 2030. It also asks for an ambitious EU 2030 Biodiversity Strategy to address the main drivers of biodiversity loss, and set legally binding targets for the EU and the Member States. The resolution calls for a conservation objective of at least 30% of natural areas and an objective of restoring at least 30% of degraded ecosystems, both globally and in the EU. 

Credible EU leadership at COP 15 hinges on coherent domestic action. By bringing a strong EU 2030 Biodiversity Strategy to the table, the EU can truly lead the way in the discussions on the global biodiversity framework.” - Sabien Leemans, Senior Policy Officer for Biodiversity at WWF European Policy Office

Furthermore, given the importance of restoring natural ecosystems for both climate and biodiversity, it is also positive that the resolution calls for an EU-wide legally binding target to restore degraded habitats by 2030, through the restoration of natural forests, peatlands, floodplains, wetlands, biodiversity rich grasslands, coastal zones and marine areas. 

WWF believes that potential for wetland restoration in Central and Eastern countries, the Green Heart of Europe, is high and calls on ministries responsible for agriculture, water and flood management to design, secure funding for and (at least partially) implement restoration of 350,000 ha of floodplain habitats in the Danube Basin by 2030 for the benefit of nature and people.

The resolution, coupled with Parliament’s earlier vote that not only passed the European Green Deal, but upgraded it, has shown that the Parliament is fully behind the Commission’s environmental ambitions and wants to raise the bar by calling for ambitious and enforceable legal measures and binding targets on nature protection and restoration in the upcoming EU 2030 Biodiversity Strategy. 

The European Parliament has given a clear signal to the Commission in support of ambitious and legally binding targets to bring nature back. The Commission must now answer the call of both the Parliament and European citizens when presenting the 2030 EU Biodiversity Strategy” said Sabien Leemans, Senior Policy Officer for Biodiversity at WWF European Policy Office. “The Member States must also continue the momentum by similarly agreeing ambitious, concrete and legally binding targets for biodiversity in the June Environment Council when they discuss the 2030 global biodiversity framework.”

WWF also welcomes Parliament’s calls for: 
  • Improving environmental policy coherence in all internal and external policies of the EU, including in agriculture, fishing, renewable energy, transport, trade and the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2021 – 2027;
  • Binding and enforceable trade and sustainable development chapters in all future trade agreements;
  • A clear spending target for biodiversity mainstreaming of at least 10 % in the MFF, in addition to the target for spending on climate mainstreaming;
  • An increased use of EU and international climate funding to protect and restore natural ecosystems as a way of achieving shared benefits between biodiversity and climate mitigation and adaptation;
  • An EU-wide binding reduction targets in the upcoming revision of the EU Directive on the sustainable use of pesticides (2009/128/EC); 
  • A comprehensive set of measures to reduce the EU's consumption footprint on land (including legislation) based on due diligence that ensures sustainable and deforestation-free supply chains for products placed on the EU market;
  • Protection of old-growth and primary forests through legal and incentivising instruments targeting their complexity, connectivity and representativeness;
  • The improvement, better connection and extension of all EU protected areas, including Natura 2000 sites and for more emphasis on good management, as besides the quantity, the quality of protected areas is essential to preventing biodiversity loss; and
  • Legal action when EU nature protection laws are not being observed and for ensuring the proper enforcement of the nature directives and follow up on complaints about breaches of legislation in a transparent way.
Heads of Government/State from the CEE Region should join other world leaders in pledging support for WWF’s New Deal for Nature and People by signing the Heads of State Declaration supporting the adoption of an ambitious and impactful Global Biodiversity Framework. This framework should boast an ambitious mission in line with WWF’s “0-half-0” vision (0 habitat loss; halving of our human footprint; 0 human-induced extinction) and global targets which address the direct and indirect drivers of biodiversity loss.
Irene Lucius
Regional Conservation Director
WWF Central and Eastern Europe
+43 1 52 45 470 19 • Work
At the CBD COP 15, a global biodiversity framework to 2030 will be agreed that could help save the sturgeons, large carnivores, and other species on the brink in Central and Eastern Europe.