The mid-term review of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020

Biodiversity — the unique variety of life on our planet — underpins our economy and well-being. It provides us with clean air and water, food, materials and medicines, health and recreation; it supports pollination and soil fertility, regulates climate and protects us from extreme weather.

However, human-induced changes to ecosystems and the extinction of species have been more rapid in the past 50 years than at any time in human history. Biodiversity loss is one of the core planetary boundaries that have already been crossed by humanity. Together with climate change, this increases the risk of irreversible changes and undermines economic development and the resilience of societies in the face of new challenges. The World Economic Forum listed ‘biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse’ among the top 10 global risks in 2015.

The EU 2010 biodiversity baseline indicated that up to 25 % of European animal species were facing extinction, and 65 % of habitats of EU importance were in an unfavourable conservation status, mainly due to human activities. Basic ecosystem services have continued deteriorating.

As a response, in 2011, the European Commission adopted an EU biodiversity strategy to 2020, with the headline target set by EU Heads of State and Government to ‘halt the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services by 2020, to restore ecosystems in so far as is feasible, and to step up the EU contribution to averting global biodiversity loss’. The strategy is an integral part of the Europe 2020 strategy and the 7th Environmental Action Programme. It implements EU commitments under the Convention on Biological Diversity. The strategy is built around six targets, each supported by a set of actions.

The present mid-term review takes stock of progress in implementing the EU biodiversity strategy against the 2010 baseline. It aims to inform decision-makers of areas in which increased efforts are needed to meet the EU biodiversity objectives by 2020.

(Introduction of the mid-term review of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020)

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