894

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Preparing the post-2020 biodiversity framework

09-01-2020

In October 2020, the parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the main international agreement on biodiversity protection, will meet in Kunming (China) to agree on a post-2020 global biodiversity framework, with conservation and restoration goals for the next decade. A party to the CBD, the European Union (EU) aims 'to lead the world' at this conference (COP15), as it did at the Paris climate conference. A debate is scheduled in view of the COP15 during Parliament's ...

In October 2020, the parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the main international agreement on biodiversity protection, will meet in Kunming (China) to agree on a post-2020 global biodiversity framework, with conservation and restoration goals for the next decade. A party to the CBD, the European Union (EU) aims 'to lead the world' at this conference (COP15), as it did at the Paris climate conference. A debate is scheduled in view of the COP15 during Parliament's January I plenary session.

Biodiversity and agriculture

21-06-2016

In its mid-term review of the Biodiversity strategy, the European Commission identified a continuing decline in the species and habitats associated with agriculture. It concluded that the strategy was not fulfilling expectations with regard to the contribution of agriculture and forestry to maintaining and enhancing biodiversity. Numerous studies show that agricultural biodiversity loss is linked to intensification of agricultural activities on the one hand, and the abandonment of farming on the ...

In its mid-term review of the Biodiversity strategy, the European Commission identified a continuing decline in the species and habitats associated with agriculture. It concluded that the strategy was not fulfilling expectations with regard to the contribution of agriculture and forestry to maintaining and enhancing biodiversity. Numerous studies show that agricultural biodiversity loss is linked to intensification of agricultural activities on the one hand, and the abandonment of farming on the other hand. Intensification is generally associated with high yields, but also with significant changes in the natural environment. Abandonment generally implies the loss of cultivated landscapes and corresponding habitats. There are essentially two different models of how to reconcile biodiversity and agricultural activities: the land-sharing model based on more extensive farming, and the land-sparing model based on further intensification of farming. The reformed Common Agricultural Policy offers various instruments aimed at supporting biodiversity while guaranteeing a decent living for farmers. Conservationists consider the reforms to be lagging behind expectations, whereas farmers fear a loss of income through lower yields. The European Parliament has expressed concern regarding biodiversity loss and has called on the Commission to assess the effectiveness of the measures taken so far.

Biodiversity, land use and forestry

01-02-2018

The 1992 UN Conference on the Environment and Development marked a major step forward for the conservation of biodiversity and the protection of nature thanks to the adoption of the Convention on Biological Diversity. The EU has played an important international role in seeking solutions to biodiversity loss, climate change and the destruction of tropical rainforests. In 2011 the EU committed itself to halting the loss of biodiversity and the degradation of ecosystem services in the EU by 2020. Other ...

The 1992 UN Conference on the Environment and Development marked a major step forward for the conservation of biodiversity and the protection of nature thanks to the adoption of the Convention on Biological Diversity. The EU has played an important international role in seeking solutions to biodiversity loss, climate change and the destruction of tropical rainforests. In 2011 the EU committed itself to halting the loss of biodiversity and the degradation of ecosystem services in the EU by 2020. Other objectives set out in the Habitats Directive or the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) remain to be achieved. The global Paris Agreement on climate change reached in December 2015 to mitigate the effects of climate change and the subsequent EU legislation to implement the agreement are expected to have a positive impact on the preservation of biodiversity and forests in the decades to come. Since 1992, the LIFE programme has been the most important financial instrument for the protection of biodiversity and forests in the EU.

Interactions between Climate Change & Agriculture and Biodiversity & Agriculture (Part of the Project 'Technology Options for Feeding 10 Billion People')

15-07-2013

There will be rising global demand for food and energy from the land over the coming decades resulting from population growth and economic development. This will coincide with the need to adapt agriculture to increasing climate-related threats (which will probably outweigh opportunities in Europe), whilst decreasing the impact of agricultural emissions on climate change. At the same time, biodiversity losses due to intensive agricultural practices and abandonment of biodiversity-rich farming are ...

There will be rising global demand for food and energy from the land over the coming decades resulting from population growth and economic development. This will coincide with the need to adapt agriculture to increasing climate-related threats (which will probably outweigh opportunities in Europe), whilst decreasing the impact of agricultural emissions on climate change. At the same time, biodiversity losses due to intensive agricultural practices and abandonment of biodiversity-rich farming are expected to continue. The long-term sustainability of farming is being undermined by trends such as soil degradation, declines in pollinators, the loss of natural biological control of pests and diseases, and the loss of plant and animal genetic diversity. Substantial changes in agricultural systems are required in Europe to ensure rapid reductions in agricultural emissions of greenhouse gases, as well as effective adaptation to climate change and strengthened biodiversity conservation. This report describes a range of practices and developments in agriculture that could sustainably increase agricultural productivity whilst contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation, and providing biodiversity benefits. Policy could play a larger role in supporting innovation and development in the full range of agricultural systems in Europe and in the use of certain wastes and residues for energy purposes. The report provides a set of recommended options for incentivising beneficial actions, constraining unsustainable practices, and promoting innovative options whilst ensuring environmental safeguards for new technologies that might have unwanted negative impacts on biodiversity.

External author

E. Underwood, J. Poláková, B. Kretschmer, A. J. McConville and G. M. Tucker (IEEP) ; E. Dooley, A. Frelih-Larsen and S. Naumann (Ecologic Institute) ; S. Berman, M. Sarteel and C. Tostivint (BIO Intelligence Service) ; N. M. van der Grijp (Institute for Environmental Studies - IVM ; VU University) ; N. Maxted (School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham)

Ten issues to watch in 2020

06-01-2020

This is the fourth edition of an annual EPRS publication designed to identify and frame some of the key issues and policy areas that are likely to feature prominently on the political agenda of the European Union over the coming year. The topics analysed are biodiversity, EU policies for children, the 5G era, the price for energy transition, 'gamification' of EU democracy, finding solutions for asylum policy, the EU's long-term budget, climate action, the US elections, and the Arctic.

This is the fourth edition of an annual EPRS publication designed to identify and frame some of the key issues and policy areas that are likely to feature prominently on the political agenda of the European Union over the coming year. The topics analysed are biodiversity, EU policies for children, the 5G era, the price for energy transition, 'gamification' of EU democracy, finding solutions for asylum policy, the EU's long-term budget, climate action, the US elections, and the Arctic.

Safeguarding biological diversity: EU policy and international agreements

12-05-2016

Biodiversity, the diversity of life on earth at all levels, is declining, mainly as a result of human-induced pressures such as over-exploitation of natural resources, loss of viable habitats, pollution, climate change or invasive alien species. EU biodiversity policy is based on the Birds and Habitats Directives, which served as the basis for the development of the Natura 2000 network of protected sites, now covering 788 000 km2 on land (over 18% of EU land area) and 318 000 km2 at sea (about 5.9% ...

Biodiversity, the diversity of life on earth at all levels, is declining, mainly as a result of human-induced pressures such as over-exploitation of natural resources, loss of viable habitats, pollution, climate change or invasive alien species. EU biodiversity policy is based on the Birds and Habitats Directives, which served as the basis for the development of the Natura 2000 network of protected sites, now covering 788 000 km2 on land (over 18% of EU land area) and 318 000 km2 at sea (about 5.9% of EU seas). The policy is driven by the EU biodiversity strategy, setting ambitious aims for 2020 (halting the loss of biodiversity) and 2050 (protecting and valuing biodiversity and ecosystem services), with the addition of a strategy on green infrastructure. The European Commission estimates that the Natura 2000 network delivers benefits worth between €200 and €300 billion per year, against management costs estimated at €5.8 billion per year. The LIFE Programme co-finances some measures related to biodiversity, especially as regards Natura 2000. Funding aimed at protecting biodiversity is also available under the agricultural, regional, fisheries, and research policies. The European Parliament has long been supportive of EU biodiversity protection policy. Developments in EU biodiversity policy include a process of 'biodiversity proofing' of the EU budget, improved monitoring, definition of priorities for the restoration of degraded ecosystems, 'biodiversity offsetting' of unavoidable residual impacts, and a 'fitness check' of EU nature legislation. This publication updates an earlier edition, of 1 April 2015: PE 554.175.

A Possible International Agreement on Marine Biodiversity in Areas beyond National Jurisdiction

04-11-2014

As a result of the structure of international law some 64 % of the world’s oceans lies beyond the national jurisdiction of coastal States. Over recent years growing concerns within the international community over the adequacy of the existing legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction have led to discussions under the auspices of the United Nations General Assembly on the possible development of a new international legal instrument ...

As a result of the structure of international law some 64 % of the world’s oceans lies beyond the national jurisdiction of coastal States. Over recent years growing concerns within the international community over the adequacy of the existing legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction have led to discussions under the auspices of the United Nations General Assembly on the possible development of a new international legal instrument. This study was provided by Policy Department A for the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI).

External author

Stephen Hodgson, Andrew Serdy, Ian Payne and Johan Gille

Mid-term review of EU biodiversity strategy

26-01-2016

Biological diversity is key to our well-being and economy, but indicators show it is under threat, mainly as a result of human activities. In a 2015 mid-term review of the European Union's 2020 biodiversity strategy, the Commission concludes that progress has been insufficient. Parliament is scheduled to vote on a report on the topic during the February plenary session.

Biological diversity is key to our well-being and economy, but indicators show it is under threat, mainly as a result of human activities. In a 2015 mid-term review of the European Union's 2020 biodiversity strategy, the Commission concludes that progress has been insufficient. Parliament is scheduled to vote on a report on the topic during the February plenary session.

EYE event - Biodiversity and wildlife crime

16-05-2018

Wildlife crime is one of the most profitable criminal activities worldwide. It has devastating effects on biodiversity, undermines the rule of law, and can trigger economic losses for entire countries. The European Union has been engaged in the fight against wildlife trafficking for decades.

Wildlife crime is one of the most profitable criminal activities worldwide. It has devastating effects on biodiversity, undermines the rule of law, and can trigger economic losses for entire countries. The European Union has been engaged in the fight against wildlife trafficking for decades.

Research for AGRI Committee - Preserving agricultural soils in the EU

15-03-2017

This study explains how threats to soils and soil services are linked to agricultural soil management, how threats can be mitigated, and which barriers complicate this. It highlights trade-offs and synergies that exist between different interests affected by soil management, such as climate change mitigation, water and air quality, biodiversity, food security and farm income. Conservation of peatland and extensive agro-forestry systems, and protecting soils against sealing, erosion and compaction ...

This study explains how threats to soils and soil services are linked to agricultural soil management, how threats can be mitigated, and which barriers complicate this. It highlights trade-offs and synergies that exist between different interests affected by soil management, such as climate change mitigation, water and air quality, biodiversity, food security and farm income. Conservation of peatland and extensive agro-forestry systems, and protecting soils against sealing, erosion and compaction are ranked as highest priorities. Potential policy elements are suggested.

External author

H.F.M. ten Berge, J.J. Schröder, J.E. Olesen, J.-V. Giraldez Cervera

Upcoming events

28-01-2020
Western Balkans: A rocky road to enlargement
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EPRS
29-01-2020
Where all students can succeed: Analysing the latest OECD PISA results
Other event -
EPRS
29-01-2020
The Future of Artificial Intelligence for Europe
Workshop -
STOA

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