1103

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Biodiversity as a Human Right and its implications for the EU’s External Action

06-04-2020

This study provides an in-depth and accessible analysis on biodiversity as a human right to inform the European Parliament’s work on how the European Union’s external action can best contribute to a holistic and human rights-based approach aimed at stopping biodiversity loss and degradation. After a brief overview of empirical data regarding the impacts of biodiversity loss on human rights and the limitations of available sources, the study assesses the status and content of existing international ...

This study provides an in-depth and accessible analysis on biodiversity as a human right to inform the European Parliament’s work on how the European Union’s external action can best contribute to a holistic and human rights-based approach aimed at stopping biodiversity loss and degradation. After a brief overview of empirical data regarding the impacts of biodiversity loss on human rights and the limitations of available sources, the study assesses the status and content of existing international obligations on biodiversity and human rights. The study then assesses existing initiatives’ (potential) legal and political impact at international and regional levels for the EU to address biodiversity and human rights in a mutually supportive manner, within a variety of multilateral fora. Additionally, the study assesses the EU’s (unilateral and bilateral) external action tools that have addressed or could address the human rights dimensions of biodiversity in the context of development, trade and other areas of international cooperation. It provides a series of recommendations on how the European Parliament and other EU institutions can support the development of a holistic and human rights-based approach to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in external action, including as part of the fight against climate change.

External author

Elisa MORGERA

Trade and biodiversity

05-06-2020

International trade has a direct impact on EU biodiversity, imported invasive species and pathogens, being an example. Trade also impacts global biodiversity, for instance through the 'virtual' water, land, and deforestation contained in EU imports. Economic theory shows that trade with countries that fail to protect a renewable resource can be detrimental for all. Protecting global biodiversity calls for a variety of instruments, at the EU border as well as in the provisions of preferential agreements ...

International trade has a direct impact on EU biodiversity, imported invasive species and pathogens, being an example. Trade also impacts global biodiversity, for instance through the 'virtual' water, land, and deforestation contained in EU imports. Economic theory shows that trade with countries that fail to protect a renewable resource can be detrimental for all. Protecting global biodiversity calls for a variety of instruments, at the EU border as well as in the provisions of preferential agreements. The EU already includes biodiversity-related non-trade provisions in trade agreements, but these provisions are not legally binding and hardly effective. This is partly explained by the complexity of the issues posed by biodiversity: since there is no simple synthetic indicator, policy instruments are difficult to enforce. However, an effort to specify measurable and verifiable commitments is needed; more binding mechanisms, along with transparent and automatic sanctions in case of non-compliance should be considered.

External author

Cecilia BELLORA (CEPII, France), Jean-Christophe BUREAU (AgroParisTech, France), Basak BAYRAMOGLU (INRAE, France), Estelle GOZLAN (INRAE, France), Sébastien JEAN (CEPII and INRAE, Paris)

The link between biodiversity loss and the increasing spread of zoonotic diseases

22-12-2020

Over the last decades, a variety of fatal infectious diseases have had zoonotic origins. The linkages between hosts, vectors, parasites and pathogens can be influenced by a multitude of factors, such as biodiversity, wildlife and land use. High levels of biodiversity may be a potential source of pathogen transmission, but biodiversity loss can also promote transmission by increasing the number of competent hosts for a pathogen. Biodiversity conservation reduces the risk of zoonotic diseases when ...

Over the last decades, a variety of fatal infectious diseases have had zoonotic origins. The linkages between hosts, vectors, parasites and pathogens can be influenced by a multitude of factors, such as biodiversity, wildlife and land use. High levels of biodiversity may be a potential source of pathogen transmission, but biodiversity loss can also promote transmission by increasing the number of competent hosts for a pathogen. Biodiversity conservation reduces the risk of zoonotic diseases when it provides additional habitats for species and reduces the potential contact between wildlife, livestock and humans. Additionally, host and vector management is a viable option. Other crucial measures include the restriction and sanitary control of wildlife trade, while considering the needs of indigenous peoples and local communities. Each case requires an assessment of the best way to reduce risk while considering implications for other ecosystem functions or services. This document was provided by the Policy Department for Economic, Scientific and Quality of Life Policies at the request of the committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI).

External author

Frank VAN LANGEVELDE, Hugo René RIVERA MENDOZA, Kevin D. MATSON, Helen J. ESSER, Willem F. DE BOER, Stefan SCHINDLER

Biodiversity protection: Where do we stand?

04-06-2021

Based on Member States' reporting under the Birds and Habitats Directives, the backbone of European Union (EU) nature conservation policy, the latest assessment on the state of nature by the European Environment Agency shows that despite some encouraging developments, the overall picture remains bleak. Only 15 % of habitats and around 27 % of species protected under EU legislation have a good conservation status. An EU-wide assessment of terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems found that, overall ...

Based on Member States' reporting under the Birds and Habitats Directives, the backbone of European Union (EU) nature conservation policy, the latest assessment on the state of nature by the European Environment Agency shows that despite some encouraging developments, the overall picture remains bleak. Only 15 % of habitats and around 27 % of species protected under EU legislation have a good conservation status. An EU-wide assessment of terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems found that, overall, the condition of ecosystems in the EU is unfavourable. Worldwide, most indicators of ecosystems and biodiversity show rapid decline. Targets set to tackle biodiversity loss by 2020, at both EU and global levels under the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), have not been met. Under the EU biodiversity strategy for 2030, part of the European Green Deal, the EU has therefore set itself new targets for the next decade. These include enlarging the current network of legally protected areas to cover at least 30 % of the EU's land area and 30 % of the EU's seas; and setting legally binding EU nature restoration targets to restore degraded ecosystems. The recent zero-pollution action plan for air, water and soil proposes additional commitments relevant to biodiversity protection. Parties to the CBD, including the EU, are due to meet on 11-24 October 2021 in China to agree on a post-2020 global biodiversity framework. The EU intends to push for global 2030 targets in line with the commitments set out in its biodiversity strategy and for a much stronger implementation, monitoring and review process. The issue of resource mobilisation will be an important one, especially in the context of the coronavirus crisis, affecting the funding available for biodiversity. On 28 May 2021, Parliament's Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety adopted an own-initiative report with recommendations to strengthen the EU biodiversity strategy for 2030. The vote in plenary is scheduled for the June I plenary session.

Trade policy for the Biodiversity Strategy 2030

03-06-2021

International trade influences biodiversity through scale, composition and technique effects. Land and sea use change alter natural habitats, while emissions from production and transportation contribute to climate change. Among exports, animal-based agri-food products are particularly land-intensive. Trade policy can play a role in tackling these problems through stronger enforcement of biodiversity-related provisions in trade agreements. The EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030 commits to better assessing ...

International trade influences biodiversity through scale, composition and technique effects. Land and sea use change alter natural habitats, while emissions from production and transportation contribute to climate change. Among exports, animal-based agri-food products are particularly land-intensive. Trade policy can play a role in tackling these problems through stronger enforcement of biodiversity-related provisions in trade agreements. The EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030 commits to better assessing trade agreements’ potential impact on biodiversity and to better enforce biodiversity-related provisions. The Trade Committee of the European Parliament has adopted an opinion on the trade aspects of the new strategy.

Brazil and the Amazon Rainforest: Deforestation, biodiversity and cooperation with the EU and international forums

15-05-2020

For the largest tropical rainforest on Earth, an aggravated forest fire and deforestation regime in Amazonia put at risk the world’s richest biodiversity assets and a major climate regulator. For the EU27, it highlights the need to associate the question of embodied deforestation consumption by placing deforestation-free supply chains at the centre of negotiations surrounding the EU-Mercosur Association Agreement, given the volume of trade between these economic blocs in meat, leather, soy, coffee ...

For the largest tropical rainforest on Earth, an aggravated forest fire and deforestation regime in Amazonia put at risk the world’s richest biodiversity assets and a major climate regulator. For the EU27, it highlights the need to associate the question of embodied deforestation consumption by placing deforestation-free supply chains at the centre of negotiations surrounding the EU-Mercosur Association Agreement, given the volume of trade between these economic blocs in meat, leather, soy, coffee, rubber, wood pulp, biofuel and timber.

External author

Cristina MÜLLER

What if 'rewilding' could help reverse biodiversity loss in Europe?

18-09-2020

Biodiversity is in crisis across the globe: species extinctions and a loss of nature occurring at rates unprecedented in human history, and with the EU no exception, our biodiversity and the essential value it brings are under threat. Could 'rewilding' help restore Europe's nature?

Biodiversity is in crisis across the globe: species extinctions and a loss of nature occurring at rates unprecedented in human history, and with the EU no exception, our biodiversity and the essential value it brings are under threat. Could 'rewilding' help restore Europe's nature?

Documenting climate mainstreaming in the EU budget - making the system more transparent, stringent and comprehensive

16-07-2020

This study examines the current methodologies used for tracking climate-related and biodiversity-related expenditure in the EU budget. It identifies strengths and weaknesses of the current methodologies, and examines proposed changes to the methodologies for the 2021-2027 financial perspective. On this basis, it identifies potential objectives for strengthening the tracking mechanisms, and puts forward suggested approaches to meeting those objectives.

This study examines the current methodologies used for tracking climate-related and biodiversity-related expenditure in the EU budget. It identifies strengths and weaknesses of the current methodologies, and examines proposed changes to the methodologies for the 2021-2027 financial perspective. On this basis, it identifies potential objectives for strengthening the tracking mechanisms, and puts forward suggested approaches to meeting those objectives.

External author

Martin NESBIT Thorfinn STAINFORTH Kaley HART Evelyn UNDERWOOD Gustavo BECERRA Institute for European Environmental Policy

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.

Research for the AGRI Committee - The Green Deal and the CAP: policy implications to adapt farming practices and to preserve the EU’s natural resources

23-11-2020

This document is the final report of the study developed by INRAE and AgroParisTech for the European Parliament: “The Green Deal and the CAP: policy implications to adapt farming practices and to preserve the EU’s natural resources’’ (IP/B/AGRI/IC/2020-036).

This document is the final report of the study developed by INRAE and AgroParisTech for the European Parliament: “The Green Deal and the CAP: policy implications to adapt farming practices and to preserve the EU’s natural resources’’ (IP/B/AGRI/IC/2020-036).

External author

Hervé GUYOMARD; Jean-Christophe BUREAU; Vincent CHATELLIER; Cécile DETANG-DESSENDRE; Pierre DUPRAZ; Florence JACQUET; Xavier REBOUD; Vincent REQUILLART; Louis-Georges SOLER; Margot TYSEBAERT

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