MEPs demand binding targets to protect biodiversity

30% of EU’s land and sea must be protected areas. Binding targets for urban biodiversity such as green roofs on new buildings. Urgent action needed to stop population decline of bees and other pollinators. A “Paris agreement” for biodiversity and an EU Biodiversity Law are needed to ensure that ecosystems are restored, resilient, and adequately protected by 2050.

On Tuesday, Parliament adopted the resolution “EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030: Bringing nature back into our lives” with 515 votes to 90 and 86 abstentions addressing the current biodiversity crisis in Europe and the rest of the world.

As nature is declining globally at an unprecedented rate, with one million of an estimated eight million species threatened by extinction (IPBES), MEPs welcome the ambition of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to ensure that by 2050 the world’s ecosystems are restored, resilient, and adequately protected. To back this ambition, they call for an EU Biodiversity Law similar to the EU Climate Law.

MEPs strongly regret that the EU has not achieved its 2020 biodiversity objectives and say the new strategy must adequately tackle all five main drivers of change: changes in land and sea use; the direct exploitation of organisms; climate change; pollution; and invasive alien species. 20 billion EUR per year must be mobilised for biodiversity action in Europe, they insist.

MEPs also request a “Paris agreement” for biodiversity at the upcoming UN conference in October 2021 that will set global biodiversity priorities to 2030 and beyond.

30% of EU land and sea must be protected areas

While the EU already has the world’s largest network of protected areas, MEPs believe an EU Nature Restoration Plan is necessary. They repeat their call that at least 30% of the EU’s land and sea be protected by 2030 and at least a third of these areas, including all remaining EU primary and old-growth forests, should be given even stricter protection. National targets should take into account differences in geographical size and share of natural areas.