Today, the Environment Council of the European Union committed to protecting at least one-third of its land and seas by 2030. The 30% protection target is a central component of the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, which was formally and finally endorsed today by the European Union’s Environment Council after its May 2020 release by the European Commission. In the strategy, the EU also commits to advocating for the 30% target at the global level.
Comprising the Environment Ministers of the 27 European Union member countries, the Environment Council urged for swift implementation of the ambitious and comprehensive biodiversity strategy and underscored the intrinsic link between the climate crisis and the biodiversity crisis, the need to protect and restore nature to prevent future pandemics, and the central role that the EU Biodiversity Strategy should play in the European Union’s recovery plan.
The Environment Council also reiterated the European Union’s desire for an ambitious global deal at the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity next year in Kunming, China and expressed its interest in playing a leading role in securing such an agreement.
In response to today’s action, the Campaign for Nature has issued the following statements:
Dr. Enric Sala, Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society and author of the recently published book The Nature of Nature, Why We Need the Wild said:
“It is encouraging to see EU leaders follow the overwhelming scientific evidence and commit to protecting at least 30 percent of their land and ocean by 2030. The coronavirus pandemic has made clear that stopping the rampant destruction of nature is not only critical to our health, it’s also central to a sustainable and resilient global economy.”
Georg Schwede, European Representative for the Campaign for Nature said:
“The Environment Council should be commended for the message of urgency and ambition that today’s vote sends. The litmus test will now be the effective implementation of the strategy, in particular at the member state level. These goals and commitments must be translated into concrete actions for people and the planet.”
Brian O’Donnell, Director of the Campaign for Nature said:
“It is good news that the EU Biodiversity Strategy also recognizes the need for dramatically increased financing to protect nature, both across Europe and in developing countries. We hope that the European Union and its member countries will continue to lead on this critical issue and help ensure that global efforts to protect biodiversity are sufficiently funded. The success of any global biodiversity strategy agreed to through the Convention on Biological Diversity will depend on the amount of funding available for implementation.”
The Campaign for Nature works with scientists, Indigenous Peoples, and a growing coalition of over 100 conservation organizations around the world who are calling on policymakers to commit to clear and ambitious targets to be agreed upon at the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Kunming, China in 2021 to protect at least 30 percent of the planet by 2030.