EU Environment Ministers Discuss 2020 Biodiversity Strategy
The Environment Council of the EU adopted conclusions on the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 on 21 June 2011. The Council endorsed the proposal made by the European Commission in May 2011, while emphasizing the need to further discuss its actions, and recognized the importance of effective monitoring and reporting mechanisms.
The Council welcomed the focus of the Strategy on biodiversity as a whole and ecosystems services within, but also beyond, protected areas and on cost-effective restoration of ecosystems to ensure the continued provision of ecosystem services, in particular given the climate change mitigation and adaptation benefits of many ecosystems and the relevance for human wellbeing.
It encouraged member States to integrate the Strategy into their national plans, programmes and/or strategies, highlighting the need to develop and implement a methodology to assess the impact of all relevant EU-funded projects, plans and programmes on biodiversity and ecosystems. It also pointed to the need to identify, reform, reorient and/or eliminate subsidies harmful to biodiversity.
The Council further welcomed the Commission's commitment to developing an EU strategy on invasive alien species (including a dedicated legislative instrument) by 2012, and emphasized that the role of the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in supporting a transition toward a green and resource-efficient economy should be fully reflected at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20).