EU leaders need to put environmental leadership into effect

Council Conclusions on 7th EAP must be followed by ambitious implementation

Brussels, 11 June 2011 – Today  the EU-27 environmental ministers have adopted their recommendations on the 7th Environmental Action Programme[i].

“We welcome that Environmental Ministers are committed to a 7th  Environmental Action Programme (EAP), as the EAP can serve as driving force for European Environmental Policy“, said Marco SchlĂĽter, Director of the IFOAM EU Group[ii]. “However in order to make EU environmental leadership happen, and to ensure we meet our international obligations including our commitments in the Rio+20 process this decision must be followed by concrete action. It is time for Member States to deliver on their environmental ambitions in all key policy areas. This means, for example, finally adapting the framework Directive for the protection of soils and supporting real greening of the Common Agricultural Policy to lift the environmental delivery of EU food and faming and deliver long-term sustainability for the EU and all its citizens[iii].”

“The EAP in particular offers a way to ensure that different policy instruments are working together, rather than against each other, by coordinating different environmental policy goals in a holistic way. For the food and farming sector, implementing an holistic approach towards sustainability means the potential that organic farming offers to contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation in agriculture[iv] and to safeguard biodiversity[v] must be ambitiously harnessed by policymakers”, highlights Antje Kölling, Policy Manager of the IFOAM EU Group. “The important sustainability principles expressed in the Conclusions now need to be followed by an ambitious agenda, wherein the new EAP efficiently addresses shortfalls identified in the 6th EAP final assessment[vi] and finally halts the loss of biodiversity and delivers sustainable resource management.”

More information:

IFOAM EU Group, phone + 32-2-280 12 23, Fax: +32-2-735 73 81,

info@ifoam-eu.org, www.ifoam-eu.org[vii]