The European BirdLife Partnership has made an initial assessment of the progress the EU has made towards the targets of its EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020, which aims at reversing the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services in the EU by 2020.
The report suggests that to date most EU Member States have tried to water down even the most modest proposals for environmental reform presented by the European Commission; in particular on agriculture and fisheries policy.
It highlights that intensive agriculture and conversion of land are significant drivers of European biodiversity loss. Farmland habitats and species are in an alarming state and continue to deteriorate – and with them soils, water and the climate, the prerequisites for food-security and human well-being. And yet more than 50 billion EUR of tax payers’ money are spent annually on mostly harmful agricultural subsidies – despite a public budget crisis.
BirdLife Europe concludes that unless the current EU budget reform for 2014-2020 is used to end harmful subsidies in agriculture, fisheries, transport and energy sectors and to increase funding for nature conservation, European governments risk derailing the Strategy only two years after its adoption.
It calls on the responsible decision makers to stand up against obstructive lobbyists and ensure that Europe does not get off track on its way towards its 2020 targets and risk embarrassment on the global stage.
Find a 1-page executive summary of the report here:
A full web-report includes an assessment of progress on each of the six targets of the EU Strategy, milestones for 2014, and an assessment of progress on Natura 2000 in every Member State. This includes Target 3: Agriculture and Forests. It also provides information on the CAP, Greening and Rural Development.