Discussions are ongoing on the new EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, presented by the European Commission in May 2020. This strategy fixes new targets for biodiversity restauration and protection. Among them was the proposal to increase the surface of protected areas by reaching 30% of land under this designation by 2030.
During the meeting on the Environment Council, Member States approved the 30% target proposed by the European Commission, as well as the objective to reach 10% of land under strict protection by 2030 (see Council conclusions). Yet, Ministers recalled that the expansion of protected areas should be decided by States. Member States are expected to discuss with the European Commission at the end of 2020 about these new designations and the new definition of strictly protected areas. The European Commission has recently published a roadmap to fix the nature restoration targets under EU Biodiversity Strategy and to consult stakeholders.
The publication of the roadmap follows the one of the State of the nature report by the European Environmental Agency – which points that only 15% of habitats in the EU were in good conservation status between 2013 and 2018. If some progresses were made in biodiversity protection over the past years, like in Italy which reports the highest record of conservation status improvement for grasslands (including in 6500 mountainous hay meadows), mountain species and habitats are still at risk, in particular in grasslands, according to the report.
What’s next and how to contribute?
The highest diversity of species can be found in mountainous and sparsely populated areas, as recalled by the report’s authors, especially in Southern countries such as Greece and Cyprus with a high number of endemic species; mountain stakeholders therefore have their say on futures restauration and conservation targets.
You can provide feedback on this roadmap until December 02, 2020 and share your thoughts on the proposed targets. Additional information on this Strategy can be found in our article on the 2030 Biodiversity Strategy (for members only). A wider and more detailed public consultation on these targets will later be launched at the end of next year, so get ready!12 November 2020