Legally binding biodiversity targets urged

Next year's UN biodiversity conference, the COP15, should be the biodiversity equivalent of the Paris agreement on climate change, the EP Environment Committee said on Tuesday in a resolution, setting out their proposals for Parliament's position for the forum to be held in autumn next year. In this context, MEPs call for legally binding targets at global and EU level to increase ambition and ensure that post-2020 action on global biodiversity will be effective.

Specifically, MEPs want 30% of natural areas to be conserved by 2030 and 30% of degraded ecosystems to be restored. They also urge the Commission and Member States to commit to “immediate, substantial and additional” efforts in the form of legally binding targets on biodiversity conservation and restoration, to meet EU targets and stop the current trajectory of biodiversity loss.

The committee wants biodiversity objectives to be taken into account in all EU policies and call for biodiversity to be sufficiently financed under the next EU 2021-2027 long-term budget (MFF), in order to achieve the objectives of the UN 2050 Vision of Biodiversity Conservation. They say that minimum 10% of the EU long-term budget should support efforts to improve biodiversity.

MEPs also underline the need for more sustainable agricultural and forestry practices. The role of urban areas and cities in the preservation of biodiversity should be more thoroughly assessed and an in-depth analysis of all EU protected areas is needed, they say. The resolution is expected be put to a vote during the January plenary in 2020 in Strasbourg.

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