Tuesday 1 June 2010

Green Week 2010: Opening Session

Tuesday 1 June 2010 - 14:30 – 16:00

2010 – the UN year of biodiversity – is a milestone year. Europe must set itself new biodiversity targets, and new global targets will be set at a major conference in Japan in October. Green Week 2010 will address the state of biodiversity and nature in Europe and the world, the benefits they bring, current pressures, and possible solutions to the current rates of loss, including the need for a solid baseline that can be used to take stock of future progress. The path to be taken by EU policies on biodiversity and nature policies post-2010, the economic dimension of biodiversity, ecosystem services and Natura 2000 will also be examined.

The opening session will set the scene for the week’s discussions, spelling out the challenges, and mapping out areas where solutions might be found. The session will also see the launch of two important new tools, the Biodiversity Information System for Europe (BISE) and the Biodiversity Baseline.

1.1. Halting the loss of biodiversity – Part I: Where are we now?

Tuesday 1 June 2010 - 16:30 – 18:00

Biological diversity – the variety of ecosystems, species and genes – is the world's natural capital. It provides vital goods and services such as food, carbon sequestration and water regulation that underpin economic prosperity, social well-being and quality of life. Together with climate change, loss of biodiversity is the most critical global environment threat and gives rise to substantial economic losses. Reports confirm that global diversity remains under severe threat, with losses occurring at 100 to 1000 times the normal rate. There is mounting evidence that the status of many ecosystems is reaching or has already reached the point of no return, which would put the future well-being of citizens in the EU and worldwide at risk. In Europe, conservation assessments of species and habitats show that, despite some successes, the overall situation has continued to deteriorate.

This session will provide an overview of the situation in Europe and the rest of the world, with particular focus on the scientific definition of the limits beyond which the loss of biodiversity will have far-reaching consequences for the very functioning of the planet.

2.1. The environmental impacts of production and consumption

Tuesday 1 June 2010 - 16:30 – 18:00

In a world where resources are increasingly strained, we will need to decide how to prioritise their use. But which environmental impacts and resource pressures need to be taken into account? What are the main sectors involved, and which consumption categories and product groups have the greatest environmental impacts? And what will be the implications for biodiversity? This session will launch a key report by the International Panel for Sustainable Resource Management: "The environmental impacts of production and consumption: priority products and materials" aiming to address such issues. The session will also include previews of forthcoming panel reports on "Soil, agriculture and biodiversity" and "Decoupling economic growth from environmental degradation".

In partnership with UNEP

Chair:

  • Angela Cropper, Deputy Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

3.1. Alerting decision makers to the link between nature and the economy

Tuesday 1 June 2010 - 16:30 – 18:00

Humankind relies on ecosystems goods and services. Biodiversity loss and the decline in ecosystem services therefore pose major risks to the global economy. How can we alert business leaders, citizens and policymakers to the economic value of ecosystem services and biodiversity? What economic instruments can be used and should society put a price on clean water and air, forests, fisheries and healthy soil? Is there any way we can de-couple economic growth and poverty alleviation from greater resource use? What is the role of global, European, national and local authorities in preserving ecosystem services?

In partnership with Friends of Europe

European Tree of the Year

Tuesday 1 June 2010 - 16:30 – 18:00

Side session in the Salon rouge (in English)

The Tree of the Year contest is a very well-established tool to involve the general public in nature protection. It has been successfully organized in the Czech Republic for almost a decade. The Czech Environmental Partnership Foundation launches the European Tree of the Year to support the International Year of Biodiversity – organisations from all over Europe are joining the project and want to run the Tree of the Year contest in their countries.

The main aim of the contest is to strengthen the communities, relationships among people and their awareness towards the environment they live in. Trees are in the very heart of the European cultural landscape although they do not always have an easy life there. They deserve our attention and care.

In the Tree of the Year contest, we are not searching for the oldest, the tallest, the biggest, the most beautiful or the rarest trees. We are searching for the most beloved tree, a tree with a story that can hold the community together.

In 2008, over 87 000 Czechs voted in the contest and elected the Tree of the Year title winner, which is remarkable since the Czech Republic is a rather small country. Europe is full of amazing trees with strong stories – come and see how you can share them with others, meet the organizers and tree nominators and learn what the contest brought them.

Speakers:

  • Jan Marenčák, Member of Naše Podještědí civic organisation, nominator of the winning tree in 2009
  • Josef Urbanec, Nominator of a finalist tree in 2007
  • Ladislav Miko, Director for Nature, DG Environment, European Commission
  • Michal Veselý, Development Director, the Czech Environmental Partnership Foundation
  • Hana Rambousková, European Tree of the Year programme coordinator, Czech Environmental Partnership Foundation

Moderators:

  • David Murphy, Director of the Environmental Partnership for Sustainable Development