Wednesday 2 June 2010

1.2. Halting the loss of biodiversity – Part II: Learning from past failures

Wednesday 2 June 2010 - 09:30 – 11:00

The EU failed to achieve the target of halting biodiversity loss by 2010. The Commission’s January Communication on Options for an EU vision and target for biodiversity beyond 2010 (COM(2010)4/3) identified a number of gaps in implementation, policy, financing, communication, data/information, which all contributed to this collective failure. The failure involves many parties, including the Commission, the Member States, scientists, NGOs and interest groups, all of whom have failed to deliver.

The most fundamental conclusion to emerge so far is that this failure was a result of political and financial capital being invested in other issues with a higher priority. In an increasingly complex world where multiple issues compete for attention, biodiversity rarely featured at the top of the “to do list”.

This session will not dwell on what went wrong, and will not seek to apportion blame. But it will reflect on what could have been done differently to promote biodiversity, and in particular speakers will be asked to suggest changes that could have been made to operating conditions to induce them to do more for biodiversity.

The result should be an open-minded debate about what could have been done more effectively. Attendees are invited to contribute to an objective appraisal of symptoms, diagnosis and potential remedies based on the assumption that there is a collective aspiration is to see healthy, resilient and productive ecosystems flourishing in the EU.

2.2. Finding the tools to make business biodiversity-neutral

Wednesday 2 June 2010 - 09:30 – 11:00

As with climate policies, action to protect ecosystem services will need to be political and global. What policies and regulations could make businesses take responsibility for declining ecosystem services and make them protect biodiversity? What incentives could encourage the development of business models that are biodiversity-friendly or even biodiversity-neutral? How should business be asked to measure and report on the impact of industrial activity on biodiversity? Do we need systems to report on natural capital flows similar to those governing business financial flows? And are there economic tools that will help adapt production methods to be more biodiversity friendly? Can emerging economies and markets be helped to find innovative solutions for protecting their ecosystems, and if so, who would monitor these?

In partnership with Friends of Europe

3.2. Maintaining our natural capital: Protecting and preserving natural resources

Wednesday 2 June 2010 - 09:30 – 11:00

Biodiversity and ecosystems are our natural capital, providing goods and services that benefit the global economy and are essential for key sectors such as food and drink, medicine, and cosmetics. Biodiversity and ecosystems services are essential for a sustainable and resilient European and global economy.

Using natural capital to deliver services and manage risks helps strengthen the resilience of our economy, can support green growth more cheaply than man-made alternatives, and can create new jobs. But developing this new green growth vision needs a different strategic view, more elaborate planning, partnerships, and a will to bring together many economic sectors, and a range of new skills and knowledge will be required to put green infrastructure projects in place.

This session will look at new approaches to biodiversity and ecosystem management and policy making, and will share experiences of design and process techniques that are using natural capital more effectively.

1.3. Biodiversity in oceans

Wednesday 2 June 2010 - 11:30 – 13:00

The Marine environment is home to a major part of the world’s biodiversity, supporting a huge amount of productive ecosystems, specific habitats and individual species, which provide humankind with many services. Increasing human pressures and climate change are threatening to destabilize these ecosystems’ balance, and we run the risk of losing much of their biodiversity even before it has been discovered or well explored. This session will focus on the current state of biodiversity in oceans, highlighting major threats and the solutions contained in the Marine Strategy Framework Directive as well as the different approaches taken in various regional conventions (covering the North Atlantic, the Baltic, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea).

2.3. Changing consumer behaviour to protect biodiversity

Wednesday 2 June 2010 - 11:30 – 13:00

Growing consumer concern has begun to stimulate demand for products and processes that protect biodiversity. Consumer awareness has stimulated the introduction of reusable grocery bags, hybrid cars, locally grown and organic food in stores, products and clothing made with recycled materials and green buildings. But if many more businesses are to explore biodiversity’s economic opportunities, companies need to be sure that the costs will not jeopardize their competitiveness. Could economic instruments such as pricing and tax incentives be used to get consumers to act in support of biodiversity? How can we make consumers more aware of its value? Will consumers be ready to pay the “right price” for their natural resource use? Which social measures are needed to prevent new “biodiversity poverty”?

In partnership with Friends of Europe

3.3 Financing nature conservation: necessity or affordable luxury?

Wednesday 2 June 2010 - 11:30 – 13:00

Effective management of the Natura 2000 network of protected areas – the single most important practical measure in fulfilment of EU biodiversity policy goals – depends on substantial EU financial support. Recent research has shown that the state of many important species and habitats is poor, and that the situation will only be reversed through effective management and restoration measures. Adequate financial opportunities and incentives will therefore be needed under the next financial perspective, from 2013 onwards.

This session provides a forum for a strategic discussion on the costs and benefits of Natura 2000, with key stakeholders highlighting the costs and benefits arising from the effective management and restoration of Natura 2000. The outcome will feed into future Commission considerations on the financing of Natura 2000.

European Red List – A tool for conservation management

Wednesday 2 June 2010 - 11:30 – 13:00

Side session in the Salon rouge (in English, no interpretation).

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ is widely recognized as the most comprehensive, objective global approach for evaluating the conservation status of plant and animal species. It is set upon precise criteria to evaluate the extinction risk of all taxa, at global or regional level, and is less a register of names than a rich compendium of information on threats to species, ecological requirements, and conservation actions that can reduce or prevent extinctions.

Since 2007, IUCN and the European Commission have been working together on the European Red List to assess around 6,000 European species according to IUCN Guidelines. Groups covered include all mammals, amphibians, reptiles, freshwater fishes, butterflies, and dragonflies and damselflies; plus selected vascular plants, molluscs, and beetles.

This side event aims to inform stakeholders on the possible applications of the European Red List and highlight the use of its results. It offers expert views on the European Red List and gives the audience the chance to provide their own insight.

Speakers:

Moderators:

  • Dr Paul Grigoriev, Regional Programme Coordinator, IUCN Regional Office for Pan-Europe

LIFE Environment Awards

Wednesday 2 June 2010 - 14:00 – 16:00

Side session in the Salon rouge (in English, no interpretation).

The "Best of the Best" LIFE Environment projects 2009 will receive awards and give short presentations of their work:

BASHYCAT

EnviFriendly

HVD

MICROPHILOX

WET

Additional information: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/life/bestprojects/best2009-2010/index.htm

1.4. The soil life we walk on - does it matter?

Wednesday 2 June 2010 - 14:30 – 16:00

Did you know that termite heaps are air-conditioned? Or that a mole eats its own bodyweight in food every day? Literally thousands of micro-organisms live in a teaspoon of soil, but we know surprisingly little about this most basic building block of our society. The astonishing diversity of this underground world far exceeds that of the planet above it, and is of fundamental importance for all life on Earth. Biodiversity in soil provides food for the plants that we grow, keeps pests at bay, helps clean our drinking water, breaks down pollutants, produces soil organic matter and is one of the key players in keeping our climate healthy.

This session offers a glimpse inside the Earth's engine room, and shows how we depend on a vast array of interlinked species that we know very little about.

2.4 Climate change impact on biodiversity and ecosystem services

Wednesday 2 June 2010 - 14:30 – 16:00

The session shall give an update of state of the art scientific knowledge about climate change and its impacts on terrestrial and marine biodiversity and ecosystem services and the consequences for society and economy. Necessary measures to avoid the unmanageable and to manage the unavoidable will be discussed.

Moderators:

  • Jennifer Rankin, Journalist, European Voice

3.4. Sustainability criteria for food, feed and fibres

Wednesday 2 June 2010 - 14:30 – 16:00

Two thirds of fertile land is already in use for production of biotic resources (biomass) such as food, fibres and (bio)fuels. As a consequence, global biodiversity has decreased. In the decades ahead, population growth, increasing wealth and demand for meat will put additional claims for biomass and for conversion of even more natural land. The implementation of sustainability criteria could help to alleviate these risks. Such criteria were already included in the renewable energy directive. In this section the necessity and feasibility of applying sustainability criteria for all biotic materials will be discussed by members of the International Panel for Sustainable Resource Management and its Steering Committee.

In partnership with UNEP

Chair:

  • Prof. Dr Ernst Von Weizsäcker, Co-Chair, International Panel for Sustainable Resource Management

1.5. Impact of biodiversity loss on human health

Wednesday 2 June 2010 - 16:30 – 18:00

The implications of biodiversity loss and ecosystem change for the global environment have been widely discussed, but attention has recently turned to the effects that these modifications could have on human health.

Ecosystems, for instance, can help regulate infectious diseases. And biodiversity loss has serious implications for the availability of future medicines: approximately half of all synthetic drugs have a natural origin, and recent studies have shown that hundreds of medicinal plant species, which make up the basis of over 50% of all prescription drugs, are threatened with extinction. This session will provide an overview of the potential consequences of biodiversity loss for infectious diseases and medicines.

2.5 Fishing in and around marine protected areas

Wednesday 2 June 2010 - 16:30 – 18:00

Protecting marine biodiversity often entails restricting human activities in areas where essential biodiversity is threatened. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) - from marine sanctuaries where all human activities are banned to areas where only monitoring requirements are in place - can form part of the solution. A discussion of the reciprocal effects between MPAs and fisheries is particularly topical for two reasons: the Commission recently began a reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, stepping up environmental concerns, and secondly the implementation phase of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) is gaining speed. There is  therefore an urgent need to reconcile the economic needs of the fishing industry with the requirement to achieve good environmental status for the European seas.

This session will examine the problem from three points of view, comparing and contrasting the approaches of the fishing industry, a marine protection commission, and scientists working in this area. The results of the debate will feed into the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy and the process of implementation of the MSFD.

3.5. Ecosystems services: the essential capital for the poorest

Wednesday 2 June 2010 - 16:30 – 18:00

Well functioning ecosystems are of particular importance for the rural poor, providing essential services such as food, fresh water, fibre and fuel for energy. Some of these ecosystems services can be marketed to safeguard livelihoods and provide income for other purposes such as health, education and transport. Without a certain level of protection, ecosystems are likely to be overexploited, leading to loss of quality of services and ultimately lost livelihoods for the local population. Protection of the ecosystem is easier if the benefits can be shared and accounted for in such a way that overexploitation can be avoided. One of the presentations will focus on the specific case of drylands, where natural resources are scarce, ecosystem services are vital and their sustainable management is essential for the local populations. The speakers will present some examples of how ecosystem services directly contribute to the natural capital of the poor, and how part of these services can be marketed to ensure long term sustainability.

Eco-innovation initiative - Market Replication projects

Wednesday 2 June 2010 - 16:30 – 18:00

Side session in the Salon rouge (in English, no interpretation).

To deliver on its goal of growth and jobs while using less natural resources and causing less negative impacts on the environment, the EU needs innovative solutions. Eco-innovation – technologies that are less harmful to the environment – are key, and feature prominently in the new Europe 2020 Strategy.

This workshop will present policy developments in the area, and projects supported by the EU's Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP). The CIP eco-innovation programme targets innovative SMEs in numerous sectors, including recycling, construction, food and drink, and greening businesses. The 2010 Call for proposals will be open until 9 September 2010.

Speakers:

  • Beatriz Yordi, Head of Eco-innovation Unit, EU Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation
  • Maciej Szymanowicz, DG Environment, European Commission
  • Eleonora Turchetto, Coordinator of the Fertilandia project