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EU Business and Biodiversity Platform Bureau Meeting – 8 July 2014 – Brussels

17 September 2014
The first EU Business and Biodiversity Platform Bureau Meeting took place in Brussels on July 8, 2014. Bureau Advisors - from business, Member States, NGOs and Commission Services - met and discussed the work carried out by the EU B@B Platform and its members. Discussion topics included: reviewing the results so far, identifying the most promising opportunities, links with relevant initiatives, upcoming events of mutual interest and next steps including brainstorming on the 2015 workstreams. The minutes of the B@B Bureau meeting are now available online.


SAVE THE DATE - First Annual B@B Conference, 21st November, 2014

27 August 2014
The first Annual EU Business and Biodiversity Conference is scheduled to take place in Brussels on November 21, 2014. All B@B members are welcome to attend. The outputs from year 1 of the different workstreams will be presented and representatives from businesses, NGOs, Member States and the Commission will be invited to present case studies identified in the workstreams. National Platforms will also be welcome to showcase their work and participate in the discussions. Finally, several high-level participants will be invited to share their views.

If you are interested in presenting at the First Annual B@B Conference, please contact Strahil Christov on strahil.christov@ec.europa.eu.


Online Consultation on the EU No Net Loss Initiative – Open until 26 September 2014

20 August 2014
The European Commission has launched an online consultation on a future EU initiative to halt biodiversity loss. Achieving “No Net Loss” would require that all planned developments which are expected to have an impact on biodiversity adhere to a strict "mitigation hierarchy", whereby priority is given, first, to avoiding or preventing negative impacts; second, where impacts cannot be avoided, to minimising damage and rehabilitating their effects; and lastly, to offsetting or compensating for residual adverse impacts. The consultation asks interested citizens, public authorities, business and NGOs for their views on a future No Net Loss Initiative at EU level. Ideas and comments are welcome on how to develop the policy, how to ensure that impacts are avoided, minimised and compensated for; the scope and the scale of the initiative; which drivers of biodiversity loss and which economic sectors to include; how to tackle the challenges related to offsetting and the choice of policy instruments to use.

This initiative is one of the actions foreseen in the EU Biodiversity Strategy. The consultation and background information can be found at the DG Environment website.


2nd Workshop on Natural Capital Accounting for Full Members, Piloting the Tool – 22 September 2014 – Brussels

20 August 2014
A second follow-up workshop will be organised under the Natural Capital Accounting Workstream of the B@B Platform. It will take place on Monday, 22nd September at DG Environment in Brussels. The objective of the workshop is to test and discuss the new NCA tool developed under the platform. Full member companies will prepare to pilot the NCA tool during the workshop and other companies, who have already started implementing it, will share their views and experiences. Participants will also discuss the next steps and the potential activities for 2015 reflecting the discussions of the recent B@B Bureau meeting.


€ 239 million available for the 2014 LIFE call for proposals

8 August 2014
The European Commission launched its first call for proposals under the LIFE funding programme for projects dedicated to environment in June 2014. The LIFE sub-programme for environment will provide €238.86 million in 2014 to develop and implement innovative ways to respond to environmental challenges across Europe, focusing on the conservation of nature and biodiversity, resource efficiency and environmental governance and information.

The sub-programme is part of the EU LIFE Programme 2014-2020 and will provide €2 592 million for the environment over the next seven years (2014-2020). It will also support better governance, dissemination of information and awareness-raising on environmental matters.

This year’s call for proposals covers different types of projects including:

The Commission encourages interested organisations to start preparations as early as possible by developing their project ideas, forming partnerships with relevant stakeholders and identifying complementary financial support. They also indicated that for "traditional projects", the Commission particularly welcomes proposals in line with the priority project topics set out in the LIFE multi-annual work programme for 2014-2017.


Horizon 2020 launched with € 15 billion over the first two years

8 August 2014
The first calls for proposals of Horizon 2020 were launched by the European Commission in December 2013. Horizon 2020 is the follow-up to the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (FP7) and is the he biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020).

Horizon 2020 is organised in different Programme Sections covering a large range of R&D topics. Each programme section has its own Work Programme presenting the priorities for the period 2014-2015. The Work Programme for Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials is available here and covers among others the following activities:

  • Protecting the environment, sustainably managing natural resources, water, biodiversity and ecosystems;
  • Ensuring the sustainable supply of non-energy and non-agricultural raw materials;
  • Enabling the transition towards a green economy and society through eco-innovation.

All the forthcoming calls for proposal under this Work Programme are available here


Online Consultation on the EU No Net Loss Initiative – 8 July 2014 – Brussels

26 June 2014
The European Commission has launched an online consultation on a future EU initiative to halt biodiversity loss. Achieving “No Net Loss” would require that all planned developments which are expected to have an impact on biodiversity adhere to a strict "mitigation hierarchy", whereby priority is given, first, to avoiding or preventing negative impacts; second, where impacts cannot be avoided, to minimising damage and rehabilitating their effects; and lastly, to offsetting or compensating for residual adverse impacts. The consultation asks interested citizens, public authorities, business and NGOs for their views on a future No Net Loss Initiative at EU level. Ideas and comments are welcome on how to develop the policy, how to ensure that impacts are avoided, minimised and compensated for; the scope and the scale of the initiative; which drivers of biodiversity loss and which economic sectors to include; how to tackle the challenges related to offsetting and the choice of policy instruments to use.

This initiative is one of the actions foreseen in the EU Biodiversity Strategy. The consultation, and background information can be found at the DG Environment website.

The consultation will be online until 26 September 2014


Green Week 2014 Session on "Monitoring the State of Natural Capital for a truly circular economy" – 4 June 2014 – Brussels

10 June 2014
Green Week 2014, the biggest annual conference on European environment policy, hosted a dedicated session on Natural Capital Accounting on 4 June 2014. This provided insights on the increasing number of initiatives, both within the public and the private sector, that recognise the importance of analysing and monitoring the state of natural capital and how we impact and depend on it. The session identified the areas of focus by governments and companies in assessment and accounting of natural capital and discussed possible next steps for scaling up good practice examples at macro and micro level.


High-Level Conference on Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services (MAES) in Europe - 22 May 2014 – Brussels

23 May 2014
On 22 May 2014, International Biodiversity Day, the European Commission hosted a high-level Conference to highlight the policy relevance of MAES. The conference provided a platform to present the work undertaken to date at EU and Member State level as well as contributions from key stakeholders. It demonstrated how reliable, high-quality information on the state of ecosystems and the services they provide can contribute to the advancement of biodiversity objectives, and to the integration of natural capital concerns into the EU. For more information please visit the MAES website.


Expressions of interest invited in new Natural Capital Financing Facility

29 April 2014
The Natural Capital Financing Facility (NCFF) will be a new EU financial instrument funded by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Commission. The NCFF will provide innovative financial solutions to support bankable projects, which are or have the potential to be revenue-generating or cost-saving, promoting the conservation, restoration, management and enhancement of natural capital. It will be complemented by technical assistance to support project preparation, implementation and monitoring.

The NCFF will provide debt and equity finance for projects in the following fields:

  • Green infrastructure (e.g. green roofs, green walls, ecosystem-based rainwater collection / water reuse systems, flood protection and erosion control).
  • Payment for ecosystem services (e.g. programmes to protect and enhance forestry, biodiversity, to reduce water or soil pollution).
  • Biodiversity offsets / compensation beyond legal requirements (e.g. compensation pools).
  • Pro-biodiversity and adaptation businesses (e.g. sustainable forestry, agriculture, aquaculture, eco-tourism).

Further details are provided in the attached document.

Ernst & Young France and ICF GHK are currently undertaking a study for EIB to identify a potential pipeline of projects for the NCFF, and would welcome ideas and approaches from anyone with a potential interest in the facility, whilst recognising that final eligibility criteria are still under development.  For further information, please contact:

Alexis Gazzo - alexis.gazzo@fr.ey.com

Matt Rayment - matt.rayment@ghkint.com


The launch of phase 2 of the EU Business and Biodiversity Platform website

8 April 2013
This week saw the launch of The website for of Phase 2 of the EU Business and Biodiversity (B@B) Platform was launched today, on the 8th of April, 2014. The B@B platform brings together EU businesses to develop tools and approaches that integrate biodiversity considerations into business practice. The B@B Platform also helps to coordinate and to raise awareness of innovative national and international initiatives, and showcase business best practices at EU level. The platform is open to businesses in all sectors and also brings together experts and stakeholders from business, as well as representatives from government, industry sectors and NGOs.

The first phase of the B@B Platform, launched in 2008, identified the key role that businesses have to play as a partner in helping the EU to deliver its biodiversity commitments, especially the EU Biodiversity Strategy. Phase 2 of the B@B platform provides a mechanism for sustained, strategic dialogue between the Commission and Business to support the achievement of 2020 objectives in the EU Biodiversity Strategy