The Message from Athens - leaflet - now in all languages!
The "Message from Athens" - final version
Commission calls for a shakeup in EU biodiversity policy (28/04/2009)
Read more (IP/09/649)
Objective of the conference
2010 will be a major milestone for biodiversity policy both in the EU and globally. It will be the year of the full evaluation of the delivery to the EU Biodiversity Action Plan and as well the UN International Year for Biodiversity. Thus it is time to take a stock on where we are and to start framing the post-2010 biodiversity vision and preparing the strategy for the period being ahead of us. Therefore, the European Commission organized a major conference on 'Biodiversity Protection - Beyond 2010' that took place on 27-28 April 2009 in Athens, Greece and convened all the main actors engaged in the development and implementation of EU biodiversity policy together with international institutions and globally recognized experts.
(Sessions recorded: Opening Session, Setting the Scene Plenary Session, The EU Biodiversity Action Plan Working Group, Objectives for Biodiversity Protection beyond 2010 Working Group, reports and Round Table, Final Plenary 'The Message from Athens')
Speeches and presentations given at the Conference
Speech:José Manuel Durão Barroso President of the European Commission (27/04/2009)
SETTING THE SCENE - PLENARY SESSION
PARALLEL WORKING GROUPS
A) The EU Biodiversity Action Plan
The EU's Biodiversity Footprint in Developing Countries - ALFRED OTENG YEBOAH, Department of Botany, University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana
B) Biodiversity and Climate Change
Biodiversity and Climate Change - potential for co-benefits - JAN PLESNIK, Adviser to Director, Agency for Nature Conservation and Landscape Protection of the Czech Republic
C) Integration of Biodiversity Protection and Business
A) Natura 2000 - Does it Work and How to Make it Better
NGO perspective - ZOLTAN WALICZKY, on behalf of European Habitats Forum
B) Economics and Finance
Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD): an example of a key tool for capturing biodiversity and ecosystem values - SHEILA WERTZ-KANOUNNIKOFF, Senior Scientist for Climate Change, CIFOR
C) Objectives for Biodiversity Protection beyond 2010
Towards a post-2010 Strategic Plan - DAVID COOPER, Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity
REPORTS FROM WORKING GROUPS TO PLENARY
Report from WG C) Block 2 - Objectives for Biodiversity Protection beyond 2010
WRITTEN SUMMARIES ON THE WORKING GROUPS
THE MESSAGE FROM ATHENS
At the final plenary session of the conference, the European Commission presented a final draft of a document entitled "The Message from Athens". This document was designed to capture the key issues (challenges and potential responses) for EU biodiversity policy. It was based on inputs received before the conference, the output from the 'High-level working group on the 2010 biodiversity target and post-2010 target(s)' hosted by Germany (9-10 March 2009, Bonn, Germany), the conclusions from the meeting of G8 environment ministers held in Syracuse (22-24 April 2009, Syracuse, Italy), the presentations and discussions from the Athens conference and comments made by participants on a previous draft circulated during the conference. On the basis of the comments and discussions that took place in the final plenary session, the Commission has produced a final version of the "Message from Athens".
BackgroundThe Biodiversity Communication, adopted by the European Commission on 22 May 2006, provides the strategic framework for EU action to meet the target set by Heads of State and Government of halting biodiversity loss by 2010 and to also support achieving the global target of significantly reducing the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. The communication from the Commission on the mid-term assessment of the implementation of the Biodiversity Action Plan adopted on 16/12/2008 concluded that though significant efforts have been made, it is highly unlikely that the EU will achieve the 2010 biodiversity target.