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EU Biodiversity Policy Development

Malahide Conference 2004

Biodiversity loss continued at alarming rates, in the EU and globally, with serious potential consequences for sustainable livelihoods and sustainable economic growth. Heads of State and Government have made commitments (EU Spring Council 2001, World Summit for Sustainable Development 2002) to halt this decline in the EU and significantly reduce the current rate of loss globally by 2010. Little more than five years remain to meet these targets. This Conference was the key event in a critical policy review process which was widely endorsed by the Commission, Member States and civil society organisations. The Conference presented the opportunity to focus EU action in time to meet the 2010 biodiversity targets. The Conference, which brought together experts from the key sectors affecting biodiversity, from the European Commission, Member States and civil society, prepared a 'Message from Malahide's detailing priority objectives, targets, indicators of success and implementation arrangements. A rapid response to the Message is necessary from all key stakeholders if the 2010 targets are to be met.

Biodiversity Action Plans 2001

Biodiversity Strategy 1998

On 4th February 1998, the European Commission adopted a Communication on a European Biodiversity Strategy. This strategy aims to anticipate, prevent and attack the causes of significant reduction or loss of biodiversity at the source. This will help both to reverse present trends in biodiversity reduction or losses and to place species and ecosystems, including agro-ecosystems, at a satisfactory conservation status, both within and beyond the territory of the European Union (EU). The Communication was presented by Environment Commissioner Ritt BJERREGAARD, who characterised this initiative as "a model case for integration of environmental policies into key policy areas".

During the last decades reduction and losses on biodiversity at a global scale has accelerated dramatically. Existing measures have proved to be insufficient to reverse present trends. The best way forward is for actors in the relevant policy areas to assume the responsibility for the impacts of their policies on biodiversity. With this strategy, the EU reinforces its leading role world-wide in the efforts to find solutions for biodiversity within the framework of the United Nations´ Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

Habitats Directive 1992

Birds Directive 1979

European Community Clearing House Mechanism

Further information on biodiversity : see the European Community Clearing House Mechanism

The objective of the EC Biodiversity CHM is to promote technical cooperation and technology transfer within the European Union and its Member States, within the Pan European Region and the rest of the world.


 What is Biodiversity ?         |          Biodiversity Communication 2006 & Action Plan