Preservation of biodiversity ensures the long-term stability of ecosystems and enables the sustainable preservation of natural resources for future generations. Tackling biodiversity loss and restoring ecosystems require significant investments, including to ensure a more resilient society and combat the emergence of diseases linked to ecosystem degradation and wildlife trade.
What do we do?
To halt and reverse the decline of biodiversity in the EU is a major objective of the EU, as confirmed in the political guidelines from Commission President von der Leyen. Protecting biodiversity is a global issue that requires transnational intervention and coordination. This important strategic political ambition is reflected in the European Green Deal and its 2020 investment plan.
In line with the European Green Deal, the Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union decided in an interinstitutional agreement that biodiversity should be mainstreamed in the EU programmes, to achieve a level of ‘7.5% in 2024 and 10% in 2026 and in 2027 of annual spending under the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) to biodiversity objectives, while considering the existing overlaps between climate and biodiversity goals’. This is in line with the statement in the biodiversity strategy for 2030 that biodiversity action requires at least EUR 20 billion per year stemming from ‘private and public funding at national and EU level’, of which the EU budget will be a key enabler. The Biodiversity Strategy also sets out that, as nature restoration will make a major contribution to climate objectives, a significant proportion of the EU budget dedicated to climate action will be invested on biodiversity and nature-based solutions
How much do we spend?
To track the EU budget expenditure for biodiversity, an internationally recognised methodology (the Rio markers) is used. The methodology involves applying a coefficient of 0%, 40% or 100% to each project/objective/strand/programme, reflecting the degree to which biodiversity considerations have been integrated. The Commission is currently working to update the Biodiversity methodology for the 2021-2027 period, to properly implement an enhanced EU Coefficient system for biodiversity expenditures.
For the 2014-2020 period, the EU budget dedicated EUR 85 billion, or 8% of the multiannual financial framework, to the fight against biodiversity loss.
Some examples of what we achieved
The Horizon 2020 project on the biosystematics, informatics and genomics of the big four insect groups studied the four largest insect groups, to investigate hotspots of largely unknown insect diversity to better comprehend its potential for helping tackle economic and societal needs. The project employed a wide spectrum of modern, innovative approaches to uncover the evolutionary history of several insect lineages.
Through cohesion funding, by 2019:
- nearly 3 million additional people were being served by improved waste water treatment with the help of regional funds;
- nearly 6 million hectares of habitats had achieved better conservation status with support from regional funds.
The Development Cooperation Instrument helped improve the conditions of 186 different species.
Under the European Neighbourhood Instrument, bilateral and regional projects have been targeting biodiversity. For example, the integrated monitoring and assessment programme–marine protected areas project aims at achieving a good environmental status for the Mediterranean Sea and coast through an ecologically representative and efficiently managed and monitored network of marine protected areas. The project has a total budget of EUR 4 million and its implementation period runs from 2019 to 2022.
Another example is the EU4Environment project within the Eastern Partnership. This project helps partner countries to preserve their natural capital and to increase people’s environmental well-being, by supporting environment-related action, demonstrating and unlocking opportunities for greener growth and establishing mechanisms to better manage environmental risks and impacts.