Why do we need to protect biodiversity?
Biodiversity is essential for life. Nature provides us with food, health and medicines, materials, recreation, and wellbeing. A healthy ecosystem filters our air and water, helps keep the climate in balance, converts waste back into resources, pollinates and fertilises crops and much more.
Nature also provides for businesses: half of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), €40 trillion, depends on nature.
We are losing nature like never before because of unsustainable human activities.
The global population of wild species has fallen by 60% over the last 40 years. 1 million species are at risk of extinction.
Biodiversity loss and the climate crisis are interdependent. When one gets worse, so does the other.
Restoring forests, soils and wetlands and creating green spaces in cities is
Key elements of the biodiversity strategy
- Establishing protected areas for at least
- Restoring degraded ecosystems at land and sea across the whole of Europe by
- Unlocking €20 billion per year for biodiversity through various sources, including EU funds and national and private funding. Natural capital and biodiversity considerations will be integrated into business practices
- Making the EU a world leader in addressing the global biodiversity crisis. The Commission will mobilise all tools of external action and international partnerships for an ambitious new UN Global Biodiversity Framework at the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2021.
The business case for biodiversity
|More than half of the world's GDP - some €40 trillion - depends on nature|
Restoring nature will be a central element of the EU’s recovery plan from the coronavirus pandemic, providing immediate business and investment opportunities for restoring the EU’s economy.
3 key economic sectors:
- food and drink
These sectors are all highly dependent on nature, and they generate more than €7 trillion.
The benefits of biodiversity conservation for the economy include
- an increase in annual profits for the seafood industry by more than €49 billion by conserving marine stocks
- a saving of around €50 billion annually for the insurance industry through reducing flood damage losses by protecting coastal wetlands
- maintaining the value of six industries that rely on nature for more than 50% of their value: chemicals and materials; aviation, travel and tourism; real estate; mining and metals; supply chain and transport; retail, consumer goods and lifestyle
- between €200-300 billion per year value of the EU Natura 2000 nature protection network
The economic and social costs of inaction include
- biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse, two of the biggest threats facing humanity in the next decade
- economic and social costs. The world already lost an estimated €3.5-18.5 trillion per year in ecosystem services from 1997 to 2011, and an estimated €5.5-10.5 trillion per year from land degradation. Biodiversity underpins EU and global food security. Biodiversity loss risks puts our food systems and nutrition at risk
- reduced crop yields and fish catches, increased economic losses from flooding and other disasters, and the loss of potential new sources of medicine
- more than 75% of global food crop types rely on animal pollination
- on average, global mean crop yields of rice, maize and wheat are projected to decrease between 3% and 10% per degree of warming above historical levels.
|Restoring nature means direct and indirect local jobs that bring life back to local communities..|
|The Natura 2000 network has been estimated to support 104,000 direct jobs in protected areas management and conservation activities and 70,000 more indirect jobs. This is based on annual investment of €6 billion for management and restoration of the network. In the future, it is expected that biodiversity needs could generate up to 500,000 jobs.|
|For agriculture, 1.3 million of the 9.6 million farming jobs in the EU are linked directly or indirectly to Natura 2000. The tourism sector employs 12 million people in Europe. Of these, 3.1 million have links to protected areas such as Natura 2000.|
Of the 25% of the EU budget dedicated to climate action, a significant proportion will be invested in biodiversity and nature-based solutions.