On the 20th of may, the european commission adopted a new biodiversity strategy. Following the core principle of the Green Deal, this strategy aims to bring back nature into euopean citizen’s life. The priorities settle in this stategy are to tackle the massive biodiversity loss in the EU but also worldwide and to deeply transform our food systems.
The current health crisis of the COVID-19 revealed a number of important flaws in the european food system and underlined the importance of biodiversity for its citizen’s health. Aiming to protect EU citizens, the biodiversity strategy follows the european Green Deal to draw the objectif of restoring degraded ecosystems, protecting european land and sea biodiversity, and making the EU the leader in the field of sustainable food system.
Unsustainable use of land and sea, overexploitation of natural resources, pollution, and invasive alien species are the key factors responsible of the biodiversity loss identified by the European Commission. In order to be efficient when designing EU’s overall economic growth strategy, these factors must be taken in account. The strategy brings forward concrete steps to put Europe’s biodiversity on the path to recovery by 2030, including transforming at least 30% of Europe’s lands and seas into effectively managed protected areas and bringing back at least 10% of agricultural area under high-diversity landscape features.
To make this possible, an annual funding of 20 billion euros including EU funds, national and private funding, will be allocated to biodiversity protection and restoration.
Simultaneously, the Farm to Fork strategy is dedicated to frame EU’s food system toward food security, healthy diet and sustainability. In this regards, concrete objectives have been identified: reduction by 50% of the use and risk of pesticides, a reduction by at least 20% of the use of fertilizers, a reduction by 50% in sales of antimicrobials used for farmed animals and aquaculture, and reaching 25% of agricultural land under organic farming. Other measures are more consumer oriented including improved labelling to better meet consumers’ information needs on healthy, sustainable foods.
The Common Agricultural Policy and the Common Fisheries Policy will endorse a key role in this transition, supporting farmers and fishermen in the EU toward a sustainable production system.
The Biodiversity Strategy reaffirms the EU’s determination to lead by example in tackling the global biodiversity crisis. The Commission invites the European Parliament and the Council to endorse these two strategies and its commitments. All citizens and stakeholders are invited to engage in a broad public debate.