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Biodiversity Strategies – an evolving timeline
The Political Guidelines for the new European Commission published in July have a significant impact on the EU biodiversity policy framework since the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2030 is expected to be delivered as part of the European Green Deal during the first 100 days of the new Commission.
29.10.2019

In her “Political guidelines for the next European Commission 2019-2024”, the President-elect of the Commission, Ms. Ursula von der Leyen, states that: “As part of the European Green Deal, we will present a Biodiversity Strategy for 2030. Our environment, our natural jewels, our seas and oceans, must be conserved and protected. Europe will work with its global partners to curtail biodiversity loss within the next five years. I want us to lead the world at the 2020 Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, just as we did at the 2015 Paris Climate Conference.” 

Given that EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2030 is part of the European Green Deal, it should be proposed during the first 100 days in office of the new Commission. This impacts significantly the timeline of the EU biodiversity policy framework.

The global biodiversity policy framework post-2020 will be discussed at the 15th Convention of Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CoP15 CBD) in October 2020. In parallel with the preparation of the CoP15 CBD, the Commission is carrying out the evaluation of the current EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 which should be published by December 2020. In order to build on the findings of the evaluation of the current EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020, and to frame it according to the global biodiversity policy framework, the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2030 could have been expected in late 2020, early 2021.

Following the publication of the Political Guidelines for the new European Commission in July 2019, this timeline has been completely reshuffled since EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2030 will be published ahead of the evaluation of the current EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 and the possible decision at the Cop15 CBD.

For this strategic document, CEPF supports the continuation of the 2020 headline target [1] to 2030, while in the same context demanding to duly take into account the negative impacts of climate change. 

The implementation of sustainable forest management, which encompasses biodiversity related aspects, is at the core of forest owners’ daily management activities in Europe. In this context, alongside with the work on the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2030, it is essential to update the EU Forest Strategy for the period post 2020 and to give it appropriate recognition as a part of the European Green Deal.

Regarding the development of forest biodiversity, CEPF highlights the importance of taking into account that forest ecosystems are bound to dynamic and long-term processes in nature, and that the European Union hosts a broad variety of forest ecosystem types, each with their respective challenges including a growing intensity of climate-change induced threats. 

In addition, CEPF reminds that active involvement of forest owners, coupled with appropriate funding sources and a strong knowledge base, are essential for successful enhancement of biodiversity in European forests. 


[1] The Headline Target of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 is: “Halt the loss of biodiversity and the degradation of ecosystem services in the EU by 2020, and restore them in so far as feasible, while stepping up the EU contribution to averting global biodiversity loss. Achieving this target would help to maintain and restore nature’s capacity to clean the air and water, to pollinate crops and to limit the impacts of catastrophes such as flooding.”