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EU Biodiversity Strategy Actions Tracker

In the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, the EU and its Member States committed to implement more than 100 actions by 2030. Please see below an overview of progress.

This tool is designed to track progress in the implementation of the actions listed in the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030.

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COHERENT NETWORK OF PROTECTED AREAS

Target 1 - Legally protect a minimum of 30% of the EU’s land area and a minimum of 30% of the EU’s sea area, and integrate ecological corridors, as part of a true Trans-European Nature Network.
Target 2 - Strictly protect at least a third of the EU’s protected areas, including all remaining EU primary and old-growth forests.
Target 3 - Effectively manage all protected areas, defining clear conservation objectives and measures, and monitoring them appropriately.

Updated on: None


Deadline: 2021

Summary: The EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 sets the target to place 30% of EU land area and 30% of EU sea area under protection by 2030, and to place a third of these areas (10%) under strict protection. To support the Member States, the Commission has published criteria and guidance for identifying and designating additional protected areas, including a definition of strict protection, as well as for appropriate management planning. The guidance also indicates how other effective area-based conservation measures could contribute to the targets. It is the result of extensive consultations with Member States' authorities, experts and stakeholders.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM
MS

Chef de File:
ENV

Updated on: 2021-12-07


Deadline: 2030

Summary: The EU Member States are the main actors, with a legal obligation (under the EU Nature Directives) to complete the EU Natura 2000 network of protected areas on land and at sea. This will also contribute to the 2030 target to protect 30% of land and 30% of sea areas in the EU, including 10% strictly protected areas. The establishment of the terrestrial Natura 2000 network is almost complete. There are still significant gaps for marine areas. The Commission promotes compliance, including through the bilateral “Nature Dialogues” between the Commission and the Member States, and takes enforcement action as necessary.


Main Actors:
MS

Chef de File:
ENV

Updated on: 2022-05-31


Deadline: 2030

Summary: The Commission, working with the EEA, will provide the Member States with a tool for reporting the pledges for protection and conservation status. It will coordinate actions with authorities and stakeholders in the biogeographical regions and in the framework of the regional sea conventions, to make sure that the nature protection targets will be met on land and sea by 2030. Specific attention will be given to ensuring effective management of protected areas.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM
EEA
MS

Chef de File:
ENV

Updated on: 2021-12-08


Deadline: 2021

Summary: In addition to Natura 2000 sites, Member States have designated different types of national and regional protected areas. These protected areas will need to be assessed against the criteria defined under Action 1, in order to verify the current baseline and identify the magnitude of the remaining gaps. The Commission and the EEA will work with the Member States to set up a reporting system for protected areas beyond Natura 2000, as part of the CDDA reporting system. This will allow for an assessment of progress towards the 2030 nature protection targets. The Commission will facilitate and coordinate related actions with authorities and stakeholders in the biogeographical regions and in the framework of the regional sea conventions.


Main Actors:
COM
EEA

Chef de File:
ENV

Updated on: 2021-12-14


Deadline: 2023

Summary: On the basis of the guidance produced under Action 1 and Action 9, the Member States will need to designate new nationally protected areas and integrate ecological corridors, in order to establish a coherent network of protected areas on 30% of EU land and 30% of EU sea area, including 10% under strict protection. This EU-level target has been broken down at the level of each EU biogeographic region (on land) and sea basin (at sea). Member States have until the end of 2023 to demonstrate significant progress in legally designating new protected areas and integrating ecological corridors.


Main Actors:
MS

Chef de File:
ENV

Updated on: 2021-12-14


Deadline: 2024

Summary: By 2023, the EU Member States will need to demonstrate significant progress in designating new protected areas, on the basis of agreed guidance (see Action 1b). The Commission will follow the process to assess whether adequate progress is being made, or if additional efforts are needed, and will publish a report in 2024. This assessment will feed into the Mid-term Review of implementation of the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, envisaged in 2024.


Main Actors:
COM
EEA

Chef de File:
ENV

Updated on: 2022-09-14


Deadline: 2022

Summary: Strictly protecting all primary and old-growth forests in the EU requires preparatory work to identify existing definitions and concepts for such forests across the EU, followed by a complete mapping of these areas, stock-taking of existing monitoring measures and future monitoring needs, and a review of evidence on protection regimes and the impact of various activities on these ecosystems. Based on this initial stocktaking, the Commission is working with Member States and stakeholders to develop common definitions and prescribe mapping, monitoring and protection measures for primary and old-growth forests in the EU. Work is ongoing in the Working Group on Forests and Nature, which brings together nature protection and forestry management authorities in the Member States and EU level stakeholders. Member States should urgently engage in completing the mapping and monitoring, and ensuring no deterioration until they start to apply the protection regime.


Main Actors:
COM
MS

Chef de File:
ENV

Updated on: 2021-12-14


Deadline: 2030

Summary: Green infrastructure is important to increase ecological connectivity, ecosystem health and resilience, harness the multiple benefits of healthy ecosystems and contribute to the overall coherence of the EU Nature Network. To achieve this, the Commission will continue to work with the Member States to mainstream Green Infrastructure and Nature-Based Solutions across EU funding instruments and national programming documents. Regional cooperation and projects in the Outermost Regions and the Overseas Countries and Territories are also relevant for this action. This action builds on the EU Guidance on the deployment of strategic EU-level green and blue infrastructure.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
ENV

Updated on: 2021-12-14


Deadline: 2030

Summary: The EU Biodiversity Strategy aims to protect and restore tropical and sub-tropical marine and terrestrial ecosystems in the EU's Outermost regions, and encourages Member States to consider promoting equivalent rules in the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs). To this end, a number of initiatives are being developed. Grant schemes will allow the continuation of LIFE4BEST and BEST 2.0, unlock local potential on the ground, enable capacity building and knowledge creation (data collection, scientific advice). , as well as actions for the protection and restoration of tropical and sub-tropical ecosystems in Outermost Regions covered by the Nature Directives (of Spain and Portugal). The 2nd Life4BEST call for proposals was launched in September 2020 and closed in March 2021, and a new call was launched under the LIFE Programme in 2021 to set up the grant facility. In the context of the Action Plan for the Outermost Regions, a study has been launched to map the state of data collection and scientific advice on fisheries, and to identify data gaps in the Outermost regions. The contribution of the European Maritime Fund for Aquaculture and Fisheries to climate and biodiversity targets will be monitored also for the Outermost Regions. The Commission is also considering how to strengthen the biodiversity dimension in the ongoing development of a new Outermost regions strategy, envisaged for adoption in spring 2022. The European Parliament Resolution on the Outermost regions adopted on 14 September 2021 and the European Committee of the Regions’ Opinion adopted in December 2020 make further calls for EU action to support biodiversity.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM
MS
OR

Chef de File:
ENV


EU NATURE RESTORATION PLAN

Strengthening the EU legal framework for nature restoration

Target 4 - Legally binding EU nature restoration targets to be proposed in 2021, subject to an impact assessment. By 2030, significant areas of degraded and carbon-rich ecosystems are restored. Habitats and species show no deterioration in conservation trends and status; and at least 30% reach favourable conservation status or at least show a positive trend.

Updated on: 2022-07-14


Deadline: 2021

Delay: 2022

Summary: On 22 June 2022, the Commission proposed a new law to restore ecosystems. The proposal aims to restore ecosystems, habitats and species across the EU’s land and sea areas in order to: (i) enable the long-term and sustained recovery of biodiverse and resilient nature, (ii) contribute to achieving the EU’s climate mitigation and climate adaptation objectives and (iii) meet international commitments. The proposal combines an overarching restoration objective for the long-term recovery of nature in the EU’s land and sea areas with binding restoration targets for specific habitats and species. These measures should cover at least 20% of the EU’s land and sea areas by 2030, and ultimately all ecosystems in need of restoration by 2050. The Commission will also put forward, in 2022, an EU-wide methodology to map, assess and achieve good condition of ecosystems, and to identify their exposure and vulnerability to climate change so that they can deliver essential ecosystem services.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
ENV

Updated on: 2021-12-14


Deadline: 2021

Summary: The EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 sets a target for Member States to ensure that at least 30% of their species and habitats protected under the Birds and Habitats Directives currently not in favourable status will be in that category by 2030, or at least show a strong positive trend. In addition, the target also provides that, by 2030, no more species or habitats should show a decline. In order to support the Member States in the selection and prioritisation of species and habitats for improvements to be achieved under that target, the Commission has developed a technical guidance note with the European Environment Agency (EEA), Member States and stakeholders in the frame of the Nature Directive Expert Group (NADEG). The guidance note was finalised in June 2021.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM
EEA
MS

Chef de File:
ENV

Updated on: 2021-12-14


Deadline: 2030

Summary: The EU Member States will be in charge of restoring protected species and habitats, in line with the (future) EU restoration targets (Action 10), the Guidance on the selection and prioritisation of species and habitats for restoration (Action 11) and related Biodiversity Strategy restoration commitments.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM
EEA
MS

Chef de File:
ENV

Updated on: 2021-12-14


Deadline: 2022

Summary: The Commission will provide methodological guidance on the mapping and monitoring of restoration and ecosystem condition and services, in support of the EU Nature Restoration Law (see action 10). It will support the monitoring of progress in restoring ecosystems, the achievement and maintenance of a healthy state, and the provision of ecosystem services that are essential for human well-being. Provisions for this work may be integrated into the legislative proposal for ecosystem restoration. The methodological guidance is envisaged for completion by the end of 2022.


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
ENV

Bringing nature back to agricultural land

Target 5 - The decline of pollinators is reversed.

Updated on: 2021-12-14


Deadline: 2030

Summary: The EU Pollinators Initiative aims to (i) improve knowledge of pollinator decline, its causes and consequences; (ii) tackle the causes of pollinator decline and (iii) raise awareness, engaging society-at-large and promoting collaboration. Work is ongoing to fully implement the short-term (2020) actions and long-term objectives of the EU Pollinators Initiative. Recent progress includes the publication of a proposal for an EU Pollinator Monitoring Scheme, and an European Environment Agency (EEA)/ European Topic Centre (ETC) report on the importance on Annex I habitats for pollinators and assessment of the conservation status of protected pollinator habitats. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has advanced on the review of the Guidance Document for the risk assessment for bees. The Commission has launched contracts for the development of the European Red List of Moths and Species Action Plans, and for the assessment of the state of taxonomic expertise on insects in Europe. Cross-links will be made to the tracking and monitoring of relevant F2F actions, and to biodiversity monitoring and reporting.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM
EEA
MS

Chef de File:
ENV

Updated on: 2021-12-08


Deadline: 2021

Summary: The Commission published its Report on the implementation of the EU Pollinators initiative in May 2021. The report takes stock of the implementation of short-term (2020) actions and of progress to the long-term (2030) objectives of the initiative.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
ENV

Updated on: 2021-12-14


Deadline: 2022

Summary: The Commission is undertaking comprehensive stakeholder consultations to collect views, suggestions and expert inputs with a view to revise the EU Pollinators Initiative in 2022.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
AGRI
ENV
SANTE

Target 6 - The risk and use of chemical pesticides is reduced by 50%, and the use of more hazardous pesticides is reduced by 50%.

Updated on: 2022-07-14


Deadline: 2030

Summary: The European Commission announced two pesticide reduction targets as part to the Farm to Fork Strategy and the Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 in May 2020. These are a 50% reduction in the use and risk of chemical pesticides and a 50% reduction in the use of more hazardous pesticides. Ensuring progress to this target can be supported by a range of measures, including ongoing efforts to strengthen pesticide risk assessment and authorisation. The Commission will also encourage improved use of integrated pest management (including under the CAP) and increased efficiency of pesticide use, as well as improved data collection. Additional long-term actions to strengthen integrated pest management and data collection are being considered in the ongoing revision of the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive. Each year, the Commission will publish progress at European Union level towards meeting both targets.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
SANTE

Updated on: 2022-07-14


Deadline: 2022

Summary: The Commission has carried out an evaluation of the Directive on the sustainable use of pesticides. On 22 June 2022, the Commission proposed a new Regulation on the sustainable use of plant protection products, accompanied by an Impact Assessment. This adopted act is open for feedback for a minimum period of 8 weeks.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
SANTE

Target 7 - At least 10% of agricultural area is under high-diversity landscape features.

Updated on: 2022-07-14


Deadline: 2030

Summary: The EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is the main policy to ensure that 10% of agricultural land is devoted to high-biodiversity landscape features. This will be provided for through conditionality (GAEC 9) and incentives (CAP Pillar 1 and Pillar 2). Trilogues on the CAP reform proposal reached agreement in June 2021. The Member States are working to present their CAP Strategic Plans. The Commission has provided guidance and is engaged in exchanges with the MS to ensure that CAP instruments and Strategic Plans provide support for measures to bring back agricultural area under high-diversity landscape features.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM
MS

Chef de File:
AGRI
ENV

Updated on: 2021-12-08


Deadline: 2030

Summary: The Commission will constantly review progress on the target of 10% high-diversity landscape features on agricultural land and, if necessary, it may take measures to mitigate against undue impact on biodiversity, food security and farmers' competitiveness.


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
AGRI
ENV

Target 8 - At least 25% of agricultural land is under organic farming management, and the uptake of agro-ecological practices is significantly increased.

Updated on: 2021-12-08


Deadline: 2021

Summary: The EU Biodiversity Strategy and the EU Farm-to-Fork Strategy set the target to manage 25% of agricultural land under organic farming by 2030. The Action Plan on Organic Farming aims to promote the adoption of organic farming practices to achieve this target, as well as the development of organic products and demand for organic products. The Action Plan was adopted in March 2021.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
AGRI

Updated on: 2022-07-14


Deadline: 2022

Summary: The Commission has provided country-specific recommendations, and it has engaged in a structured dialogue with the Member States to ensure that their national CAP strategic plans are fully compliant with the EU objectives and that they set explicit national values for the relevant targets of the Biodiversity and Farm to Fork Strategies to be supported by CAP instruments (as well as other relevant EU instruments).

Links:


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
AGRI

Updated on: 2021-12-08


Deadline: 2022

Summary: Adoption in 2022 of rules to facilitate the registration of varieties suitable for organic production.


Main Actors:
COM
MS

Chef de File:
SANTE

Updated on: 2021-12-08


Deadline: 2022

Summary: The Commission will present by the end of 2022 a legislative proposal for the revision of the EU legislation for the marketing of plant reproductive material, accompanied by an impact assessment. The Commission will consider how to best improve the rules for the marketing for traditional crop varieties within the revision of the plant and forest reproductive material legislation.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM
MS

Chef de File:
SANTE

Updated on: None


Deadline: 2027

Summary: The Commission will has been working encourage with the Member States to promote agroforestry in their CAP strategic plans and will ensure, when assessing these plans, that sufficient agroforestry measures are included.


Main Actors:
COM
MS

Chef de File:
AGRI
ENV

Forest quantity, health and resilience

Updated on: 2021-12-09


Deadline: 2021

Summary: The new EU forest strategy for 2030 was adopted in July 2021. Its implementation will contribute to achieving the EU biodiversity and climate objectives. The strategy is accompanied by two staff working documents, on the Stakeholder Consultation and Evidence Base, and on the 3 Billion Tree Planting Pledge for 2030.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
AGRI
COM
ENV

Updated on: 2021-12-09


Deadline: 2030

Summary: The Forest Information System for Europe (FISE) was launched in 2020, with the aim to make it Europe’s knowledge tool to monitor the state, health and sustainability of Europe’s many forests. It will also be a key tool in monitoring the implementation of the European Green Deal objectives in relation to forests. The Commission outlined the further development of FISE as part of the new EU Forest Strategy and will work with the Member States to further develop FISE so that it can capture all elements of forest pressures, status and changes in quality and quantity.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM
EEA
MS

Chef de File:
ENV

Updated on: 2021-12-09


Deadline: 2030

Summary: Summary: The Commission is working with the Member States to ensure that afforestation and reforestation measures support biodiversity and promote closer-to-nature forestry practices. This includes the integration of relevant measures in the Member States’ CAP strategic plans.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM
MS

Chef de File:
AGRI
ECHO
ENV

Target 9 - Three billion additional trees are planted in the EU, in full respect of ecological principles.

Updated on: 2022-05-05


Deadline: 2022

Summary: The Commission is developing guidelines to ensure that afforestation and reforestation measures in the Member States support biodiversity and promote closer-to-nature forestry practices. The EU Forest Strategy, adopted in July 2021, set a deadline for the adoption of the guidelines in 2022.


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
ENV

Updated on: 2021-12-09


Deadline: 2021

Summary: As part of the new EU Forest Strategy, the Commission presented a Roadmap for planting at least 3 billion additional trees in the EU by 2030, in full respect of ecological principles. On 9 December, the Commission also launched a Counter to the target of 3 billion trees (see link below).

Links:


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
ENV

Addressing land take and restoring soil ecosystems

Target 10 - Significant progress in the remediation of contaminated soil sites.

Updated on: 2022-07-14


Deadline: 2027

Summary: The Commission will work with the Member States to scale-up the adoption of sustainable soil management practices by land managers. This role of the farmer advisory services in accompanying the transition will be strengthened. The EU will also support research to fill current knowledge gaps on best practices, benefits and trade-offs for society and farmers. This action will be implemented as part of the implementation of the Common Agricultural Policy and the new EU Soil Strategy.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM
MS

Chef de File:
AGRI
ENV

Updated on: 2022-07-14


Deadline: 2021

Summary: The new EU Soil Thematic Strategy was adopted in November 2021. It aims to tackle in a comprehensive way soil and land degradation, as well as to fulfil EU and international commitments on land degradation neutrality.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
ENV

Updated on: 2022-07-14


Deadline: 2030

Summary: As set out in the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, the Member States will need to identify contaminated soil sites, restore degraded soils and improve soil monitoring. The Commission and the Member States are working to integrate objectives and measures to this end in relevant EU instruments, to define the conditions for good ecological status of soil, introduce restoration objectives and take action to improve the monitoring of soil quality.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM
MS

Chef de File:
ENV

Updated on: 2022-07-14


Deadline: 2021

Delay: 2022

Summary: The Commission will propose measures to limit, mitigate and compensate soil sealing and scale up related actions. Rehabilitation and recycling of brownfields reduces additional land take and sealing: registering (potentially) polluted sites is key as well as providing sufficient financial support for remediation. Some measures on a sustainable built environment have already been frontloaded in the Recovery and Resilience Facility and in the ‘Renovation Wave for Europe’, and integrated in the new Soil Strategy (2021). The Commission intends to put forward a holistic approach for the built environment in 2022.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
GROW

Updated on: 2022-04-07


Deadline: 2030

Summary: The Horizon Europe mission on a Soil Deal for Europe will support research into solutions in the area of soil health and food, in line with the objectives and targets of the EU Green Deal and of the EU Biodiversity Strategy and the Farm to Fork Strategy. The Horizon Europe mission in the area of soil health and food has been validated by the Commission’s Project Group and will proceed to a preparatory phase before implementation. The DDL has been aligned with the time span of Horizon Europe.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
ENV
RTD

Win-win solutions for energy generation

Updated on: 2021-12-09


Deadline: 2021

Summary: This action will be supported by the Implementing Act on REDII sustainability criteria for forest biomass (see 40) and the Revision of the 2018 renewable energy directive (see Action 38).


Main Actors:
COM
EEA
MS

Chef de File:
ENER

Updated on: 2021-12-09


Deadline: 2021

Summary: The aim of this action is to apply win-win solutions that reduce emissions to the extent required by the EU's climate-neutrality goal for 2050, while promoting biodiversity preservation. The EU will prioritise solutions such as ocean energy or offshore wind which also allows for fish stock regeneration, solar-panel farms that provide biodiversity-friendly soil cover, and sustainable bioenergy. The main relevant instruments include the revision of the Renewable energy Directive (see Action 38), and the Implementing Act on Forest Biomass (see Action 40), the Offshore Renewable Energy Strategy and Guidance document on wind energy developments and EU nature legislation adopted in November 2020.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM
EEA
MS

Chef de File:
ENER

Updated on: 2022-01-13


Deadline: 2030

Summary: The Commission is assessing the current and future sources and uses of biomass from all primary production sectors in the EU, and related sustainability. The aim is to better understand and monitor the potential climate and biodiversity risks, and to support the design and implementation of policy measures. This is a long-term mandate that started in 2014. The Commission publishes a report every two years (the next report is coming up in 2022). In 2021, the Commission published a study on "The use of woody biomass for energy production in the EU" (2021).

Links:


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
JRC

Updated on: 2021-12-09


Deadline: 2021

Summary: The objective of the Commission’s legislative proposals, delivered in June 2021 as part of the Fit for 55 package, is to ensure that the EU regulatory framework on bioenergy is in line with the increased ambition set out in the European Green Deal. The review of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED aims to reduce emissions to the extent required to reach the climate-neutrality goal for 2050, while promoting resource-efficient economic growth, job creation, technological leadership, pollution reduction and biodiversity preservation. The review of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is driven by the 2030 climate ambition and 2050 long-term goal, while taking account of the need for just transition. The review of the LULUCF Regulation aims to align the regulatory framework to an EU-wide target to reduce emissions by 55% in 2030 while ensuring a just transition and taking into account synergies with other land-related sectors (agriculture, bio-economy), uses (nature-based solutions, closer-to-nature forestry) and policies. To this effect, the initiative aims to create stronger policy incentives that realise the EU’s potential to reduce land emissions, enhance substitution of fossil-based materials and enhance land-based sinks in the land use sector.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
COM
ENER

Updated on: 2022-01-06


Deadline: 2020

Summary: The study, published in 2021, has informed, among other things, the review and revision of the Renewable Energy Directive, the Emissions Trading Scheme, and the Regulation on land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF).

Links:


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
JRC
RTD

Updated on: 2022-01-13


Deadline: 2021

Delay: 2022

Summary: The guidance under development by the Commission aims to ensure correct, robust and harmonised implementation of the new forest biomass criteria of Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) throughout the EU.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
ENER

Updated on: 2021-12-09


Deadline: 2021

Summary: Under this action, and with the support of a technical project, the Commission will assess latest data on biofuels with high indirect land-use change risk, in order to establish a trajectory for their gradual phase out by 2030.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
ENER

Restoring freshwater ecosystems

Target 11 - At least 25,000 km of free-flowing rivers are restored.

Updated on: 2022-09-15


Deadline: 2021

Summary: The target to achieve at least 25,000 km of free flowing rivers in the EU aims at supporting the restoration of freshwater ecosystems and the natural functions of rivers, by removing barriers and restoring floodplains and wetlands. The Commission has developed, in close consultation with authorities in the Member States as well as with EU level stakeholders, guidance to assist the Member States in: • identifying (primarily obsolete) barriers that are feasible to remove, with a view to re-establishing the natural functions of a river system and restoring free flowing rivers. • identifying possible funding sources for restoration at the identified sites.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
ENV

Updated on: 2021-12-10


Deadline: 2030

Summary: The Member States will be in the lead to implement this action. By 2030, Member States should have collectively removed enough barriers to restore the natural functions of rivers and their floodplains, with a view to achieve at least 25,000 km of free-flowing rivers.


Main Actors:
MS

Chef de File:
ENV

Updated on: 2022-09-15


Deadline: 2023

Summary: The Commission seeks to support Member States in defining and implementing ecological flows, including through a review of permits for abstraction and impoundment.


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
ENV

Updated on: 2021-11-24


Deadline: 2027

Summary: By 2027, ecological flows should have been defined and implemented to achieve good status or potential of all surface waters and good status of all groundwater, as required by the Water Framework Directive, including through a review of national abstraction and impoundment permits.


Main Actors:
MS

Chef de File:
ENV

Addressing invasive alien species

Target 12 - There is a 50% reduction in the number of Red List species threatened by invasive alien species.

Updated on: 2022-09-14


Deadline: 2030

Summary: The Commission will work with the Member States to step up implementation of the EU Regulation on Invasive Alien Species (IAS) and other relevant legislation and international instruments. The aim is to ensure that the introduction and establishment of alien species in the EU environment is minimised and where possible is eliminated, while established invasive alien species are managed. A review of the application of the EU Regulation on Invasive Alien Species was published in 2021. An update of the list of IAS of Union concern is published in August 2022 and will be updated afterwards about every two years.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM
MS

Chef de File:
ENV

Reducing pollution

Target 13 - The losses of nutrients from fertilisers are reduced by 50%, resulting in the reduction of the use of fertilisers by at least 20%.

Updated on: 2021-12-09


Deadline: 2030

Summary: The Commission will increase ongoing policy implementation and enforcement efforts in order to reduce by at least 50% nutrient losses from nitrogen and phosphorus fertilisers, while ensuring that there is no deterioration in soil fertility. The aim is to reduce nutrient pollution to amounts within safe planetary boundaries, in line with the targets set by the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, the Farm to Fork Strategy and the Zero Pollution Action Plan.


Main Actors:
COM
MS

Chef de File:
ENV

Updated on: 2022-07-14


Deadline: 2022

Summary: Nutrient losses in the EU today already exceed safe planetary boundaries. They have negative impacts on public health, on the environment (soil, water and air) and on several sectors of the economy (such as fisheries, tourism). Under the EU’s Green Deal, the farm to fork and the biodiversity strategies announced that the Commission would draw up an integrated nutrient management action plan to help achieve the 2030 targets set in these strategies to reduce nutrient losses by at least 50%. This plan will aim to: (i) ensure more sustainable application of nutrients, (ii) stimulate markets for recovered nutrients, (iii) address nutrient pollution at source, and (iv) increase the sustainability of the livestock sector. The plan will support the implementation and enforcement of the relevant environmental and climate legislation, by identifying with the Member States the nutrient load reductions needed to achieve these goals, by applying balanced fertilisation and sustainable nutrient management and by managing nitrogen and phosphorus better throughout their lifecycle. The Commission has launched a public consultation to collect the views of the public and of stakeholders on the aspects of an EU integrated nutrient management action plan.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
ENV

Updated on: 2021-12-09


Deadline: 2021

Summary: The zero pollution vision for 2050 is that air, water and soil pollution will be reduced to levels that are no longer considered harmful to health and natural ecosystems, and that respect the boundaries with which our planet can cope, thereby creating a toxic-free environment. The Zero Pollution Action Plan was adopted in May 2021.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
ENV

Updated on: 2021-12-09


Deadline: 2020

Summary: The EU chemicals strategy for sustainability, adopted in October 2020, aims to help protect citizens and the environment against hazardous chemicals and to encourage innovation for the development of safe and sustainable alternatives. This means simplifying and strengthening the legal framework, improve cooperation and transparency between EU agencies and scientific bodies as well as ensure that the regulatory framework rapidly reflects scientific evidence on the risk posed by hazardous chemicals.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
ENV

Greening urban and peri-urban areas

Target 14 - Cities with at least 20,000 inhabitants have an ambitious Urban Greening Plan.

Updated on: 2022-04-27


Deadline: 2021

Delay: 2022

Summary: The Commission will publish guidance to help cities and municipalities to develop and implement ambitious and meaningful Urban Greening Plans fully integrated into all relevant aspects of the local planning process.


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
ENV

Updated on: 2022-04-27


Deadline: 2021

Delay: 2022

Summary: An online Urban Greening Platform will be set up to provide a coherent point for cities to access information and support in setting up their Urban Greening Plans. It will be integrated with the existing relevant Commission technical tools and urban environment initiatives such as the Green City Accord.


Main Actors:
COM
COR
Covenant of Mayors

Chef de File:
ENV

Updated on: 2022-05-05


Deadline: 2030

Summary: This action can be taken up by sub-national authorities in the Member States. The aim is to ensure that urban planning processes systematically incorporate and promote green Infrastructure thinking and nature-based solutions. Such approaches will be incorporated into the guidance for the preparing Urban greening plans and delivered via the Urban Greening Platform.


Main Actors:
MS - cities over 20,000 inhabitants

Chef de File:
ENV

Restoring marine ecosystems

Target 15 - The negative impacts on sensitive species and habitats, including on the seabed through fishing and extraction activities, are substantially reduced to achieve good environmental status.

Updated on: 2022-05-05


Deadline: 2030

Summary: This action is linked to the action on fisheries management measures, and to the action plan to conserve fisheries resources and protect marine ecosystems. The objectives are partially achieved, for fish stocks with MSY advice in the northeast Atlantic (including the North Sea, Channel, Irish and Baltic Seas), although some stocks are above and some are below this rate. In the Mediterranean Sea the current rate is still close to twice the target rate. For the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, the Fisheries Council decided on a 7.5% reduction of fishing effort for 2021, complemented by an international commitment to implement a 10% reduction. The Council also agreed to a 12% reduction of fishing effort for demersal stocks in the Adriatic in 2021.


Main Actors:
COM
MS

Chef de File:
MARE

Updated on: 2022-04-13


Deadline: 2022

Summary: The initiative will link the implementation of the common fisheries policy with environmental legislation and policy, notably the Birds, Habitats and the Marine Strategy Framework Directives and set out actions to protect and restore fisheries resources and marine ecosystems. It will complement the report on the implementation of the 2019 Technical Measures Regulation (TMR), which showed that some Member States have used the regionalised approach to introduce additional fisheries measures to protect sensitive species and habitats at the national and regional level. The action plan will be an important step alongside other measures such as the extension and effective management of marine protected areas and the adoption of legally binding restoration targets.


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
ENV
MARE

Updated on: 2022-09-28


Deadline: 2022

Summary: Maritime Spatial Plans under the MSP Directive need to take into account land-sea interactions and apply an ecosystem-based management approach to reduce the adverse impacts of fishing, extraction and other human activities on species and habitats. This is of high importance for sea basins with legal instruments in place, like the Mediterranean (ICZM Protocol). Maritime spatial plans need to be consistent with the marine strategies that Member States have prepared under the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive to ensure that the legal obligations are achieved. The Commission will publish a report in 2022.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM
MS

Chef de File:
MARE

Updated on: 2021-12-01


Deadline: 2030

Summary: Marine protected areas need to be designated and effectively managed to protect habitats and species protected by the Birds and Habitats Directives as well as to achieve good environmental status of marine ecosystems under the MSFD. Management of a given MPA may require regulating fishing activities. Since the conservation of marine biological resources under the common fisheries policy (CFP) is an exclusive competence of the European Union, it is up to the EU to take any fisheries-related measures. The CFP provides for a toolbox for taking fisheries conservation measures and gives also Member States the chance to play an active role in designing fisheries measures through the so-called regionalisation.


Main Actors:
COM
MS

Chef de File:
MARE

Updated on: None


Deadline: 2022

Summary: Threshold values for seabed habitats define the quality to be achieved and the maximum extent of habitat loss and adverse effect. Such values are to be defined and achieved at EU level in accordance with Commission Decision (EU) 2017/848. These thresholds are being developed by the Technical Group on Seabed within the MSFD CIS process.


Main Actors:
COM
MS

Chef de File:
ENV

Updated on: None


Deadline: 2022

Summary: This action is about providing financial support for the transition to more selective gear and less damaging fishing techniques through the actions supported by the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) Programmes. The Commission will ensure that the EMFAF contributes to the achievement of the overall environment, climate and biodiversity targets established in the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027 through a series of actions, including the promotion of sustainable, low-impact and low-carbon fishing activities.


Main Actors:
COM
MS

Chef de File:
MARE

Target 16 - The by-catch of species is eliminated or reduced to a level that allows species recovery and conservation.

Updated on: 2021-12-09


Deadline: 2030

Summary: The by-catch of species threatened with extinction must be eliminated or reduced to a level that allows their full recovery. This should also be the case for species in bad conservation status or not in good environmental status under the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). Furthermore, by-catch of other species must be eliminated or, where this is not possible, minimised so as not to threaten their conservation status. To support this, data collection on by-catch for all sensitive species needs to be stepped up.


Main Actors:
COM
MS

Chef de File:
ENV
MARE


ENABLING TRANSFORMATIVE CHANGE

A new governance framework

Updated on: 2022-05-05


Deadline: 2021

Summary: The Commission has launched an enhanced EU biodiversity governance framework to enable coherent implementation, progress monitoring and review of the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030. The EU Biodiversity Platform, the main expert group for the coordinated implementation of the Strategy, was launched in early 2022 with a strengthened mandate and membership, as well as mechanisms to engage better with the knowledge community and interact with Commission groups in other policy areas. A transparent mechanism for progress monitoring has been set up with a public actions tracker. A targets dashboard is being set up to show progress to each EU Biodiversity Target, with a set of indicators under development as a basis for corrective action if necessary. The aim is to encourage co-responsibility by relevant actors in meeting the biodiversity commitments, as well as forge better links with relevant processes in other policy areas and across governance levels. The Commission will also develop, in 2022, measures to support the strengthening of administrative capacity for implementation, stakeholder dialogue and participatory governance.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM
EEA
MS

Chef de File:
ENV

Updated on: 2021-12-09


Deadline: 2023

Summary: In 2023, the Commission will assess the effectiveness of the biodiversity governance framework and consider whether a more binding approach may be needed.


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
ENV

Stepping up implementation and enforcement of EU environmental legislation

Updated on: 2021-12-09


Deadline: 2030

Summary: The Commission and the Member States will work to increase political support, financial and human resources in order to ensure that environmental-related legislation with an impact on biodiversity (in particular the EU Nature Directives and other key biodiversity legislation, the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and the Water Framework Directive) is implemented, enforced and - where necessary - reviewed and revised.


Main Actors:
COM
MS

Chef de File:
ENV

Updated on: 2021-12-09


Deadline: 2030

Summary: The 2018 Action Plan on environmental compliance assurance and the Environmental Compliance and Governance Forum aim to support and promote legal compliance and combat environmental crime. In April 2020, a Good practice document on combatting environmental crime was published, in addition to several other actions aimed at reinforcing the capacities of national environmental inspectors, police, prosecutors and judges working on nature-related infringements and crimes. This includes work on training, national complaint-handling mechanisms, and geospatial intelligence. The work will be conducted with the EU-level networks of environmental practitioners, such as ENPE (prosecutors), IMPEL (inspectors), EUFJE (judges) and EnviCrimeNet (police and other enforcement officers) that work together with the Commission’s support on effectively tackling environmental crime, including wildlife crime.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM
MS

Chef de File:
ENV

Updated on: 2021-12-14


Deadline: 2020

Summary: On 6 October 2021 the EU adopted the Aarhus Regulation that allows for increased public scrutiny of EU acts affecting the environment. The Commission had proposed the amendment in October 2020, following its commitment under the European Green Deal to improve access to administrative and judicial review at EU level for citizens and environmental non-governmental organisations. The revised Regulation improves the possibilities for civil society to request that EU institutions review their acts with the aim to ensure better environmental protection and a more effective climate action. Under the new rules, applicants may request review of administrative acts of EU institutions that contravene EU environmental law. The challenged acts may be administrative acts of individual scope, but also of general scope and may be adopted in any policy area. In addition to environmental NGOs, applicants may also include, under certain conditions, individuals, or groups of concerned members of the public.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
ENV

Updated on: 2021-12-15


Deadline: 2021

Summary: The Environmental Crime Directive is the main horizontal instrument to protect the environment through criminal law. It requires Member States to define environmental crimes including wildlife trafficking and illegal killing or taking specimens of protected wild fauna or flora and to introduce criminal sanctions. On 15 December, the Commission adopted a proposal for a revised Directive to crack down on environmental crime, fulfilling a key commitment of the European Green Deal. The proposal intends to make protection of the environment more effective by obliging Member States to take criminal law measures. It defines new environmental crimes, sets a minimum level for sanctions and strengthens the effectiveness of law enforcement cooperation. It also obliges the Member States to support and assist people who report environmental offences and cooperate with the enforcement.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
JUST

Business for biodiversity

Updated on: 2022-04-27


Deadline: 2021

Summary:

Links:


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
JUST

Updated on: 2021-12-09


Deadline: 2030

Summary: The Commission will continue to support and cooperate with networks of businesses (corporates and investors) working to integrate biodiversity and natural capital considerations into their decision making. The Commission will continue to facilitate the sharing and mainstreaming of best practices by businesses as well as business-driven initiatives and frameworks for measuring and accounting for natural capital impacts and dependencies.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM
MS

Chef de File:
ENV

Updated on: 2022-07-14


Deadline: 2030

Summary: On 21 April 2021, the Commission adopted a proposal for a Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), which would amend the existing reporting requirements of the NFRD. The proposal: • extends the scope to all large companies and all companies listed on regulated markets (except listed micro-enterprises) • requires the audit (assurance) of reported information • introduces more detailed reporting requirements, and a requirement to report according to mandatory EU sustainability reporting standards • requires companies to digitally ‘tag’ the reported information, so it is machine readable and feeds into the European single access point envisaged in the capital markets union action plan.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
FISMA

Financing for biodiversity

Updated on: 2022-08-19


Deadline: 2030

Summary: Unlocking the necessary funding to implement the EU Biodiversity Strategy will require increased financing from public budgets and private actors at national and EU level. This includes effective mainstreaming, as well as tracking of biodiversity spending in relevant EU funds, both under the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and under Next Generation EU, the EU recovery plan. Implementation of this action will be supported by the ambition to dedicate 7,5% in 2024, and 10% in 2026 and 2027, of the MFF to biodiversity. This target has been reflected in most regulations pertaining to individual EU funds. The Commission continues to work with the Member States to ensure that funding opportunities for biodiversity are taken up in the programming of national measures under EU funds. In may 2022, the Commission released a study aiming at updating the Commission’s methodology to track biodiversity expenditures in the MFF, and assessing funding needs to implement the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, current levels of funding and the remaining finance gap. The Commission presented the draft biodiversity tracking methodology to the European Parliament, the Council, Member States and stakeholders in Autumn 2021, and released the final methodology in June 2022, except the CAP part which will be included at a later stage. The study also finds that the scale of financing needs to deliver the Strategy, including baseline expenditure, is estimated at around EUR 48 billion annually between 2021 and 2030, i.e. a significantly higher amount than the EUR 20 billion/year highlighted in the Biodiversity Strategy. It also estimates expenditure on biodiversity at ca. EUR 29 billion annually over 2021-2030 including from the MFF and Member States national budgets and private financing. The remaining financing gap is estimated at ca. EUR 19 billion per year from 2021 to 2030.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM
MS

Chef de File:
BUDG

Updated on: 2022-08-16


Deadline: 2022

Delay: none

Summary: The EU level framework of measures will build on the national Prioritised Action Frameworks. It will be essential for the maintenance or re-establishment at a favourable conservation status of habitats and species and corresponding EU co-financing needs, as required by Art. 8 of the Habitats Directive.


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
ENV

Updated on: 2022-08-16


Deadline: 2022

Summary: This pledge will be implemented through the development of financial and advisory products for natural capital under InvestEU, building upon the lessons learned from the EU Natural Capital Financing Facility. It will cover biodiversity as well as circular economy. An additional technical assistance/advisory component will be provided by LIFE (50 million €) to support this action, as well as active dialogue with EIB.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM
CINEA
EIB

Chef de File:
ECFIN
ENV

Updated on: 2021-12-10


Deadline: 2022

Summary: The implementation of this action will operationalise the 'do no harm' principle under the Multiannual Financial Framework and NextGeneration EU. Biodiversity was addressed in the Commission checklist developed in the context of the evaluation of the national Recovery and Resilience Plans, as well as in the sustainability proofing guidelines developed in the context of InvestEU. Biodiversity will be integrated in upcoming work on operationalizing the ‘do no harm’ principle across other EU funds and programmes.


Main Actors:
COM
MS

Chef de File:
AGRI
BUDG
ECFIN
ENV
INTPA
MARE
REGIO

Updated on: 2022-05-05


Deadline: 2021

Delay: 2023

Summary: The Commission is preparing a Delegated act with technical screening criteria fulfilling four environmental objectives under the Taxonomy Regulation. It will establish a common classification of economic activities that substantially contribute, among other objectives, to the protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems including forests, wetlands, peatlands, aquatic and marine ecosystems. The preparation of the Environmental delegated act is tentatively planned to take place between May 2022 and May 2023, and will include a stakeholder consultation.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
FISMA

Updated on: 2021-12-09


Deadline: 2021

Summary: Within the framework of the European green deal, the Commission announced a renewed sustainable finance strategy. The Commission published its ‘strategy for financing the transition to a sustainable economy’ on 6 July 2021. It aims, among others, to facilitate the mainstreaming of biodiversity considerations at every step of the financial system. The initiative will also provide enabling frameworks for the European Green Deal Investment Plan and for the financial system to support a sustainable recovery from COVID-19.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
FISMA

Updated on: 2021-12-15


Deadline: 2030

Summary: This action is about ensuring the full implementation of the Polluter Pays Principle, with markets reflecting biodiversity externalities and providing a full incentive to avoid biodiversity damage. A study funded by the European Parliament was completed at the end of 2021. It will inform and support actions by stakeholders and the Member States. The action will also be supported via the European Semester process.

Links:


Main Actors:
MS

Chef de File:
ENV
FISMA

Measuring and integrating the value of nature (NCA)

Updated on: 2022-05-05


Deadline: 2021

Summary: The aim of this action is to support the use of criteria and methods to support decision-making in the public and business sectors and further develop natural capital accounting . This will include support to business-driven developments of principles and methods, as well as setting standards and regulation. The aim is also to integrate biodiversity into the Product Environmental Footprint and Organisations Environmental Footprint methodology.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
ENV

Updated on: 2021-12-09


Deadline: 2021

Summary: The Commission is fostering networks of corporates cooperating on natural capital in order to align internationally management accounting principles for natural capital and biodiversity. Through the Transparent Life Project, the Value Balancing Alliance – consisting of international companies and the four largest professional services firms (Deloitte, EY, KPMG & PwC) – and the Capitals Coalition – a global collaboration of more than 370 organizations – have joined forces with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development to develop a set of generally accepted environmental accounting principles.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM
MS

Chef de File:
ENV

Updated on: 2021-12-13


Deadline: 2022

Summary: This action includes the revision of the current EU GPP criteria for office buildings, aligning the criteria with Level(s), the recently published EU framework for sustainable buildings, and assessment of the possibility to expand the scope beyond office buildings only.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM
MS

Chef de File:
ENV

Knowledge

Updated on: 2021-12-09


Deadline: 2020

Summary: The Knowledge Centre for Biodiversity was launched in October 2020. It is hosted by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) and co-led by ENV, in close cooperation with the European Environment Agency. It is a one-stop shop for key information about biodiversity and the impact of related policies; a platform where progress under the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 can be monitored; and an interface for scientists to network, share research results and channel them more effectively to support EU policies.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM
EEA

Chef de File:
ENV
JRC

Updated on: 2022-04-19


Deadline: 2022

Summary: Horizon Europe, amongst others, aims in contributing in the effort in halting biodiversity decline and restoring ecosystems by focusing on: (i) understanding & addressing biodiversity decline, (ii) assessing, valuing and restoring ecosystems and natural capital, (iii) nature-based solutions, (iv) transformative change, (v) connecting research for better policies, (vi) biodiversity and human health. Under Horizon Europe, the Commission is working to establish a long-term strategic research agenda for biodiversity and a science policy mechanism for research-based options for ratcheting up the implementation of biodiversity commitments (‘Science Service’). The Work Programme of Horizon Europe 2021-22, Cluster 6 Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment, Destination “Biodiversity”, includes 34 topics specifically targeting biodiversity protection and restoration. The Green Deal Missions on Oceans, Climate Adaptation, Soil and Cities that have been established will also significantly contribute to filling knowledge gaps and finding solutions to improve the health of ecosystems.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
RTD

Updated on: 2022-09-21


Deadline: 2021

Summary: The Biodiversity Partnership, Biodiversa+, brings together national research and policy/regulatory bodies responsible for biodiversity, to jointly mobilise coherent, transnational research for finding solutions to be implemented across Europe to halt the loss of biodiversity and to bring it back to a path to recovery. This unique partnership is facilitated and co-funded by the European Commission. Its Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) has been released in November 2021. The first call of the Biodiversity Partnership on “Supporting biodiversity and ecosystem protection across land and sea” was launched in 2021. The second call on "Improved transnational monitoring of biodiversity and ecosystem change for science and society" was launched in September 2022.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM
EEA
JRC
MS
REA

Chef de File:
ENV
RTD

Education

Updated on: 2022-04-12


Deadline: 2021

Summary: On 14 January 2022, the Commission published a proposal for a Council Recommendation on learning for environmental sustainability, and a new European sustainability competence framework developed with the Joint Research Centre.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
EAC


EU EXTERNAL ACTION AND AN AMBITIOUS GLOBAL BIODIVERSITY AGENDA

Raising the level of ambition and commitment worldwide

Updated on: 2021-12-09


Deadline: 2022

Summary: Due to the covid19 pandemic, CBD COP15 has been delayed and is expected to take place earliest in June-July 2022. The framework is to ensure transformative action by all countries and all stakeholders and throughout the UN System so as to achieve the 2050 Vision of 'living in harmony with nature' and a 2030 Mission to halt and reverse biodiversity loss. It should address the three objectives of the Convention for Biological Diversity (CBD): the conservation of biological diversity; the sustainable use of its components; and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources). The targets should address the direct and indirect drivers of biodiversity loss. Provisions on domestic and international biodiversity financing will be critical. The process should foster strong political support for the agreed text and the monitoring and review mechanism should be a basis for lasting political commitment.


Main Actors:
COM
EEA
JRC
MS

Chef de File:
ENV

Updated on: 2021-12-10


Deadline: 2022

Summary: The High-Ambition Coalition for Nature and People aims at protecting 30% of land and seas, fostering nature-based solutions (NBS) and, more generally, an ambitious post-2020 global biodiversity framework. The Commission launched a Coalition of Botanical Gardens, Zoos, Aquaria and Research Centres for mobilising massive citizens’ support across the globe.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
ENV

International Ocean Governance

Updated on: 2022-09-19


Deadline: 2022

Delay: 2022

Summary: Covering nearly two-thirds of the world’s oceans and about 95% of their volume, areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) comprise the high seas (water column) and the subjacent international seabed (the Area). These areas contain a rich biodiversity of both ecological and socioeconomic importance. However, this biodiversity is under mounting pressure, including from overexploitation, pollution, the impacts of climate change, and the spread of invasive species. The increasing demand for marine resources in the coming decades – for food, minerals or biotechnology – risks further exacerbating this problem. Faced with these challenges and following over a decade of preparatory work, an overwhelming majority of States in the United Nations agreed in 2017 on the need for a new legally binding instrument under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The envisioned international agreement would further implement existing principles in UNCLOS in order to achieve a more holistic management of high seas activities, which should better balance the conservation and sustainable use of marine resources. These principles include the obligation of cooperation, the science-based approach to the conservation and management of marine resources, the duty to protect and preserve the marine environment, and the duty to undertake prior impact assessment of activities. This agreement should cover four areas: 1) marine genetic resources and the sharing of benefit; 2) area based management tools, including marine protected areas; 3) environmental impact assessments; and 4) capacity building and the transfer of marine technology. It would also further support the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular Sustainable Development Goal 14 (“Life Below Water”). The ongoing negotiations also offer perspectives with regard to establishing procedures for identifying and managing marine protected areas in the high seas. The EU and its Member States have been engaged in this process since its beginning . They have launched a High Ambition Coalition in February 2022, at the One Ocean Summit, to enhance momentum and mobilize countries in support of achieving an ambitious and inclusive agreement the soonest. The Intergovernmental Conference hold its fifth session in August 2022. Decisive progress has been achieved but an agreement could not be reached. The fifth Intergovernmental Conference has therefore been suspended, and will be resumed as soon as possible to finalize the negotiation.


Main Actors:
COM
MS

Chef de File:
MARE

Updated on: 2022-09-16


Deadline: 2022

Summary: The EU and its Member States have submitted two MPA proposals to the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), one in East Antarctica (since 2012) and another in the Weddell Sea (since 2016). Although both proposals are based on best available science, they have never managed to reach consensus due to continued opposition from two CCAMLR Members. The two MPA proposals are also co-sponsored by the United States, New Zealand, South Korea, India, Ukraine, Australia, Uruguay, Norway and the United Kingdom. A third proposal, from Chile and Argentina, proposes to create a MPA in the Antarctic Peninsula.


Main Actors:
COM
MS

Chef de File:
MARE

Updated on: 2022-08-17


Deadline: 2022

Summary: In international negotiations, the EU should advocate that marine minerals in the international seabed area cannot be exploited before the effects of deep-sea mining on the marine environment, biodiversity and human activities have been sufficiently researched, the risks are understood and the technologies and operational practices are able to demonstrate no serious harm to the environment, in line with the precautionary principle and taking into account the call of the European Parliament. However, the role of the European Commission at the Council meetings of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) so far has been limited to its capacity of observer. A mapping of EU competences in the draft mining code shows that the EU can claim competence on the parts of the regulations dealing with the protection of the marine environment. In June 2022, the European Commission and the EU's High Representative issued a joint Communication "Setting the course for a sustainable blue planet - Joint Communication on the EU’s International Ocean Governance agenda". Among the key EU priorities for international ocean governance, it sets out that deep-sea mining should be prohibited until scientific gaps are properly filled, no harmful effects arise from mining and the marine environment is effectively protected.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
MARE

Trade policy

Updated on: 2022-08-16


Deadline: 2022

Summary: The EU’s objective is to reach an agreement that is effective in prohibiting harmful subsidies. The EU also aims to build upon the fisheries framework in the international law of the sea instruments. These negotiations are a direct implementation of the United Nations SDG 14.6 and thus support the EU’s objective that trade policy support wider values such as the stewardship of the environment.


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
TRADE

Updated on: 2022-08-19


Deadline: 2030

Summary: Enforcing biodiversity provisions in all trade agreements will require engaging in discussions for better cooperation on biodiversity with Free Trade Agreement (FTA) partner countries at bilateral and multilateral level. It will also imply monitoring the impacts of trade on biodiversity and partner countries' implementation of commitments under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). In the Communication on “The power of trade partnerships: together for green and just economic growth” (June 2022), the Commission proposes to reinforce the collective monitoring of the implementation of Trade and Sustainable Development (TSD) commitments as well as stronger involvement of civil society. The Commission further commits to strengthen the enforcement of TSD commitments in future agreements by proposing to EU trading partners to extend the general state-to-state dispute settlement compliance stage to the TSD chapter, involve the Domestic Advisory Groups in monitoring the compliance stage, and prioritise the enforcement of TSD cases based on the importance of the nature of the commitments at issue, the seriousness of their violation and the impact on the environment. On biodiversity more specifically, the Communication emphasises that the impact of trade liberalisation on biodiversity “will play an important role” in the impact assessments of EU FTAs.


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
TRADE

Updated on: 2022-08-19


Deadline: 2030

Summary: A study has been published in 2021 on developing a methodology to assess trade liberalization impacts on biodiversity. This methodology is used in trade agreements evaluations and will help to identify actions to strengthen the biodiversity provisions of trade agreements. This methodology is used in both ex-ante and ex-post evaluations of trade agreements. In line with the Communication on “The power of trade partnerships: together for green and just economic growth” (June 2022), environmental priorities should be developed involving civil society and already feature in the impact assessment preceding the launch of negotiations, but then be further refined during the sustainability impact assessment, and assessed in ex-post analysis during implementation. The impact of trade liberalisation on biodiversity will play an important role in assessments of trade agreements.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
TRADE

Deforestation, wildlife trafficking, illicit trade

Updated on: 2021-12-09


Deadline: 2021

Summary: The proposal aims to minimise the EU’s contribution to deforestation and forest degradation worldwide and promote the consumption of products from deforestation-free supply chains in the EU.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
ENV

Updated on: 2022-05-05


Deadline: 2021

Delay: 2022

Summary: The EU Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking (2016-2020) will be revised in 2022. Open public and expert consultations took place at the end of 2021 and their results will feed into the revised Action Plan. Commission adoption planned for Q2 2022.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
ENV

Updated on: 2021-12-16


Deadline: 2021

Summary: On 16 December 2021, the Commission adopted new measures towards effectively banning most forms of EU trade in ivory, as announced in the Biodiversity Strategy for 2030. While the EU is not identified as a region of concern regarding illegal ivory trade, the revision of the existing EU rules on ivory trade reaffirms and delivers on the EU’s commitment to take further action against elephant poaching and ivory trafficking globally. This additional step came a day after the Commission adopted a proposal for a new EU Directive to crack down on environmental crime.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
ENV

Updated on: 2021-12-09


Deadline: 2022

Summary: The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) investigates fraud against the EU budget, corruption and serious misconduct within the European institutions, and develops anti-fraud policy. This action aims at equipping OLAF with coordinating and investigative capacities to work with Member States and non-EU countries to prevent illicit trade and the entry of illicit products into the Single Market.


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
OLAF

Updated on: 2022-08-16


Deadline: 2030

Summary: Aid for Trade (AfT) is a 2005 WTO-led initiative; it encompasses a third of EU projects and programmes in support of trade and productive capacities in EU partner countries. The aim is to mobilise AfT to facilitate the transition towards more environmentally sustainable development and growth models, including by supporting biodiversity-friendly trade. This can fit within the broader AfT objective of assisting countries’ transition to low carbon and climate change resilient economies.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
INTPA
TRADE

International cooperation, neighbourhood policy and resource mobilisation

Updated on: 2021-10-13


Deadline: 2030

Summary: None


Main Actors:
COM
MS

Chef de File:
SANTE

Updated on: 2022-08-19


Deadline: 2030

Summary: The Commission is actively working to mainstream biodiversity throughout a number of bilateral and multilateral agreements. The Commission is promoting such mainstreaming for example in the World Trade Organization (WTO) context. In December 2021, the EU and other 70 members of the WTO adopted a Ministerial Statement on Trade and Sustainable Development Structured Discussions (TESSD), an initiative to discuss trade related measures and policies that can best contribute to climate and environmental goals. This could potentially include trade aspects linked to protecting and conserving biodiversity and halting its loss. Furthermore, the 12th Ministerial Conference of the WTO met in June 2022 and adopted an outcome document recognising the loss of biodiversity as a global challenge, along with climate change and pollution. It is the first time ever that WTO Ministers make such a consensual statement.


Main Actors:
COM
EEAS

Chef de File:
EEAS
FPI
INTPA
NEAR

Updated on: 2022-08-16


Deadline: 2030

Summary: EU external action and cooperation on biodiversity includes direct support to conservation, sustainable use, restoration, sharing of benefits, the mainstreaming of nature across development sectors and policies and the transition in development and investment models towards more biodiversity and ecosystem friendly pathways. The EU will continue to support the multilateral biodiversity agenda and the preparation of the future global biodiversity framework. This will include continued financial support through the Neighbourhood Development and International Cooperation - Global Europe Instrument (NDICI-Global Europe). The President of the Commission announced in the State of the Union speech (September 2021) that the EU would double its external funding for biodiversity, in particular for the most vulnerable countries. The Commission is working on the operationalization of this commitment.


Main Actors:
COM
MS

Chef de File:
INTPA
NEAR

Updated on: 2021-12-10


Deadline: 2030

Summary: The aim is to bring all EU neighbourhood countries on board in the implementation of the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, particularly those aspiring for EU membership. The Neighbourhood Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) and the new Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA III) will be the primary financial instrument under the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) to support the EU neighbourhood and Western Balkans, including sustainable management of natural resources. In September 2021 State of the Union Address, Commission President Von Der Leyen announced that the EU would double its external funding for biodiversity, especially for the most vulnerable countries.


Main Actors:
COM
MS

Chef de File:
NEAR

Updated on: 2021-12-10


Deadline: 2030

Summary: The NaturAfrica initiative identifies key areas and landscapes in Sub-Saharan Africa for EU action to tackle biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation while enabling sustainable green development and bringing multiple benefits to local communities, partner countries and the EU. In the short term, it will develop actions in key landscapes for conservation and development, building on the positive benefits that protected areas bring to society and the economy, encouraging networks of protected areas and knowledge-sharing. In the medium term, it will extend support beyond key landscapes to address the root causes of biodiversity loss and environmental degradation while mainstreaming biodiversity and improving governance. Multiple initiatives linking action on biodiversity and ecosystems to sustainable green development and benefits to / participation of local communities are being prepared in other regions as part of Multiannual Indicative Programs, with a strong Team Europe Dimension (targeting for instance Sahel, Amazon or the Pacific) including an increasing focus on action in support of cross-border landscapes.

Links:


Main Actors:
COM

Chef de File:
INTPA

Updated on: 2022-08-16


Deadline: 2030

Summary: None


Main Actors:
COM
MS

Chef de File:
INTPA

Review of progress

Updated on: 2021-11-26


Deadline: 2024

Summary: None


Main Actors:
COM
EEA

Chef de File:
ENV