The role of Protected Areas in the EU 2030 Biodiversity Strategy

Cover photo: Giancarlo Giudici, Parco Nazionale dello Stelvio (IT)

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Last December, the European Commission launched a public consultation inviting stakeholders and public to give their inputs on the future EU 2030 Biodiversity Strategy´s objectives and measures. EUROPARC Federation has contributed, in the interest of the European Protected Areas, underlining the importance and the role of Natura 2000 network and all National and Regional Parks and Reserves as key actors of the implementation on the field of the EU policies for nature protection and sustainable development.

The new EU 2030 Biodiversity Strategy 

The agenda of the European Commission’s President Von der Leyen aims to face up to the main causes of biodiversity loss by 2030, as an integral element of the European Green Deal. The main direct drivers of biodiversity loss, both globally and in the EU, are changes in land and sea use, direct exploitation of organisms, climate change, pollution and invasive alien species.

As an integral element of the European Green Deal, the strategy will also contribute to EU and global efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

As Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, the EU and its Member States have adopted a series of strategies and action plans with the objective of reversing the biodiversity loss, such as the EU biodiversity strategy to 2030. The implementation of the EU Birds and Habitats Directives and other environment-related EU legislation is also key for achieving this objective.

The new strategy will outline the EU ambition for the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, which will include some core objectives and only EU commitments and measures:

  • protect nature and increase the coverage and effectiveness of protected areas, building on the Natura 2000 network,
  • restore damaged ecosystems, including carbon-rich ecosystems, to good ecological status and enhance the flow of essential services that they provide,
  • promote the sustainable use of forest, agriculture, marine, freshwater and urban ecosystems;
  • fully integrate biodiversity considerations into other EU policies and address EU impacts on global biodiversity,
  • enable the implementation of the strategy by securing adequate financial resources, improving knowledge and engaging citizens and stakeholders across sectors.

The role of Protected Areas in the EU 2030 Biodiversity Strategy

In particular, looking at the Protected Areas perspective, the EU’s declared ambition is that Europe must lead the world when it comes to protecting our biodiversity. The EUROPARC Federation advocates that, not only Natura 2000 sites, but that all national and regional Protected Areas are recognised as:

  • KEY ACTORS TO IMPLEMENT EU POLICIES ON THE FIELD
  • KEY BENEFICIARIES OF EU POLICIES, PROGRAMS AND ACTIONS.

More specifically, the Biodiversity Strategy and the Actions Plan should take into consideration all Protected Areas in the following points:

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