European Commission adopt new biodiversity strategy
Published: 20 May 2020

The European Commission have adopted two new strategies that set out actions and commitments to halt biodiversity loss in Europe and worldwide and transform our food systems.

Both of these strategies are in line with the European Green Deal and seek to bring together nature, farmers, business and consumers to work jointly towards a competitively sustainable future.

They commit to increase protection of land and sea, restore degraded ecosystems and establish the EU as a leader on both the protection of biodiversity and on building a sustainable food chain.

The EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 - Bringing nature back into our lives, sets out a 10 year plan that tackles the key drivers of biodiversity loss including unsustainable use of land and sea, pollution, overuse of natural resources and invasive alien species.

It proposes to:

  • establish binding targets to restore damaged ecosystems and rivers;
  • improve the health of EU protected habitats and species;
  • bring back pollinators to agricultural land;
  • reduce pollution;
  • green our cities;
  • enhance organic farming and other biodiversity-friendly farming practices; 
  • improve the health of European forests;
  • transform at least 30% of Europe's lands and seas into effectively managed protected areas; and
  • bring back at least 10% of agricultural area under high-diversity landscape features.

The Commission have allocated at least €20 billion per year to the strategy to promote and protect biodiversity. They aim to make biodiversity considerations an integral part of the EU's overall economic growth strategy. 

A Farm to Fork Strategy for a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food system, focuses on enabling transition to a sustainable EU food system that safeguards food security and ensures access to healthy diets sourced from a healthy planet.

The strategy seeks to reduce the environmental and climate footprint of the EU food system, strengthening its resilience, protecting citizen's health and ensuring the livelihoods of economic operators. It sets targets to transform the EU's food system including:

  • a 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;
  • reaching 25% of agricultural land under organic farming; and
  • ambitious measures to ensure that the healthy option is the easiest for EU citizens, including improved labelling to better meet consumers' information needs on healthy, sustainable foods.

The Common Agricultural Policy and the Common Fisheries Policy will offer support to European farmers, fishers and aquaculture producers who are key in this strategy through new funding streams and eco-schemes for them to adopt sustainable practices.

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