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News article19 December 2023Directorate-General for Environment

Halting biodiversity loss: EU outlines achievements 1 year after adoption of global plan for nature and people

Biodiversity - COP15

Today marks one year since 196 countries agreed the Kunming–Montréal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) at the United Nations Conference on Biodiversity (COP15) as an action plan to protect, restore, sustainably use, manage and finance ecosystems. Full implementation of both the GBF and the Paris Agreement will result in a truly sustainable economy and help to achieve the sustainable development goals. One year on, the EU has made progress in implementing the deal but more needs to be done ahead of COP16 in October 2024.    

Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight Maroš Šefčovič said:

Today we celebrate one year of the landmark global biodiversity agreement. Reversing biodiversity loss and restoring nature is fundamental for our wellbeing and socio-economic development. Our prosperity, including half of the global GDP, is dependent on nature and the services it provides. Also, protecting and restoring nature is key to succeed in our fight against climate change, as just re-emphasised by world leaders at COP28. We remain fully committed to the implementation of the Kunming–Montréal agreement, which is - more than ever - central in our efforts for our people and planet.

Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius said:

One year after we concluded the historic Global Biodiversity agreement, I was happy to see at COP28 a clear recognition that we cannot keep the 1.5 goal within reach without nature. But time is running out. We need to accelerate technological, nature-based and societal solutions within this decade. The EU is leading by example, but there’s still a long road ahead of us.

Building on the European Green Deal and its strategies, the EU is on track in the implementation of the GBF. The EU has proposed and adopted many new laws this year including: 

  • A law on deforestation-free products to ensure European consumption does not cause deforestation in other parts of the world, that will apply at the end of 2024.  
  • A provisional agreement on a nature restoration law to restore Europe’s degraded ecosystems. Once adopted and applied in the EU Member States, the law will be key to reaching climate neutrality by 2050 and increasing Europe's preparedness and resilience to the effects of climate change. The law will help the EU and its Member States meet the restoration target they committed to under the Kunming-Montréal Global Biodiversity Framework 
  • Strengthened monitoring and measuring: a proposal for a soil monitoring law to protect and restore soils and ensure that they are used sustainably, and a proposal for a monitoring framework for resilient European forests to plug existing gaps in the information on European forests and create a comprehensive forest knowledge base. 
  • New rules for companies to respect environment in global value chains: a proposal for a Directive on corporate sustainability due diligence will oblige companies to identify and prevent, end or mitigate adverse impacts of their activities on human rights and on the environment, for example pollution and biodiversity. 

In addition, the EU along with its Member States continues to mobilise resources to support the implementation of the agreement. The EU and its Member States are the main provider of international biodiversity funding and he Commission already announced a doubling of its international biodiversity financing to EUR 7 billion for the 2021-2027 period. The European sustainable financing initiative will help to direct finance to support investments in biodiversity. The new EU budget provides for 10% to be used for biodiversity-relevant activities as of 2026.  

In addition, this year saw the signature of the Treaty of the High Seas, enabling large-scale marine protected areas in the high seas, facilitating the achievement of the GBF target to effectively conserve and manage 30% of land and sea by 2030. The EU has committed to support the High Seas Treaty’s ratification and early implementation through the EU Global Ocean Programme of €40 million and is at the moment working towards its own speedy ratification.

The EU also continues to maximise synergies between climate and biodiversity action, especially by making sure nature-based solutions inform the implementation of both the GBF and the Paris Agreement. The Commission is funding and providing technical support to at least 74 projects on nature-based solutions, with a total contribution of EUR 654 million. The involvement of cities, municipalities and a wide variety of stakeholders, in agriculture, finance and insurance, navigation and water management is facilitating the consideration of nature-based solutions across all sectors of the economy.  

The Commission is working with UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Centre to set up a Global Knowledge Support Service for Biodiversity, in particular to support Parties in the monitoring of implementation of the Global Biodiversity Framework. As part of the new biodiversity knowledge governance framework, the Commission has put in place a comprehensive indicator-based monitoring mechanism - EU Biodiversity dashboard and action tracker. The tool will be used for tracking EU and MS progress on global targets, facilitating the exchanges needed to fill some common knowledge gaps in the most cost-efficient way. 

Finally, the EU will continue working with partners, including as part of the Team Europe Initiative on deforestation-free supply chains launched at COP28, NaturAfrica and the Sustainable Cocoa Initiative. 

Further actions needed 

The CAP Strategic Plans have the potential to contribute to halting and reversing biodiversity loss, however the scale of biodiversity-related needs calls for greater coverage of more promising schemes. Major challenges also remain in terms of the status of farmland biodiversity. Effective implementation pf GBF requires the active engagement of all government, all society and all economy, mobilisation of resources from all sources and will need continued effort and leadership. The EU is currently analysing whether anything needs to be added or strengthened to effectively implement the GBF and is working together with other Parties and stakeholders to enable the full and swift implementation of GBF at global level. 

Next steps 

As agreed at CBD COP15, the EU will communicate its targets to the CBD ahead of CBD COP16 early in 2024, including an assessment of whether EU existing goals and targets are aligned with the GBF. All Parties are expected to do the same. This should allow to assess at COP16 whether the sum of all national targets suffice for achieving the global goals and targets. 

At CBD COP16, governments and stakeholders should demonstrate significant progress on all fronts, announcing strategies and action plans, as well as proving progress on resource mobilization, capacity building, access and benefit-sharing and monitoring. 

Background 

The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework agreed in December 2022 at the Biodiversity COP15 in Montreal contains global goals and targets aiming to protect and restore nature for current and future generations, ensure its sustainable use as well as spur investments for a green global economy. Together with the Paris Agreement on climate, it paves the way towards a climate-neutral, nature-positive and resilient world by 2050. COP28 helped to advance the momentum on the GBF with the joint declaration of UAE and China on Climate, Nature and People.   

The agreement is a solid framework with clear, measurable goals and targets, with complete monitoring, reporting, and review arrangements to track progress complemented by a robust resource mobilisation package. 

More than half of global GDP depends on ecosystem services. 70% of the world's most vulnerable people depend directly on wild species. The Kunming-Montreal agreement will accelerate ambitious policies around the world and mobilise financing for biodiversity from all sources – USD 200 billion per year by 2030. It commits the global community to actions to protect and restore nature and remove pollution – such as those that are part of the European Green Deal. This will ensure that nature continues sustaining societies, economies and communities for decades to come. 

More information 

Details

Publication date
19 December 2023
Author
Directorate-General for Environment

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