MONITORING THE ACHIEVEMENT OF POLICY TARGETS
The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, in Global Biodiversity Outlook 3 (2010), states that the global target of reducing the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010 has not been met. A new global-level vision and target were discussed at the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Nagoya, Japan in October 2010. Outcomes can be found here.
At the beginning of 2010, the European Commission outlined the policy options for the EU post-2010 actions on biodiversity, and set a new target for the protection of biodiversity by 2020. In response, the European Environment Agency (EEA) together with its European Topic Centre on Biological Diversity (ETC/BD) prepared the first EU Biodiversity Baseline against which progress in reaching the 2020 targets can be measured. The Baseline (to which ECNC contributed) is considered to be a high policy priority and will support the Commission's completion of a new EU Biodiversity Strategy. It will act as a basic reference for setting robust, well argued and reliable post-2010 biodiversity subtargets.
Another important study that will have significant impact on policymaking is the work on The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB). The value of a wide range of services provided by natural and semi-natural ecosystems has only recently become explicit but there is growing appreciation that the existence and value of ecosystem services need to be better reflected in national accounting processes and policymakers’ decision-making. However, there are significant gaps in the quantification and valuation of ecosystem services and the links between biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and services provision that need to be addressed.
With a Programme dedicated to Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity Assessment, ECNC contributes to the development of tools to monitor and inform about the status and trends of biodiversity and ecosystem services in Europe, in particular via indicators, monitoring methods, reporting and policy feedback.
Brief on climate change
ECNC believes that maintaining resilient ecosystems that can function as a resource for biodiversity, for mitigating climate change and as a source of enjoyment, recreation and economic benefit, is the key to addressing the challenge of climate change for the future of plant, animal and habitat diversity.
Brief on biosafety
The issue of genetically modified organisms (GMO) is one of the most important ones facing policy makers today. There are strongly held differences of opinion, and so far a lack of consensus between the European Union and the United States. Given the poor state of knowledge on the relation between GMOs and biodiversity, ECNC calls for careful analysis of possible impacts before any major policy decisions are taken to continue with GMOs.
Brief on ecosystem services
The natural environment provides people with goods and services that are fundamental to human well-being. These ‘ecosystem services’ are essential to society and, ultimately, all human welfare and livelihoods depend on them for fundamental necessities such as clean air, clean water and food production.