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13.12.2010 / News - EU Level

Assessing biodiversity in Europe- the 2010 Report

The new report from the EEA "Assessing biodiversity in Europe – the 2010 report" considers the status and trends of Pan-European biodiversity in a range of ecosystems, and the implications of these trends for biodiversity management policy and practice.

European biodiversity has declined dramatically in the last two centuries. Today, most of Europe's biodiversity exists within a mosaic of heavily managed land and highly exploited seascapes, largely linked to agricultural, forestry and fishery practices across the region. Major threats include habitat destruction and fragmentation, establishment and spread of invasive species, pollution from agricultural runoff, increasing water abstraction, over exploitation, and the increasing impact of climatic change.
The new report from the European Environment Agency "Assessing biodiversity in Europe – the 2010 report" considers the status and trends of Pan-European biodiversity in a range of ecosystems, and the implications of these trends for biodiversity management policy and practice. It makes use of "Streamlining European 2010 Biodiversity Indicators" (SEBI 2010) as well as other relevant national and regional information sources. This report confirms the finding of the EEA's 2009 report 'Progress towards the European 2010 biodiversity target' (EEA, 2009a) that Europe will not achieve its target of halting biodiversity loss by 2010. The policies adopted and implemented at international and European levels have had positive impacts on some aspects of biodiversity. For example, forest cover has significantly increased in the last two decades across northern Europe and the status of many waterways has improved as a result of reduced industrial and agricultural pollution. Recovery plans implemented for many threatened species have also had some success.
The following summarized recommendations are presented in the report:

Conservation measures, where implemented successfully, have had positive impacts. However, a large proportion of habitats and species still have an unfavourable conservation status, indicating the need to intensify conservation efforts.
- Conservation activities alone are insufficient to address biodiversity loss because many of the causes emanate from sectors beyond the control of conservation interventions. Other sectors impacting biodiversity, such as trade, agriculture, fisheries, transport, health, tourism and the financial sector must take the economic value of biodiversity into account and be reshaped to support biodiversity conservation.
-  Policies and measures to address biodiversity loss must be formulated to address all the pressures and threats on an ecosystem, disregarding administrative boundaries on land and at sea, while ensuring cooperation across economic sectors.
-  Filling knowledge gaps through further monitoring, research and assessment will enable better decision-making and policies on European biodiversity.
-  Policy framework should be complemented by efforts to raise public awareness aimed at encouraging individual action and to boost public opinion for changes in policy.
Find the complete report here: www.eea.europa.eu/publications/assessing-biodiversity-in-europe-84