The EESC welcomes the Commission's efforts to develop a Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 as one of the paths towards the European Green Deal and the global biodiversity framework proposed by the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Efforts to protect remaining natural resources need to be significantly increased in the EU, through sustained awareness-raising and communication campaigns targeting society and in particular young people, highlighting the benefits of protection measures. To this end, the EESC considers it necessary, in agreement with the Commission, to increase the size of protected areas, in particular strictly protected areas, limiting the impact on agriculture and forestry as far as possible, although this will in no way be sufficient to halt the decline in biodiversity. This is why the EESC believes that there needs to be a significant increase in efforts to restore habitats and combat species decline caused mainly by poor implementation of the legal framework and insufficient funding for the necessary measures.
The EESC regrets that the EU's new financial plan 2021-2027 contains no sign of full, effective, consistent integration of biodiversity, and considers this to be a worrying indication that there are – yet again – significant discrepancies between words and actions.
The EESC stresses that farmers and forest owners cannot be expected to bear the cost of protecting biodiversity. Rather, providing this "public good and value" should become a useful source of income for them.
FAO: Highlights of FAO’s upcoming work on biodiversity