Biodiversity policy in Europe is shaped by two major sets of documents: The EU Biodiversity Strategy of 1998 and the EU-Commission's communication on halting the loss of biodiversity until 2010.
The Biodiversity Strategy (COM1998/42) was developed following the obligation of the EU as contracting party of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). It describes how the EU is aiming at conserving biodiversity and using it in a sustainable way. The Strategy was later complemented by 4 sector-specific Biodiversity Action Plans (COM2001/162), covering the areas of conservation of natural resources, agriculture, fisheries, and economic and development cooperation.
Noting the ongoing loss of biodiversity, the EU organised in 2005 a multi-stakeholder conference to discuss the further actions needed to address the 2010 target in Europe. The results of this conference, held in Malahide, Ireland, were endorsed by the EU, supporting the development of the Biodiversity Communication of 2006.
The Biodiversity Communication 2006 (COM2006/216) complements the European Biodiversity Strategy. The progress of implementation of the action plan is monitored by regular reports, with the first one published at the end of 2007.
The ten objectives of the communication cover:
The Communication also recognises the need for four supporting measures relating to adequate financing, strengthening EU decision-making, building partnerships, and promoting public education, awareness, and participation.
- most important habitats and species;
- the wider countryside;
- the marine environment;
- regional development;
- impacts of invasive alien species;
- effective international governance;
- support to biodiversity in international development;
- reducing negative impacts of international trade;
- adaptation to climate change; and
- strengthening the knowledge base.