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European Law Monitor newsEuropean Commission welcomes European Parliament's report on Halting the Loss of Biodiversity

The Commission welcomes the report adopted on 22 May 2007 by the European Parliament on the Commission's Communication on 'Halting the Loss of Biodiversity by 2010 • and Beyond: Sustaining Ecosystem Services for Human Well-being'. The Commission shares the Parliament's strong concern at financial constraints to implementation and at the continuing loss of biodiversity and related decline of ecosystem services. It supports Parliament's position that the maintenance of ecosystem services should become a fundamental goal of all EU horizontal and sectoral policies.

Stavros Dimas, European Environment Commissioner said: "The Commission is pleased to note that the Parliament welcomes the Communication and its Action Plan to 2010 and Beyond, and calls for immediate and effective implementation at EU and Member State levels. The Commission shares with Parliament the recognition of the vital importance of healthy ecosystems for prosperity and wellbeing in the EU and worldwide and its profound concern at the continuing loss of biodiversity and the related decline of ecosystem services".

Member States urged to allocate necessary resources

On International Biodiversity Day, the Parliament adopted a report on the Commission's Communication on Halting the Loss of Biodiversity by 2010 • and Beyond. It urges Member States to align their actions with those of the Action Plan, and to extend this alignment down to regional and local levels. The Commission is seeking with Member States to put in place appropriate governance structures to oversee this alignment.

The Parliament expresses strong concern at financial constraints for support to Natura 2000 and other biodiversity actions in the Action Plan, resulting from Financial Framework decisions. The Commission shares this concern. It reaffirms the responsibility of Member States to take up and allocate adequate funds for biodiversity, and supports the enhanced consideration of biodiversity in the 2008 'health check' of the Common Agricultural Policy and the 2008-09 budget review. It is working with the German Presidency on an initiative to prepare an economic review of the costs of biodiversity loss and the consequent loss of ecosystem services • similar to the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change.

The Commission welcomes the Parliament's reaffirmation of the role and importance of the Natura 2000 network, and of the maintenance and recovery of biodiversity in the wider countryside and marine environment, in order to strengthen the resilience of ecosystems to climate change. This will be critical for climate change adaptation.

Parliament urges the EU to maintain a leadership role for effective implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The Commission is implementing a number of activities aimed at strengthening and implementing the CBD and related international agreements such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. The Commission is building sustainability into its trade agreements and is working to integrate biodiversity concerns into its country and regional assistance programmes.

Further information:

Commission home page on biodiversity

Commission communication on biodiversity

Convention on Biological Diversity

Reproduced with the permission of the European Commission REF IP/07/694