Biodiversity loss – A global problem that requires global solutions

Brussels, 06.10.2021. The European Parliament adopted the report on “The role of development policy in responding to biodiversity loss in developing countries”.

Manuela Ripa, MEP (ÖDP) commented: “I very much welcome this report, as the conservation of biodiversity as well as the creation of new spaces for biodiversity must be absolute core concerns of our development cooperation and the guiding principle of our global trade policy.”

Given the urgency of protecting and restoring biodiversity to mitigate the effects of climate change, the European Parliament presents with this report a holistic biodiversity strategy plan. The EU must extend its efforts to the international level and take greater account of biodiversity protection in its development cooperation. The NaturAfrica initiative, for example, aims to protect nature in Africa while promoting the role of indigenous peoples and local communities. The report calls for securing land rights for those whose livelihoods and survival depend on agriculture. Land grabbing not only threatens peoples’ livelihoods, but also deprives them of the opportunity to respond to biodiversity loss. Small farmers and indigenous peoples must also be allowed to save, use, exchange and sell their own seeds. This is currently not possible due to the use of genetically modified and patented seeds in development aid. Furthermore, the report urges the Commission to strengthen its free trade agreements with regard to biodiversity and sustainable development.

The report also addresses the export of pesticides and demands that development aid should not be used to promote genetic technologies. Manuela Ripa says: “The export of genetically modified (GMO) food and pesticides banned in the EU to developing countries must stop. A holistic, global approach is needed to respond to the alarming loss of biodiversity. Without intact global biodiversity, it is simply not possible to achieve the climate goals. The report sends an important signal in the direction of global climate protection!”