09 Jun Finally binding: Biodiversity Strategy sets ambitious basis for protecting our ecosystems
Strasbourg, 08.06.2021 – The European Parliament has adopted the Environment Committee’s report on the “EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2030: putting nature back into our lives”.
In doing so, it reaffirms and complements the objectives to protect and restore biodiversity as set out in the Commission’s strategy communicated in May 2020.
“I am very happy with the outcome of the vote. We win a binding biodiversity law in line with the climate law, which significantly increases the effectiveness of biodiversity policy and the implementation of the targets. The European Parliament is finally initiating the urgently needed change to ensure the survival of many species and the resilience of our planet” said ÖDP MEP Manuela Ripa.
Strict protection of existing areas, reforestation and renaturation targets as well as soil protection and a significant reduction in the use of pesticides and fertilisers are just some of the targets that the Commission will translate into binding nature restoration targets by the end of 2021.
And a breakthrough was also achieved in the area of international trade: Among other things, the paper contains binding and enforceable chapters on sustainable trade development, including deterrent sanctions as well as the reintroduction of tariffs in case of non-compliance.
“Fair trade instead of free trade” is the motto of the Ecological Democratic Party (ÖDP). Manuela Ripa welcomes the new positions all the more: “Free trade agreements cause a massive loss of biodiversity, accelerate the spread of pandemics and undermine our sustainability goals. With the Biodiversity Strategy, we not only recognise these harmful impacts, but also provide concrete recommendations that can be built upon!”
With the import ban on wildlife and other species from areas where infectious diseases occur, pandemics, invasive diseases and zoonoses can be contained and prevented in the future. In addition, the revision of the directive on environmental crime, the punishment of environmental crimes and a protocol on wildlife crime to the UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime will also be initiated.
With the petition for a referendum on biodiversity, which it initiated, and the European Citizens’ Initiative “Save the Bees!”, the ÖDP laid the foundations for the path to the biodiversity strategy at an early stage.
“It shows that citizen participation is worthwhile! We need more instruments of direct democracy to make citizens’ concerns better heard,” Manuela Ripa is convinced of the citizens’ initiative instrument.
You can follow all the #debates and #votes here: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/plenary/de/home.html