Brussels, March 15 – 2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity, and also the year in which the EU aimed and failed to halt the loss of biodiversity.
The new EU 2020 strategy1 being discussed today by the EU heads of state at the Spring Council will dominate EU policy for the coming years. Yet, there is virtually no mention of biodiversity or of ecosystem services in the text. This comes despite the high priority assigned to this issue by the EU Environment Council and the recognition that cross-sectoral integration of biodiversity into overall policy is essential to halt degradation of biodiversity and ecosystem services.
Friedrich Wulf, European biodiversity campaign coordinator said, "In the year of biodiversity, the EU has not only failed to halt biodiversity loss, but seems intent on brushing biodiversity aside in the future as well. Nature needs protecting not only for its own sake but also because it provides society with all its essential life-support systems. It is astounding that European leaders like Barroso and Merkel fail to recognise the importance of biodiversity's integration into the European overall strategy up to 2020."