EU Parliament calls for EU agriculture and budget to better protect biodiversity
Sabien Leemans, Senior Biodiversity Policy Officer at WWF said:
“We are pleased to see that the Parliament is supporting the EU action plan to step up the implementation of the EU nature laws. And most importantly, MEPs are highlighting that the fight against nature loss will require more action and political will. Tackling the impact of unsustainable agriculture in the next CAP reform and investing more EU funds in nature protection will be crucial.”
While the Commission is expected to present its Communication on the Common Agricultural Policy reform (29 November), the European Parliament underlined the worrying decline in species and habitats associated with unsustainable agriculture, and the need for the next CAP to support sustainable farming practices and halt harmful subsidies.
The Parliament also underlined the crucial need for increased financing towards biodiversity protection coming from the next EU Budget. WWF welcomes the call for new financial mechanisms for biodiversity conservation and for dedicated envelopes for biodiversity and Natura 2000 management to be included in the rural and regional development and agricultural funds.
WWF is also pleased to see the continuous support from the Parliament for the introduction of a pollinators strategy to halt the dramatic loss in pollinators like bees, and a TEN-G initiative (Trans European Network for Green Infrastructure) to improve connectivity within the Natura 2000 network of protected areas.
MEPs also mentioned the challenges due to the comeback of large carnivores in Europe. For WWF the return of species like bears and wolves once almost extinct is a success story showing that investment in nature conservation and cooperation between different stakeholders work. Possible conflicts can be minimised with public support for preventive measures to protect livestock and for appropriate compensation schemes."
 The ‘EU Action Plan was adopted by the Commission in April as a result of the fitness check evaluation of the EU Nature Directives that confirmed the directives as fit for purpose and highlighted the need for substantial improvement in their implementation.