Written Answer to Question: Commission assessment of progress in curbing biodiversity loss and meeting objectives and obligations under the Birds and Habitats Directives

Answer given by Mr Vella on behalf of the European Commission to a question (Rule 130) by Margrete Auken (Verts/ALE) on ‘Commission assessment of progress in curbing biodiversity loss and meeting objectives and obligations under the Birds and Habitats Directives’.

Answer given by Mr Vella on behalf of the European Commission

The Commission, with the assistance of the European Environment Agency, is currently assessing the most recent scientific information on the status and trends of EU protected species and habitat types based on the six year reporting by Member States pursuant to Article 17 of the Habitats Directive(1) and Article 12 of the Birds Directive(2). The Commission will publish the results of this assessment in the second half of 2020 as part of a broader evaluation of implementation of the EU Biodiversity Strategy. This will provide an objective scientific basis to determine progress towards halting and reversing biodiversity loss in the EU.

Whereas achieving the overall objectives of the Habitats and Birds Directives are not time-bound, key provisions such as designation of Special Areas of Conservation and establishment of the necessary conservation measures have deadlines. Target 1 of the current EU Biodiversity Strategy already aims at significant improvements in the conservation status of protected species and habitat types set on the EU level.

In preparation of the post 2020 EU biodiversity policy, the Commission together with the Member States is considering possible national recovery targets. In addition, a new format has been agreed with Member States to strategically set out funding needs and priorities for the management and restoration of Natura 2000 and related Green Infrastructure. This should help enable better targeting of resources and uptake of different EU funds for nature under the next multiannual financial framework, including under the Common Agricultural Policy post-2020.

(1) Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and
flora. OJ L 206, 22.7.1992.
(2) Council Directive 2009/147/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 November 2009 on the
conservation of wild birds (codified version).


Question for written answer P-002187/2019
to the Commission
Rule 130
Margrete Auken (Verts/ALE)

Subject: Commission assessment of progress in curbing biodiversity loss and meeting objectives and obligations under the Birds and Habitats Directives

Neither the Habitats Directive nor the Birds Directive sets specific deadlines or milestones for achieving favourable conservation status for species whose conservation status is unfavourable.

Aichi Target 3 under the Convention on Biological Diversity is to ensure that negative incentives for biodiversity are replaced by positive incentives by 2020 at the latest.

Will the Commission provide its assessment, based on current scientific evidence, as to whether the EU will have halted the decline in biodiversity for plant and animal species by 2020? On that basis, will the Commission provide a factual and objective assessment of whether the introduction of a specific obligation for individual Member States to set binding targets with deadlines (e.g. through management plans) for species with unfavourable conservation status would facilitate achievement of favourable conservation status for those species at both Member State and Union level? Will the Commission provide a factual assessment of the scope for Member States to be given more positive incentives to implement the objectives of the directives and the EU Biodiversity Strategy as regards measures to improve the conservation status of endangered species, and will the Commission say whether it will consider strengthening arrangements for handling species-specific interventions and issues under the common agricultural policy and the LIFE programme?

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