New EU Biodiversity Strategy lacks bite


3rd May 2011

The European Commission’s new biodiversity strategy appears to fall short of delivering what is needed to protect Europe’s valuable natural resource base, says the European Environmental Bureau (EEB). The report, titled ‘Our Life insurance, our natural capital: an EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020’, was released today.

While being welcomed as a much needed step there is concern that the strategy will fail to inspire the action needed to tackle the alarming decline of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

“Today, biodiversity doesn’t simply mean the protection of rare plants and species; it’s about protecting a system people rely on to live. The costs of replacing nature’s free services would be devastating,” says Sarolta Tripolszky, Biodiversity Policy Officer at EEB.

An example would be the world’s dwindling bee population, where global insect pollination worldwide is estimated at €153 billion, equalling 10% of world agricultural output. [1]

EEB says the level of ambition is especially low for improving the status of European protected species and habitats and to upgrade agricultural practice. The green group says that while Europe consumes more than its fair share of the world’s resources, restoring biodiversity and ecosystems would be a difficult undertaking without policy developments in other areas.

The new Resource Efficiency Flagship initiative under the Europe 2020 agenda would help curb Europe’s overconsumption habits.

EEB will call on the European Parliament and European states to speak up for a reform of these policies in the upcoming debates on the new tools and instruments.


Sarolta Tripolszky, EEB biodiversity Policy Officer, +32 (0) 2289 10 93,

Simon Nazer, EEB Press Officer, +32 (0) 496 43 84 69,



[1] TEEB (2010) The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity: Mainstreaming the Economics of Nature: A synthesis of the approach, conclusions and recommendations of TEEB.