Jean Lambert, the Green MEP for London, has welcomed a report calling on the Commission to adopt a more ambitious approach to protecting biodiversity.
In this the International Year of Biodiversity, the EU has failed miserably in its attempts to halt the loss of biodiversity by the end of 2010 . This report, which was debated in a plenary session in Strasbourg yesterday, suggests the Commission’s target of halting the loss of biodiversity by the end of 2020 should be the absolute minimum requirement and there should be more emphasis on restoring biodiversity.
Jean said: “The loss of biodiversity is one of the greatest threats facing us today on all levels. 40 per cent of the world’s economy depends on the services provided by nature and yet tragically 30 per cent of biodiversity has been lost in the last 40 years. This loss is costing the EU a staggering 50 billion Euros a year, that’s one per cent of GDP, and this figure is only set to rise if we do not set more ambitious targets.
“I echo the suggestions of the report that we must move away from the fragmented approach of the past and implement a more coordinated, cross-border strategy if we are to reach our targets – after all nature does not respect borders. For this we must adopt an integrated approach that not only involves environmental policy, but fishery, agricultural and rural policy also.
“Furthermore, the conservation of biodiversity is not just a question of ecology; it is a question of morals and ethics. We have a social responsibility to leave a legacy for generations to enjoy and the Commission and national governments have a responsibility to facilitate this through ambitious, comprehensive legislation and adequate funding.”
Notes to Editors
 It was agreed at the European Summit in Gothenburg in 2001 to halt the loss of biodiversity by 2010 as part of a Sustainable Development Strategy
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