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Minister Mikkonen: European Commission’s strategy an important step to halt the decline in biodiversity

Ministry of the Environment 20.5.2020 13.55 | Published in English on 20.5.2020 at 14.10
Press release

“The Biodiversity Strategy 2030 published by the Commission today is a key element of the European Green Deal. It is absolutely vital to enhance the impact of the biodiversity targets through common Europe-wide policy actions that also promote the structural transition of society towards a low-carbon economy,” Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Krista Mikkonen says. 

The key message of the Commission Communication is that the measures to halt the decline in biodiversity must be speeded up and the impact of their implementation strengthened. The main content of the strategy covers measures with respect to both the network of nature reserves and to support ecological sustainability in different sectors. The aim is to introduce an extensive restoration programme to improve the ecological status of different kinds of terrestrial and aquatic habitats. The Communication also stresses the urgency of structural changes in society. 

“We must be able to tackle the causes behind the decline in biodiversity. In all activities, every effort must be made to minimise the negative impacts on biodiversity, or to find ways to compensate for these. In the EU, more attention should be paid to biodiversity especially in the agricultural and fisheries policy. The adverse impacts of consumption on biodiversity must be reduced, also outside the EU. With respect to the single market, we must find ways to give the private sector a more prominent role in the work on biodiversity,” minister Mikkonen says.

“As shown by the recent evaluation of the implementation our National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan and reports on the endangerment status of Finnish species and habitats, there is a lot of work to be done in Finland as well. A very positive observation was that during the present decade we would for the first time have the opportunity to reverse the declining trend in biodiversity and take ecologically sustainable solutions into use.”

The Biodiversity Strategy 2030 determines where Europe stands in view of the negotiations on biodiversity targets post-2020 under the UN Framework Convention on Biological Diversity. The countries of the world should agree on the new biodiversity targets in spring 2021. New targets are needed because the current ones have not been achieved.

“The fact that the implementation of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity has proven insufficient is quite alarming. This has led to further decline in the state of the natural environment, as well as made it even more difficult to reach the Sustainable Development Goals to 2030 and international objectives concerning climate change. According to the strategy, Europe must lead by example, especially in the international negotiations on biodiversity targets for the next period. The Biodiversity Strategy 2030 is well in line with the Conclusions adopted during Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the EU,” Minister Mikkonen says.

The Biodiversity Strategy 2030 is part of the European Green Deal. On 20 May, the EU also published a Communication on the Farm to Fork strategy concerning the food system that includes measures to enhance biodiversity in farming environments.

Inquiries: 

Kristiina Niikkonen, Senior Environmental Adviser, [email protected], +358 29 525 0198
Antti Heikkinen, Special Adviser to Minister Mikkonen, [email protected], +358 50 348 1406

Krista Mikkonen
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