Biodiversity conservation, EU biodiversity strategy

Biodiversity conservation is one of today's priorities. But what does the expression biodiversity mean?

Biodiversity refers to the diversity of life on Earth, including species diversity, genetic diversity within species and diversity of ecosystems. An ecosystem is a complex unit of a habitat (physical environment) and the living organisms (associations) populate the habitat. Living and non-living environmental factors interact and change dynamically in an ecosystem.

Crop production, and in particular modern crop production practices (e.g. monoculture, inappropriate tillage, use of fertilizers instead of harmonious nutrient cycles in organic farming, use of other chemicals, etc.), result in a significant loss of biodiversity.

More than 50 % of Hungary's land is agricultural land. As the amount of land under cultivation increases, the area of natural habitats is being reduced. Natural ecosystems are characterized by a network of species and individuals, which ensures the stability of the system. A loss of biodiversity increases the vulnerability of an ecosystem.

Biodiversity loss also makes agricultural production impossible. To give just the most obvious examples, a reduction in the species and number of pollinating insects threatens crop fixation, while changes in the species richness and species composition of soil macro- and micro-organisms directly reduce soil productivity.

The EU's biodiversity strategy has set the goal of restoring Europe's biodiversity by 2030.

The strategy sets targets and commitments in four areas:

  1. Coherent network of protected areas:
  • Achieve 30% of protected areas in Europe
  • One third of these should be strictly protected areas
  • Effective management of protected areas

 

  1. EU recovery plan:
  • Restoration and sustainable management of nature, with legally binding targets
  • following an impact assessment, propose legally binding EU nature restoration targets in 2021
  • restoring degraded carbon-rich ecosystems
  • to ensure that there is no deterioration in habitat and species trends and conservation status and that at least 30 % of species and habitats with a conservation status other than currently favourable reach favourable conservation status or at least show an improving trend
  • increase pollinator population sizes
  • reduce the use and risk of chemical pesticides by 50% and the use of the most harmful pesticides by 50%
  • at least 25% of agricultural land should be under organic management
  • agroecological practices should become more widespread
  • progress in the restoration of contaminated land
  • planting 3 billion new trees
  • restoring at least 25 000 km of unregulated river water
  • Red List species threatened by invasive species reduced by 50%
  • fertilizer-use reduced by at least 20 %
  • European cities with 20,000 or more inhabitants should have a large-scale urban greening plan by the end of 2021
  • negative impacts of fishing and extraction activities on sensitive species and habitats should be significantly reduced

3. Promotion of transformative changes:

  • Ensuring compliance with biodiversity commitments
  • Strengthening biodiversity knowledge, research, financing and investments

4. Supporting the restoration of global biodiversity:

  • Taking the lead in establishing a global biodiversity framework
  • Using foreign policy instruments to protect biodiversity
  • Implementing international cooperations

Biodiversity conservation is in our common interest!

Sources:

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legalcontent/HU/TXT/?uri=celex%3A52020DC0380

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Grant programme: Erasmus+ programme (KA220-VET - Cooperation partnerships in vocational education and training)

Project interval: 1 November 2021 / 31 October 2024
Project identifier: Erasmus+ 2021-1-HU01-KA220-VET-000034777

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