The CoR opinion the contribution of EU cities and regions to the CBD COP14 and the post-2020 EU Biodiversity Strategy aims to:
provide an analysis of the current state of play in meeting biodiversity targets in Europe and across the globe;
suggest actions and responsibilities until 2020, highlighting the central Role of Local and Regional Authorities in the Implementation of the CBD Strategic Plan and the EU Biodiversity Strategy up to 2020;
formulate recommendations on the main negotiation area for the post-2020 policy framework.
Following the adoption of the CoR opinion, the rapporteur shared the text with the European Commission and with the Secretariat of the UN CBD, as well as with internationally recognised organisations in view of its participation to the 14th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (UN CBD COP14) that took place in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, 17-29 November 2018.
He represented the CoR in high-level panel debates, and during bilateral meetings with high-level figures on international biodiversity scene. The CoR's participation at the CBD COP14 in Egypt can be therefore considered as a great success: a very high impact for the CoR in the UN CBD COP context.
Furthermore, the CoR opinion on biodiversity has become well known and appreciated by participants to the Summit. The CoR is recognized as a major actor on the subnational governmental level in the EU. During the Summit, the rapporteur received positive feedback on the CoR proposal to explicitly recognise the indispensable role of local and regional authorities in achieving a successful implementation of current and future global and European policies on biodiversity. The CoR has been recognized as major actor on the subnational governmental level in the EU, and it is now fully involved in the EU and international policy context for the post-2020 framework on biodiversity.
Currently, CoR and the European Commission are cooperating on the evaluation process of the 2020 EU Biodiversity Strategy and the development of the post-2020 biodiversity policy framework.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS:
- acknowledges that despite the uniqueness of biodiversity in Europe, recent scientific assessments warn that biodiversity and ecosystem services are threatened by degradation and are declining;
- highlights that a relevant input in inversing some of the negative biodiversity trends is represented by national and international preservation and conservation policies adopted and enforced in recent years;
- considers necessary to increase the efforts to implement the current Strategic Plan 2011-2020, and EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020;
- believes that the post-2020 biodiversity policy framework should be ambitious both at global and European level;
- calls on the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to recognise explicitly the indispensable the role of local and regional authorities in achieving a successful implementation of the current and future global and European policies on biodiversity;
- calls on the European Commission to propose a comprehensive plan for coordinated awareness raising and engagement at the national and subnational levels in the run up to COP 14 and COP 15 so that the CoR and local and regional authorities can better identify opportunities for synergies and engagement of partners;
- offers its support to the European Commission for the preparation of the post-2020 EU Strategy on Biodiversity.