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Enforce

Read more on our specific demands to Enforce:

References

[1]   Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) (2019) Summary for policymakers of the global assessment report on biodiversity and ecosystem services of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. IPBES secretariat, Bonn, Germany. 56 pages. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3553579

[2] European Parliament (2019) Resolution on the 15th meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity. EUP, Brussels, Belgium. (2019/2824(RSP))

 

[3] European Parliament and European Council  (2009) Directive 2009/147/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the conservation of wild birds. EUP, Brussels, Belgium.

[4] European Council (1992) Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora. EUC, Brussels, Belgium.

[5] BirdLife International (2019) Position Paper:  The EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2030. BirdLife International Europe and Central Asia office. 32 pages. 

[6] European Council (1999) Council Directive 1999/22/EC relating to the keeping of wild animals in zoos. EUC, Brussels, Belgium. 

[7] European Parliament and European Council (2000) Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy. EUP, Brussels, Belgium. 

[8] European Parliament and European Council (2014) Regulation (EU) No 1143/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the prevention and management of the introduction and spread of invasive alien species. EUP, Brussels, Belgium. 

[9] Client Earth (2020) EU announces legal action against Romania for illegal logging of Europe’s last natural forests. London, UK.

[10] United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) (2019) Convention concerning the protection of the world cultural and natural heritage- World Heritage Committee - Forty-third session. Paris, France. 346 pages. 

[11] Client Earth (2020) How to better use  EU citizens’ money in fisheries beyond 2020. London, UK. 18 pages.

[12] European Environmental Agency (EEA) (2020) Abundance and distribution of selected European species - Indicator assessment. Copenhagen, Denmark. 18 pages.

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Following the urgency to halt biodiversity loss, the European Parliament adopted an ambitious resolution on the 15th meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity [2], calling for better enforcement of EU nature protection laws. This European strategy for a greener Europe will indeed require a significant step forward in its implementation and enforcement mechanisms, which have been painfully missing for the past ten years of EU environmental policies. We therefore call for a clear enforcement strategy in order for these green ambitions to finally become reality.

Enforcement means the act of compelling observance of or compliance to a law, rule, or obligation; a valuable and significant tool to ensure the proper implementation of legal provisions. This doesn’t necessarily refer to new legislation only. Experts agree that the Birds (1979) [3] and Habitats (1992) [4] Directives, the oldest European legislation on biodiversity, are fit for purpose [5]. Likewise, the Zoos Directive (1999) [6], Water Framework Directive (2000) [7] and the Regulation on Invasive Alien Species Directive (2014)[8] can all  significantly contribute to reverting the biodiversity crisis.

 

So why are we still seeing excessive logging in Natura 2000 sites in Romania [9] and Poland? [10] How come France and Spain fail to use the EU Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) in conservation efforts to end overfishing and restore the marine environment, but instead have continued to give “harmful subsidies” to fund costs such as engine replacement or modernisation of vessels, contributing to overfishing? [11] Why does biodiversity continue to decline dramatically across Europe and the world [1, 12]? The EU and its member states are clearly lacking focus when it comes to the execution of these Directives, especially at a national level. Member States have a crucial role and responsibility in the implementation, however the European Commission must be more vigilant and active on the monitoring of this implementation. 

 

We are asking the EU to create an efficient system of law enforcement and accountability. We call for:

  • More knowledge of Member States’ context and specific needs to improve implementation and sincere cooperation

  • Member States to be responsible and follow through on their environmental promises.

  • The creation of an effective monitoring and sanctioning system.