After the public hearing on ‘Facing the sixth mass extinction and increasing risk of pandemics: what role for the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030’ in the European Parliament, the rapporteur of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety of the European Parliament, Césare Luena (S&D), has presented the draft report on the Biodiversity Strategy on 13th of January 2021. The report underlines the importance of soil health on biodiversity and to combat against soil degradation and desertification.
The ENVI Committee ‘underlines that the Biodiversity Strategy’s actions must adequately tackle all five main direct drivers of change in nature: changes in land and sea use; direct exploitation of organisms; climate change; pollution; and invasive alien species.’ Referring to ‘changes in land and sea use’ and ‘Climate change’ the Committee
- highlights that soil biodiversity is the basis for key ecological processes; notes with concern the increased soil degradation and the lack of specific EU legislation; calls on the Commission to submit a legislative proposal for the establishment of a common framework for the protection and sustainable use of soil that includes a specific decontamination target,
- recalls that the EU has committed to achieving land degradation neutrality by 2030, but that this target is unlikely to be achieved; calls on the Commission, therefore, to present an EU-level strategy on desertification and land degradation, and
- expresses its concern that the majority of the ranges of terrestrial species will decrease significantly in a 1.5 to 2°C scenario; highlights, therefore, the need to prioritise nature-based solutions in meeting climate mitigation goals and in adaptation strategies and to increase the protection of natural carbon sinks in the EU.
The report has finally to be adopted in the plenary of the European Parliament in the next months. The report of the ENVI committee can be assessed here.