Our work supports the EU's objective of halting the loss of biodiversity and the degradation of ecosystem services by 2020. This includes assessing the costs and socio-economic benefits of conserving biodiversity and associated ecosystem services, and developing evidence-based polices that help implement and finance EU biodiversity conservation measures.
IEEP has extensive experience of biodiversity-related policy analysis in agricultural, freshwater and marine ecosystems and has pioneered measures to tackle invasive alien species and the impacts of climate change on biodiversity.
We primarily work on policy analysis and development projects for the European Commission, but also contribute to the biodiversity conservation work of national governments, NGOs and other international governmental organisations.
The EU has a relatively well-established biodiversity conservation policy framework, now formalised in the 2010 EU Biodiversity Strategy, at the heart of which are the Habitats Directive and Birds Directive, which have created the Natura 2000 network – the largest network of protected areas in the world. These Directives include legislative measures that require Member States to conserve and restore EU threatened habitats and species, both within Natura 2000 sites but also where necessary in the wider environment. The Biodiversity Strategy also includes targets that aim to restore ecosystems and their services, support the biodiversity conservation measures in agricultural, forest and marine ecosystems, address alien invasive species and reduce the EU’s external impacts on global biodiversity.
Despite this impressive framework ecosystems continue to be degraded and biodiversity is still being lost. This is due to slow, incomplete or inappropriate implementation, including weak enforcement, a lack of funding, and some important policy gaps.
A fundamental problem continues to be the undervaluation of biodiversity and its limited capture in economic systems. Therefore a key area of our work is demonstrating the value of biodiversity and ecosystem services to clearly show that biodiversity is worthy of protection, for its own sake and for its contribution to human well-being. This understanding is the basis for the development of policies that aim to support the conservation and restoration of biodiversity, for example through better regulations, cost-effective public funding (such as agri-environment schemes and other EU funds) and innovative market-based instruments (such as payments for ecosystem services and biodiversity offsets).
An updated ‘Financing Natura 2000 Guidance Handbook’ aims to inform national stakeholders about opportunities for financing the management of Natura 2000 sites through various EU funds during the 2014-2020 period.
A coalition of the UK’s leading environmental groups, including IEEP, is calling for all political parties to commit to a greener Britain by 2020 by pledging seven major priorities to reform the way we use energy, build communities and protect nature.
New guidance for farmland management in Natura 2000 gives agricultural and conservation authorities a step-by-step guide to management and funding measures and practical advice on habitat and species management.
A range of examples exist around the world on innovative instruments that can finance, cover or recover the costs of policy action on invasive alien species. A review by IEEP and partners identifies a number of such examples and assesses their pros and cons.
This study reviews Member States’ estimates of the extent of HNV farmland and use of RDP measures and the CMEF indicators, then identifies future priorities for CAP support for HNV farming and discusses the support opportunities under the reformed CAP. It offers detailed new evidence about the combined effect of Pillar 1 and Pillar 2 CAP payments on the economic and environmental viability of a typical HNV farming system in three Member States.
A new IEEP led study concludes that mandatory biodiversity offsetting is required to achieve no net loss of biodiversity in the EU, but its introduction could be counter-productive if it is not introduced cautiously and regulated strictly. The first priority should be to better implement existing nature conservation measures.
The European Parliament and the Council have agreed on a final text for the EU regulation on invasive alien species (IAS). Given the difficulties in negotiating the deal, the final text can be considered as a reasonable compromise. When adopted, the regulation will provide a long-awaited framework for addressing IAS at EU level.
The UK Government’s Balance of Competences review has now taken evidence on 25 subject areas, including the 6 with the most relevance for the Environment. We take stock of the IEEP’s contributions, and consider what a possible UK renegotiation might mean for the environment.
How should Europe respond to the increased demands on our food and agriculture systems arising from global population growth, changing diets, and competing demands on agricultural land? This report offers a view on how the EU could play a role in meeting these challenges in the coming decades and sets out some of the options which merit particular attention.
IEEP presents views on how Europe should respond to the increased demands on our food and agriculture systems arising from global population growth, changing diets, and competing demands on agricultural land.
Thursday 12th December: IEEP and UNEP are hosting two webinar discussions on the values of water and wetlands and how to mainstream these values into policy-making in order to promote wise use and management.
A webinar on social and economic benefits of protected landscapes was organised by Europarc Atlantic Isles on 20 November. IEEP’s Marianne Kettunen kicked off the event by a European overview and some key considerations of assessing benefits in practice.
IEEP’s Marianne Kettunen outlined key perspectives on the valuation of coastal and marine ecosystem services in a regional workshop on the Valuation of Marine and Coastal Ecosystem Services in the Baltic Sea, Stockholm (7-8 Nov 2013)
The latest edition of IEEP's newsletter is out. Director David Baldock reflects on 40 years of EU environmental policy, plus an update on biofuels policy, costs and benefits of energy savings, developing Natural Captal accounts, and much more...
What should be Europe’s role in feeding the world in 2050? This IEEP report for the European Parliament describes options for increasing the productivity of European agriculture whilst adapting to climate change, reducing emissions, and providing biodiversity and ecosystem service benefits from agriculture.
What should be Europe’s role in feeding the world in 2050, considering competing demands for land? This IEEP report for the European Parliament describes options for reusing food wastes and agricultural and forestry residues for biomaterials and bioenergy.