Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
Biodiversity & Land Use
Much of Europe’s biodiversity is associated with ecosystems that have arisen from, or are profoundly affected by, human land uses, particularly agriculture and forestry. IEEP has been involved in land use issues since its inception and in recognition of its biodiversity importance pioneered the High Nature Value (HNV) farming concept. It has also been at the forefront of developing policy responses to maintain HNV farming, and to reduce the negative environmental impacts of other agricultural systems, through high-level advice on reform of the Common Agricultural Policy and the improvement of specific instruments such as cross-compliance standards and agri-environment schemes. We have recently drawn this work together in major reviews of how biodiversity and agriculture interact for the European Commission and the European Parliament.
Tackling biodiversity declines in many agricultural and forest habitats is a major challenge as policy measures are required to support some land-use practices that are marginally economic and to regulate others that typically increase production and profitability. IEEP has helped to address this through practical guidance on policy implementation, including training on agri-environment scheme establishment and the management of farmland within the Natura 2000 network. We are currently investigating the potential advantages and disadvantages of result-based agri-environment schemes - see our web platform for information and guidance.
We have a growing area of work on bioenergy and biofuels, as their production has increased greatly, leading to significant biodiversity impacts within the EU, but particularly elsewhere, such as biodiversity-rich areas in South America. IEEP has developed policies and tools to protect biodiversity from the negative impacts of bioenergy and biofuel production, including land use mapping and defining criteria to protect highly biodiverse grasslands.
Today we celebrate the International Day for Biological Diversity aiming at increasing understanding of the diversity of life on the planet and awareness of its importance for human development. IEEP takes the opportunity to share some key positive lessons from recent EU biodiversity action and identify key remaining challenges towards 2030.
Moving the CAP towards a focus on performance is a positive step towards aligning agriculture payments more seriously with the delivery of environmental and climate outcomes. But is there a need to ensure that the environmental priorities identified are sufficiently ambitious and that Member States are held accountable?
IEEP's new paper, "Ideas for defining environmental objectives and monitoring systems for a results-oriented CAP post 2020", suggests a way forward.
A newly published study for the European Commission by IEEP and partners investigates civil society’s role in improving the effectiveness of environmental taxes to reduce pollution and better manage natural resources.
IEEP held a one-day conference in Brussels on 5 October 2017 to present the findings of a major study for the European Commission on the use of market-based instruments to address pollution and resource use.
Sowing the seeds of optimism for Europe’s biggest environmental challenges. This article is based on an interview between IEEP Executive Director, Céline Charveriat, and Debating Europe – a citizen’s forum for European issues.
The UK’s action plan on sustainable use of pesticides aims to reduce the impacts of pesticide use on the environment and encourage alternative approaches. How is the UK doing and how could Brexit change the government’s approach to pesticides?
Ecological Focus Areas are intended to safeguard and improve biodiversity on arable farms in the EU. This IEEP study for EEB and BirdLife examined the evidence for potential biodiversity impacts on farmland, taking into account how the areas are being managed.
A new article by IEEP explores the use of result-based agri-environment measures in the region of Baden-Württemberg, Germany. The study shows that result-based schemes can increase the environmental effectiveness and conditionality of the EU Common Agricultural Policy.
Claude Turmes MEP hosted an event launching both IEEP’s report and a debate on the future of renewable energy in Europe. In the our report IEEP present how a resource efficient energy system might be delivered in a way that minimises impact on biodiversity and the wider environment.
Drawing on recent work by the Institute, IEEP’s Patrick ten Brink will present at Green Week 2015 on Jobs & Growth through Green Infrastructure (3 June 2015 - 16:30-18:00, Session 2.2) and on Health and Social Benefits of Nature and Biodiversity Protection (4 June 2015 - 09:30-11:00, Session 3.3).
IEEP’s Patrick ten Brink presented on Nature and its Role in the Transition to a Green Economy at the TEEB Multi-stakeholder International Workshop held on 21-22 January in Beijing, China. The talk contributed to current discussions in China on how decision-makers can better consider the multiple values of nature and ecosystems, with a focus on protected areas.
This is a chapter of IEEP’s Manual of European Environmental Policy. In this chapter the development of the EU biodiversity policy framework is explored, including the Birds and Habitats Directive and other legislation on Genetically Modified Organisms, for example.
The landmark international forum on protected areas - IUCN World Parks Congress (WPC) – will take place in in Sydney 12 – 19 November. IEEP’s Marianne Kettunen will be attending the event, showcasing and drawing lessons from IEEP’s longstanding work on protected areas.
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.