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).
The European Natura 2000 network provides job opportunities in sectors ranging from conservation and restoration, agriculture, forestry, fisheries to tourism, recreation, and health.
IEEP and partners evaluated EU biodiversity conservation funding, including the potential of novel financial instruments
IEEP and partners evaluate the EU funding landscape for biodiversity conservation. Could a new, dedicated EU fund for biodiversity address the existing financing gap?
Improving the use of biodiversity data to inform EU Member States’ Rural Development Programmes, and its use in environmental impact assessments and spatial planning
Improving access to nature can help address health and social challenges across Europe and reduce health inequalities.
A new article, published in Environment and Planning and co-authored by IEEP’s Marianne Kettunen, explores nature conservation practitioners’ views on green infrastructure, including opportunities and risks related to its implementation.
The CAP is failing to reward adequately those livestock farmers who produce public goods. Brexit and CAP reform are opportunities to do better.
IEEP contributed to a major international report leading to a UN Environment Assembly Resolution calling for global action on marine plastic litter and microplastics.
The UK’s action plan on sustainable use of pesticides aims to reduce the risks and impacts of pesticide use on the environment and encourage alternative approaches and techniques. How is the UK doing?
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?
IEEP’s work on innovative financing for EU biodiversity conservation was presented in Cancun, Mexico at the 13th Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.
The Nature Directives (i.e. Birds Directive and Habitats Directive) are the key instruments of EU environmental policy; the Fitness Check support study, carried out by Milieu, IEEP and ICF for the European Commission DG-ENV, examined their effectiveness, efficiency, relevance, EU-added value and their coherence with the wider acquis.
Ecological Focus Areas are intended to safeguard and improve biodiversity on arable farms in the EU. What evidence is there that they are actually delivering biodiversity on farmland?
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.
Protecting nature and biodiversity is helping to tackle urgent health and social challenges across Europe. A new IEEP study shows how urban, suburban and rural green areas bring multiple and often overlooked benefits to society.
Voluntary biodiversity offsetting was piloted in six English areas by local planning authorities and stakeholder organisations who agreed to take part in the government programme. IEEP and Collingwood Environmental Planning, together with David Tyldesley, assessed the UK government programme from 2012 to 2014.
The study reviews evidence of the impacts of UK's low carbon energy policy on biodiversity in the UK and abroad, and incorporates biodiversity effects of low carbon energy scenarios into the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change 2050 pathway calculator tool.
IEEP explores the multiple benefits of nature, showing that health, social and economic benefits can complement biodiversity’s intrinsic value.
They are more than just a nature conservation tool – a study by IEEP shows how EU Marine Protected Areas help to maintain and improve the provision of a wide range of ecosystem services and related socio-economic benefits.