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).
In environmental terms there are at least two ways of looking at the prospects for 2018. Viewed through the rather sober lens of EU process, it has the look of a project completion and tidying up period with limited long term impetus to the last full year of the current European Parliament and Commission.
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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.
Based on the views of 50 EU experts, this report explores the use of ecosystem services in pursuit of a greener Blue Economy in Europe.
Pollinator insects are essential to ecosystems and agriculture, but their populations are in decline. How can this issue be tackled in Europe? Your chance to reply.
The EU contributes to halting the global loss of biodiversity through conservation efforts within its own territory as well as at the global level. IEEP’s Marianne Kettunen explores the EU’s external biodiversity policy, arguing the need for a more coherent framework and effective implementation – and making the policy integral to EU’s action on SDGs at the global level.
In a published letter to The Guardian, IEEP's Alan Buckwell argues it is incorrect to describe payments to farmers who manage land for biodiversity and the ecosystem services it provides as "subsidies".
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.
On Wednesday 15th of November the European Parliament is expected to adopt a resolution on an EU Action Plan for nature, people and the economy. The Action Plan, intended to boost the implementation of the EU’s Birds and Habitats Directives, was presented by the European Commission in April this year following an in-depth fitness check.
The Commission’s renewed strategy on EU outermost regions puts forward a new approach to foster development and appears rather ‘green’, acknowledging the ORs’ rich biodiversity as a unique natural asset.
Gemma Darwin interviews IEEP’s principal policy analyst, Marianne Kettunen, to find out more about the highs and lows of a career in environmental policy.
The EU’s Regulation on invasive alien species outlines actions to deal with one of the world’s biggest threats to biodiversity, but are there still hurdles to overcome?
IEEP and partners produce a suite of 40 case studies on economic instruments from around the EU that address pollution and resource use.
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 interview can be viewed here.
IEEP and partners compare innovative biodiversity financing mechanisms in the EU and Mexico and suggest recommendations for mutual learning.
IEEP and partners compared innovative biodiversity conservation funding mechanisms in the EU and Mexico.
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?