Mainstreaming Biodiversity into other EU Policies


A sustainable way of life can only be achieved if all European policies fully reflect the importance and value of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Examples of policies that attempt to achieve this include:


Resource Efficiency (RE):  The resource-efficient Europe strategy is one of seven flagship initiatives under Europe2020  the EU's growth strategy for the coming decade. The strategy establishes resource efficiency as the guiding principle for EU policies on biodiversity, agriculture, fisheries, climate change, industry, commodities, energy, transport and regional development. It aims to decouple economic growth from resource depletion by endorsing the integration of environmental protection policy into all areas of EU activity to ensure sustainable use of natural resources.   


Sustainable development: Sustainable development became an overarching objective of EU policy in 1997 through the Treaty of Amsterdam. The 2001 EU Sustainable Development Strategy strengthened the objectives and aimed to improve quality of life, manage and use resources better, make use of ecological and social innovation and ensure prosperity, environmental protection and social cohesion. In 2009 the EU published a reviewed Sustainable Development Strategy and has since been working to embed the principles of sustainable development into all its policies. The EU Sustainable Development Strategy added environmental protection as a third dimension to the EU strategy for economic growth and social renewal – previously referred to as the ‘Lisbon Strategy’. In 2010, this strategy was superseded by Europe 2020, which sets out how the EU intends to achieve a “smart, sustainable and inclusive” economy in the coming decade.


Sustainable consumption and production: Sustainable Consumption and Procurement is one theme within the EU Sustainable Development Strategy. Increasing resource use and production of waste compounds pressures on natural resources, the environment and biodiversity. The EU has developed a range of instruments and policy areas to address consumption and production issues, including Green Public Procurement and thematic strategies on the Sustainable Use of Natural Resources and on Waste Prevention and Recycling.


Territorial cohesion: The territorial diversity of the EU is seen as a vital asset that can contribute to sustainable development. To make this diversity a strength territorial cohesion is addressed through the focus on new relationships that bind EU territories at different levels with new forms of cooperation and co-ordination. 


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