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Sixth National Report

  published:10 Apr 2019

Section I. Information on the targets being pursued at the national level

European Union

Headline target: Halting the loss of biodiversity and the degradation of ecosystem services in the EU by 2020, and restoring them in so far as feasible, while stepping up the EU contribution to averting global biodiversity loss

On 19 January 2010, the Commission set out in a Communication, possible options for an EU vision and headline target for biodiversity beyond 2020. http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/biodiversity/policy/pdf/communication_2010_0004.pdf.
On 15 March 2010, the Environment Council agreed in its conclusions on this long-term vision (2050) and mid-term target (2020) for biodiversity in the EU for the period beyond 2010. It also further developed the EU position ahead of the international biodiversity negotiations of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. http://register.consilium.europa.eu/doc/srv?l=EN&f=ST%207536%202010%20INIT
The EU biodiversity strategy to 2020 was adopted on 3 May 2011. It aims to halt the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services in the EU by 2020 and contains 6 interconnected targets supported by 20 actions. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:52011DC0244

The headline target recognises that it is in the EU’s interest to take action to address biodiversity loss not only within the EU, but also beyond its borders. Recognising that most of the world’s biodiversity is found outside the EU, tackling biodiversity loss within the EU alone will not be sufficient to avert severe consequences of continued loss on a global scale. This option calls for stepping up EU action to address the global biodiversity crisis.
Further, halting biodiversity loss and ecosystem services degradation involves stopping or preventing the long-term or permanent qualitative or quantitative reduction in components of biodiversity and their potential to provide goods and services. The restoration of ecosystems and their services is understood as actively assisting the recovery of an ecosystem that has been degraded, damaged, or destroyed, although natural regeneration may suffice in cases of low degradation.

EN
Level of application
Regional / Multilateral
Regional/Multilateral
EN
Relevance of National Targets to Aichi Targets

Individual EU Biodiversity Strategy targets (underneath/contributing to headline target) have linked Aichi Biodiversity Targets (see below) https://biodiversity.europa.eu/policy/target-1-and-related-aichi-targets

EN
Relevant documents and information

Mid-term Review of the EU Biodiversity Strategy, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:52015DC0478
Commission Staff Working Document, EU assessment of progress in implementing the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:52015SC0187&from=EN
Commission Staff Working Paper Impact Assessment of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020:
●    Summary (SEC/2011/0541 final): https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:52011SC0541
●    Annexes (SEC/2011/0540 final): https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:52011SC0540

EN

Target 1: Fully implement the Birds and Habitats Directives: “To halt the deterioration in the status of all species and habitats covered by EU nature legislation and achieve a significant and measurable improvement in their status so that, by 2020, compared to current assessments: (i) 100% more habitat assessments and 50% more species assessments under the Habitats Directive show an improved conservation status; and (ii) 50% more species assessments under the Birds Directive show a secure or improved status.”

The full implementation of the Birds and Habitats Directives (i.e. reaching favourable conservation status of all habitats and species of European importance and adequate populations of naturally occurring wild bird species) is critical to preventing further loss and restoring biodiversity in the EU. The time-bound, quantified target will accelerate implementation of the Directives and achievement of the objectives set out in them.

EN
Level of application
Regional / Multilateral
Regional/Multilateral
EN
Relevance of National Targets to Aichi Targets
1. Awareness of biodiversity values
11. Protected areas
12. Preventing extinctions
Relevant documents and information

Mid-term Review of the EU Biodiversity Strategy, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:52015DC0478
Commission Staff Working Document, EU assessment of progress in implementing the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:52015SC0187&from=EN
The State of Nature in the EU, 2015 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=COM:2015:219:FIN
Action Plan to nature, people and the economy, 2017 http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/legislation/fitness_check/action_plan/index_en.htm
Biodiversity Information System for Europe, EU biodiversity targets and related global Aichi targets, http://biodiversity.europa.eu/policy/target-1-and-related-aichi-targets
Commission Staff Working Paper Impact Assessment of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020:
●    Summary (SEC/2011/0541 final): https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:52011SC0541
●    Annexes (SEC/2011/0540 final): https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:52011SC0540

EN

Target 2: Maintain and restore ecosystems and their services: “By 2020, ecosystems and their services are maintained and enhanced by establishing green infrastructure and restoring at least 15 % of degraded ecosystems.”

In the EU, many ecosystems and their services have been degraded, largely as a result of land fragmentation. Nearly 30 % of the EU territory is moderately to very highly fragmented. Target 2 focuses on maintaining and enhancing ecosystem services and restoring degraded ecosystems by incorporating green infrastructure in spatial planning. This will contribute to the EU's sustainable growth objectives and to mitigating and adapting to climate change, while promoting economic, territorial and social cohesion and safeguarding the EU's cultural heritage. It will also ensure better functional connectivity between ecosystems within and between Natura 2000 areas in the wider countryside as well as at sea. Target 2 incorporates the global target agreed by EU Member States and the EU in Nagoya to restore 15% of degraded ecosystems by 2020.

EN
Level of application
Regional / Multilateral
Regional/Multilateral
EN
Relevance of National Targets to Aichi Targets
8. Pollution
10. Vulnerable ecosystems
14. Essential ecosystem services
15. Ecosystem resilience
Relevant documents and information

Target 2- Maintain and restore ecosystems http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/biodiversity/strategy/target2/index_en.htm
Mid-term Review of the EU Biodiversity Strategy, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:52015DC0478
Commission Staff Working Document, EU assessment of progress in implementing the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:52015SC0187&from=EN
The State of Nature in the EU, 2015 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=COM:2015:219:FIN
Action Plan to nature, people and the economy, 2017 http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/legislation/fitness_check/action_plan/index_en.htm
Biodiversity Information System for Europe, EU biodiversity targets and related global Aichi targets, http://biodiversity.europa.eu/policy/target-1-and-related-aichi-targets
Commission Staff Working Paper Impact Assessment of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020:
●    Summary (SEC/2011/0541 final): https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:52011SC0541
●    Annexes (SEC/2011/0540 final): https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:52011SC0540

EN

Target 3a: Increase the contribution of agriculture to maintaining and enhancing biodiversity: “By 2020, maximise areas under agriculture across grasslands, arable land and permanent crops that are covered by biodiversity-related measures under the CAP so as to ensure the conservation of biodiversity and to bring about a measurable improvement* in the conservation status of species and habitats that depend on or are affected by agriculture and in the provision of ecosystem services as compared to the EU2010 Baseline, thus contributing to enhance sustainable management. (*) Improvement is to be measured against the quantified enhancement targets for the conservation status of species and habitats of EU interest in Target 1 and the restoration of degraded ecosystems under Target 2.”

The EU has already made efforts to integrate biodiversity into the development and implementation of several policies. However, given the benefits that biodiversity and ecosystem services bring to many sectors, these efforts are still not sufficient. The EU Biodiversity Strategy seeks to improve integration in key sectors, including agriculture.

EN
Level of application
Regional / Multilateral
Regional/Multilateral
EN
Relevance of National Targets to Aichi Targets
7. Areas under sustainable management
13. Agricultural biodiversity
Relevant documents and information

Mid-term Review of the EU Biodiversity Strategy, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:52015DC0478
Commission Staff Working Document, EU assessment of progress in implementing the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:52015SC0187&from=EN
The State of Nature in the EU, 2015 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=COM:2015:219:FIN
Action Plan to nature, people and the economy, 2017 http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/legislation/fitness_check/action_plan/index_en.htm
Biodiversity Information System for Europe, EU biodiversity targets and related global Aichi targets, http://biodiversity.europa.eu/policy/target-1-and-related-aichi-targets
Commission Staff Working Paper Impact Assessment of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020:
●    Summary (SEC/2011/0541 final): https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:52011SC0541
●    Annexes (SEC/2011/0540 final): https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:52011SC0540

EN

Target 3b: Increase the contribution of forestry to maintaining and enhancing biodiversity: “By 2020, Forest Management Plans or equivalent instruments, in line with Sustainable Forest Management (SFM), are in place for all forests that are publicly owned and for forest holdings above a certain size** (to be defined by the Member States or regions and communicated in their Rural Development Programmes) that receive funding under the EU Rural Development Policy so as to bring about a measurable improvement(*) in the conservation status of species and habitats that depend on or are affected by forestry and in the provision of related ecosystem services as compared to the EU 2010 Baseline. (*) Improvement is to be measured against the quantified enhancement targets for the conservation status of species and habitats of EU importance in Target 1 and the restoration of degraded ecosystems under Target 2. (**) For smaller forest holdings, Member States may provide additional incentives to encourage the adoption of Management Plans or equivalent instruments that are in line with SFM.”

The EU has already made efforts to integrate biodiversity into the development and implementation of several policies. However, given the benefits that biodiversity and ecosystem services bring to many sectors, these efforts are still not sufficient. The EU Biodiversity Strategy seeks to improve integration in key sectors, including forestry.

EN
Level of application
Regional / Multilateral
Regional/Multilateral
EN
Relevance of National Targets to Aichi Targets
5. Loss of habitats
7. Areas under sustainable management
Relevant documents and information

Mid-term Review of the EU Biodiversity Strategy, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:52015DC0478
Commission Staff Working Document, EU assessment of progress in implementing the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:52015SC0187&from=EN
The State of Nature in the EU, 2015 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=COM:2015:219:FIN
Action Plan to nature, people and the economy, 2017 http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/legislation/fitness_check/action_plan/index_en.htm
Biodiversity Information System for Europe, EU biodiversity targets and related global Aichi targets, http://biodiversity.europa.eu/policy/target-1-and-related-aichi-targets
Commission Staff Working Paper Impact Assessment of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020:
●    Summary (SEC/2011/0541 final): https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:52011SC0541
●    Annexes (SEC/2011/0540 final): https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:52011SC0540

EN

Target 4: Ensure the sustainable use of fisheries resources: “Achieve Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) by 2015*. Achieve a population age and size distribution indicative of a healthy stock, through fisheries management with no significant adverse impacts on other stocks, species and ecosystems, in support of achieving Good Environmental Status (GES) by 2020, as required under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. (*) The reformed Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) which entered into force in 2014 aims to ensure MSY exploitation rates for all stocks by 2015 where possible, and at the latest by 2020.”

The EU has already made efforts to integrate biodiversity into the development and implementation of several policies. However, given the benefits that biodiversity and ecosystem services bring to many sectors, these efforts are still not sufficient. The EU Biodiversity Strategy seeks to improve integration in key sectors, including fisheries through the implementation of the reformed CFP, and the wider marine environment through the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), with the aim of achieving Good Environmental Status (GES) of the EU's marine waters by 2020. A new Commission Decision lays down criteria and methodological standards on GES to ensure, fully in line with the CFP, that populations of all commercially-exploited fish and shellfish are within safe biological limits.

EN
Level of application
Regional / Multilateral
Regional/Multilateral
EN
Relevance of National Targets to Aichi Targets
6. Sustainable fisheries
7. Areas under sustainable management
10. Vulnerable ecosystems
11. Protected areas
Relevant documents and information

The Marine Strategy Framework Directive https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A32008L0056
New GES Commission Decision https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A32017D0848
Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 on the Common Fisheries Policy: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?qid=1545314823680&uri=CELEX:32013R1380
COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL on the State of Play of the Common Fisheries Policy and Consultation on the Fishing Opportunities for 2019, COM/2018/452 final
SWD https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=COM:2018:452:FIN
Annex https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=SWD:2018:329:FIN
The Marine Strategy Framework Directive reporting http://ec.europa.eu/environment/marine/eu-coast-and-marine-policy/implementation/reports_en.htm
Mid-term Review of the EU Biodiversity Strategy, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:52015DC0478
Commission Staff Working Document, EU assessment of progress in implementing the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:52015SC0187&from=EN
State of Europe’s Seas, 2015 https://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/state-of-europes-seas
Action Plan to nature, people and the economy, 2017 http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/legislation/fitness_check/action_plan/index_en.htm
Biodiversity Information System for Europe, EU biodiversity targets and related global Aichi targets, http://biodiversity.europa.eu/policy/target-1-and-related-aichi-targets
Commission Staff Working Paper Impact Assessment of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020:
●    Summary (SEC/2011/0541 final): https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:52011SC0541
●    Annexes (SEC/2011/0540 final): https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:52011SC0540

EN

Target 5: Help combat Invasive Alien Species: “By 2020, Invasive Alien Species (IAS) and their pathways are identified and prioritised, priority species are controlled or eradicated, and pathways are managed to prevent the introduction and establishment of new IAS.”

Invasive alien species pose a significant threat to biodiversity in the EU, and this threat is likely to increase in the future unless robust action is taken at all levels, including research and technological innovation investment, to control the introduction and establishment of these species and address those already introduced.

The fact that the number of IAS is increasing despite the current policies/initiatives, and that species do not respect borders, justifies EU action. Coordinated EU action is needed to ensure that, where IAS first enter the Union, Member States take prompt measures to the benefit of other Member States not yet affected. Acting at EU level according to the solidarity principle protects the interest of Member States that are likely to suffer the most negative consequences. Finally, Member States which already have legislation on IAS benefit from a common approach, guaranteeing that neighbouring Member States take actions for the same species.

EN
Level of application
Regional / Multilateral
Regional/Multilateral
EN
Relevance of National Targets to Aichi Targets
9. Invasive Alien Species
Relevant documents and information

Implementation of Target 5 http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/biodiversity/strategy/target5/index_en.htm
Mid-term Review of the EU Biodiversity Strategy, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:52015DC0478
Commission Staff Working Document, EU assessment of progress in implementing the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:52015SC0187&from=EN
The State of Nature in the EU, 2015 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=COM:2015:219:FIN
Biodiversity Information System for Europe, EU biodiversity targets and related global Aichi targets, http://biodiversity.europa.eu/policy/target-1-and-related-aichi-targets
Commission Staff Working Paper Impact Assessment of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020:
●    Summary (SEC/2011/0541 final): https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:52011SC0541
●    Annexes (SEC/2011/0540 final): https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:52011SC0540

EN

Target 6: Help avert global biodiversity loss: “By 2020, the EU has stepped up its contribution to averting global biodiversity loss.”

The EU has pledged to meet the international 2020 biodiversity goals and objectives agreed to under the CBD. This requires taking action within the EU, but also at global level since the EU derives significant benefits from global biodiversity and is at the same time responsible for some of the loss and degradation that occurs beyond its borders, notably due to its unsustainable consumption patterns. Through this strategy, targeted efforts will strive to alleviate pressure on biodiversity emanating from the EU while contributing to greening the economy in line with EU priorities.

EN
Level of application
Regional / Multilateral
Regional/Multilateral
EN
Relevance of National Targets to Aichi Targets
2. Integration of biodiversity values
3. Incentives
16. Nagoya Protocol on ABS
17. NBSAPs
20. Resource mobilization
Relevant documents and information

Mid-term Review of the EU Biodiversity Strategy, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:52015DC0478
Commission Staff Working Document, EU assessment of progress in implementing the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:52015SC0187&from=EN
Biodiversity Information System for Europe, EU biodiversity targets and related global Aichi targets, http://biodiversity.europa.eu/policy/target-1-and-related-aichi-targets
Commission Staff Working Paper Impact Assessment of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020:
●    Summary (SEC/2011/0541 final): https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:52011SC0541
●    Annexes (SEC/2011/0540 final): https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:52011SC0540

EN

Section II. Implementation measures, their effectiveness, and associated obstacles and scientific and technical needs to achieve national targets

Actions and Measures under Target 1: Fully implement the Birds and Habitats Directives

Actions 1a, b, c, d

Action 2

Actions 3a, b, c

Actions 4a, b

(details below)

EN
Target 1: Fully implement the Birds and Habitats Directives: “To halt the deterioration in the status of all species and habitats covered by EU nature legislation and achieve a significant and measurable improvement in their status so that, by 2020, compared to current assessments: (i) 100% more habitat assessments and 50% more species assessments under the Habitats Directive show an improved conservation status; and (ii) 50% more species assessments under the Birds Directive show a secure or improved status.”

Numerous case studies are included in the Commission’s Nature Directives Fitness Check Staff Working Paper and the supporting evaluation study (Milieu, IEEP and ICF, 2016) as well as in the evidence supplied by consulted stakeholders during the Fitness Check.

Relevant websites, links and files
●    Fitness Check of the Birds and Habitats Directives
http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/legislation/fitness_check/index_en.htm
●    Commission Staff Working Document - Fitness Check of the EU Nature Legislation (Birds and Habitats Directives)
http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/legislation/fitness_check/docs/nature_fitness_check.pdf
●    Evaluation Study to support the Fitness Check of the Birds and Habitats Directives (Milieu, IEEP and ICF, 2016)
http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/legislation/fitness_check/docs/study_evaluation_support_fitness_check_nature_directives.pdf

EN

In 2015 - 2016 the European Commission carried out a detailed evidence-based critical analysis of the Birds and Habitats Directives, i.e. a Fitness Check, which assessed their effectiveness, efficiency, coherence (internally and externally with other EU policies), relevance, and EU added value.

The Commission concluded from this that within the framework of broader EU biodiversity policy the Nature Directives remain highly relevant and fit for purpose, but their full achievement will depend on substantial improvement in their implementation in close partnership with local authorities and different stakeholders in the Member States.

Although the main obstacles to the implementation of the Directives vary amongst EU countries the most important ones in recent years have been:

●    The limited availability of funding, which has probably had the strongest negative influence on implementation even though the Directives have undoubtedly increased the availability of some EU funds for nature (see above). Funding constraints have adversely affected the establishment of the Natura 2000 network, the establishment and implementation of conservation measures, stakeholder engagement, management planning, permitting and enforcement measures.
●    A lack of conservation objectives and management plans for many Natura 2000 sites.
●    Lack of awareness and engagement of authorities with landowners, maritime sectors and local communities and other stakeholders over the implications of the Directives (exacerbated by inadequate or absent funding for conservation management measures).
●    Limited research and knowledge, such as on the distribution of protected species and habitats and their ecological requirements.
●    Low political support for the Directives in some countries / regions.
●    Limited expertise, insufficient staff resources and inconsistent standards with impact assessments and permitting procedures.
●    Weak enforcement actions, such as in relation to illegal hunting or persecution of species.

In response to the Fitness Check the Commission produced an Action Plan for Nature, People and Economy in 2017, with 15 actions that are to be carried out before 2020 that aim to rapidly improve implementation of the Nature Directives. The actions fall under the following four priority themes:
 
●    Priority A: Improving guidance and knowledge and ensuring better coherence with broader socio-economic objectives
●    Priority B: Building political ownership and strengthening compliance
●    Priority C: Strengthening investment in Natura 2000 and improving synergies with EU funding instruments
●    Priority D: Better communication and outreach, engaging citizens, stakeholders and communities

EN

Action 1a) Member States and the Commission will ensure that the phase to establish Natura 2000, including in the marine environment, is largely complete by 2012.

EN
Measure taken has been partially effective

Within the legal framework provided by the Birds and Habitats Directives the EU has built up Natura 2000, a vast network of more than 27 000 protected areas throughout its Member States, encompassing nine biogeographical regions and five marine regions.

The terrestrial part of the network is now considered to be nearly complete and covers an area of over 790 000 km2, 18.2% of the EU’s land area (Natura 2000 Barometer, https://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/dashboards/natura-2000-barometer).

The development of the marine component of Natura 2000 has been slower, but progress has increased in recent years with marine Natura 2000 sites now covering over 532,000 km2, about 9.2% of the EU’s marine area.

In total, marine protected areas (Natura 2000, National Designated and Regional Sea Convention Sites) cover over 624,971 km2, which is 10.8% of the EU’s marine area, surpassing the 10% global target (Spatial Analysis of Marine Protected Area Networks in Europe’s Seas, 2017, https://icm.eionet.europa.eu/ETC_Reports/SpatialAnalysisOfMarineProtectedAreaNetworksInEuropesSeas_VolumeA_2017).

EN

Action 1b) Member States and the Commission will further integrate species and habitats protection and management requirements into key land and water use policies, both within and beyond Natura 2000 areas.

EN
Measure taken has been partially effective

The Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) strengthened the integration of nature protection considerations from 2005 with cross compliance and in 2007 with the rural development measures. See Targets 3 and 4 for further details (and Section IV).

EN

Action 1c) Member States will ensure that management plans or equivalent instruments which set out conservation and restoration measures are developed and implemented in a timely manner for all Natura 2000 sites.

EN
Measure taken has been partially effective

In 2018, the Member States have reported having management plans, or equivalent instruments setting out conservation and restoration measures, for 70% of Natura 2000 sites across the EU.

EN

Action 1d) The Commission, together with Member States, will establish a process by 2012 to promote the sharing of experience, good practice and cross-border collaboration on the management of Natura 2000, within the biogeographical frameworks set out in the Habitats Directive.

EN
Measure taken has been effective

The Natura 2000 Biogeographical Process was established in 2011 (The Natura 2000 Biogeographical Process, http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/natura2000/seminars_en.htm).

EN

Action 2) The Commission and Member States will provide the necessary funds and incentives for Natura 2000, including through EU funding instruments, under the next multiannual financial framework. The Commission will set out its views in 2011 on how Natura 2000 will be financed under the next multiannual financial framework.

EN
Measure taken has been partially effective

In response to this commitment the Commission issued a staff working paper in December 2011 titled "Financing Natura 2000: Delivering benefits for nature and people."

This presented an evaluation of the effectiveness of the so-called "integration approach" of EU co-financing of Natura 2000, as well as an early overview of the opportunities for financing nature protection in the next multiannual financial framework (MFF) 2014-2020, such as Partnership Agreements and Operational Programmes. The paper also provided an updated estimate of Natura 2000 costs and underlined the benefits offered by the network.

In order to help the Member States better understand the opportunities for financing nature protection under the 2014-2020 MFF, the Commission published the "Guidance handbook on financing Natura 2000." The handbook presents all relevant EU funds and their potential for financing nature and biodiversity together with examples of best practice in this area. (Financing Natura 2000, http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/natura2000/financing/index_en.htm)

Despite the initiatives that have been taken to increase funding for the Natura 2000 the Fitness Check of the Nature Directives (see below) found strong evidence that both EU and national funding is marked insufficient and that available resources are not fully exploited in the best way and for the most effective purposes. This funding gap has probably been the greatest barrier to implementation, even though the Directives have undoubtedly increased the availability of some EU funds for nature, such as through the LIFE programme, CAP agri-environment measures and Cohesion Funds.

The funding handbook will be updated to take into account funding opportunities under the 2021-2027 MFF, and workshops held in each Member State to assist them with securing EU funds.

EN

Action 3a) The Commission, together with Member States, will develop and launch a major communication campaign on Natura 2000 by 2013.

EN
Measure taken has been effective

Communication and awareness raising have been stepped up with the launch of the Natura 2000 communication platform (Natura 2000 Communication Platform, http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/natura2000/platform/index_en.htm), an annual Natura 2000 award scheme (Natura 2000 Award, http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/natura2000/awards/index_en.htm), and national campaigns.

EN

Action 3b) The Commission and Member states will improve cooperation with key sectors and continue to develop guidance documents to improve their understanding of the requirements of EU nature legislation and its value in promoting economic development.

EN
Measure taken has been effective

Instead of the effectiveness of the implementation measure, the selection above indicates the level of implementation of the implementation measure (EU target action).

A series of guidance documents promoting integration of Natura 2000 in different sectors have been prepared, including in relation to farming, aquaculture, inland waterway transport, estuaries and coastal zones, port development, wind energy developments, non-energy mineral extraction, forests, energy transmission facilities and hydropower (Management of Natura 2000 sites, http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/natura2000/management/guidance_en.htm). All these guidance documents have been developed in cooperation with representatives of the sectors concerned.

An update of the Article 6 Habitats Directive interpretation guidance is being prepared.

EN

Action 3c) The Commission and Member States will facilitate enforcement of the nature directives by providing specific training programmes on Natura 2000 for judges and public prosecutors, and by developing better compliance promotion capacities.

EN
Measure taken has been partially effective

Specific training sessions for judges and prosecutors have been organised with EU support on key provisions of the nature legislation (Cooperation with judges, http://ec.europa.eu/environment/legal/law/judges.htm).

Coordinated action at EU level has also been launched in cooperation with the Council of Europe to address illegal trapping, killing and trade of birds, which also specifies actions on monitoring and data collection.

The Commission has continued to pursue cases of non-compliance with EU nature legislation, including through infringement procedures, with a focus on systemic failures (Infringement cases, http://ec.europa.eu/environment/legal/law/press_en.htm).

EN

Action 4a) The Commission, together with Member States, will develop by 2012 a new EU bird reporting system, further develop the reporting system under Article 17 of the Habitats Directive and improve the flow, accessibility and relevance of Natura 2000 data.

EN
Measure taken has been effective

Reporting under Article 17 of the Habitats Directive (every 6 years) and Article 12 of the Birds Directive (every 3 years) have been streamlined and aligned. Article 12 requires Member States to report about the progress made with the implementation of the Birds Directive. In 2011, the Commission in agreement with Member States has revised the reporting procedure and frequency in order to focus the reporting obligations on data that inform about the status and trend of bird populations.

After receipt of the national reports, the European Environment Agency (EEA) and its Topic Centre on Biological Diversity produced national summaries with overview statistics for each Member State, a web tool to view easily the assessments of Member States as well as the EU-biogeographic assessments by species and habitats under Article 17, and a paper setting out the method on how to assess progress towards Target 1 of the EU 2020 Biodiversity Strategy. The final technical report on the State of Nature in the EU and related data are available on the web for further analysis (EEA 2015, https://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/state-of-nature-in-the-eu; State of Nature in the EU, https://bd.eionet.europa.eu/activities/Reporting/Introduction).

As indicated in the State of Nature Report a significant proportion of assessments were reported as unknown for some countries, particularly for marine habitats and species.
The 2nd State of Nature 2015 is available http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/knowledge/rep_habitats/index_en.htm
http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/knowledge/rep_birds/index_en.htm

The 3rd report is foreseen for end 2020.

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Action 4b) The Commission will create a dedicated ICT tool as part of the Biodiversity Information System for Europe to improve the availability and use of data by 2012.

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Measure taken has been partially effective

Progress has been made in this area, for example, through the development of a public Natura 2000 viewer (Natura 2000 data and maps) http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/natura2000/data/index_en.htm).

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Actions and Measures under Target 2: Maintain and restore ecosystems and their services

Action 5

Actions 6a, b

Actions 7a, b

(details below)

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Target 2: Maintain and restore ecosystems and their services: “By 2020, ecosystems and their services are maintained and enhanced by establishing green infrastructure and restoring at least 15 % of degraded ecosystems.”

Case studies on ecosystem restoration in the EU can be found in Annex A of the report: eftec, ECNC, UAntwerp & CEEWEB (2017) Promotion of ecosystem restoration in the context of the EU biodiversity strategy to 2020. Report to the European Commission, DG Environment (http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/pdf/promotion_of_ecosystem_restoration_in_the_context_of_the_EU_biodiversity_strategy_report%20.zip)

Relevant websites, links and files)
Ecosystem restoration in the context of the EU biodiversity strategy (2017)
http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/pdf/promotion_of_ecosystem_restoration_in_the_context_of_the_EU_biodiversity_strategy_report%20.zip

EN

Challenges in relation to MAES are linked, amongst others, to: data availability (e.g. some indicators are still missing or under development, data on marine ecosystems are scarcer than for terrestrial ecosystems); remaining knowledge gaps concerning the links between ecosystem condition, biodiversity and ecosystem services; varying levels of technical capacity and resources among Member States to undertake ecosystem assessments; and the absence of a legal obligation for Member States to implement MAES.
As regards the implementation of green infrastructure, there is a need to further demonstrate the economic, social and other co-benefits of green infrastructure – including the financial return on investment in GI – in order to encourage its uptake over other infrastructure alternatives, in a range of sectors. Progress in mapping and assessment of GI, including the development and dissemination of tools and research, is needed to support the integration of GI in spatial planning and in other policy areas. There is also a lack of quantitative data on the deployment of GI throughout the EU. Another obstacle is that there is no obligation set out in EU legislation for MS to implement GI.
With regard to restoration, a recent study (eftec et al., 2017, http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/pdf/promotion_of_ecosystem_restoration_in_the_context_of_the_EU_biodiversity_strategy_report%20.zip) identified a lack of large-scale (i.e. national or European) data on restoration, both in terms of the extent of restoration activity undertaken and the outcomes or effectiveness of restoration projects.

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Action 5) Member States, with the assistance of the Commission, will map and assess the state of ecosystems and their services in their national territory by 2014, assess the economic value of such services, and promote the integration of these values into accounting and reporting systems at EU and national level by 2020.

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Measure taken has been partially effective