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Water and the EU’s Biodiversity Strategy

The European Commission adopted its new Biodiversity Strategy to bring nature, farmers, business and consumers together for a competitive and sustainable future.

It was released at the same time as the Farm to Fork Strategy and forms part of the European Green Deal.

We welcome the Commission’s commitment to protecting consumers and the environment. We are pleased that this strategy links the Circular Economy, sustainability and the Farm-to-Fork Strategy.

The Biodiversity Strategy is designed to halt biodiversity loss in Europe by committing to land and sea protection and restoring ecosystems by 2030.

The Commission’s Communication recognises that the implementation of water legislation is lagging behind. Greater efforts are needed to achieve the objectives of the Water Framework Directive. EurEau wholeheartedly supports the full implementation of the WFD.

But water legislation on its own cannot restore biodiversity to the aquatic environment.

The Zero Pollution Action Plan for Air, Water and Soil to be adopted in 2021 will target the release of nutrients, chemical pesticides, pharmaceuticals, hazardous chemicals, urban and industrial waste water, and other waste including litter and plastics. This plan must use the Control at Source Principle and avoid the use of hazardous substances and particles in the first place so as to best protect consumers and the environment.

The Zero Pollution Action Plan for Air, Water and Soil will also look at protecting soil fertility, reduce soil erosion and increase soil organic matter. The water sector can make a significant contribution to this through the application of high-quality sewage sludge. Once again, control-at-source will help us to do this, by preventing pollutants from entering the urban water cycle.

The Commission intends to put forward a proposal for legally binding EU nature restoration targets in 2021. EurEau insists that these are linked to the CAP through conditionality.

€20 billion per year will be invested in the strategy from EU, national and local funds, which will bring economic benefits, creating sustainable jobs and growth.

The European Parliament and the Council have yet to endorse the two strategies.

Our reaction to the F2F Strategy is here.

From the Commission

Question and Answers on Biodiversity Strategy

Factsheet on Biodiversity Strategy

Factsheet on The business case for biodiversity

Factsheet on Benefits for farmers

Factsheet on The Common Agriculture Policy's contribution to the European Green Deal

Biodiversity Strategy

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