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Our life insurance, our natural capital: an EU biodiversity strategy to 2020 Claudia Olazábal Deputy Head of Unit Biodiversity Unit DG Environment European.

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Presentation on theme: "Our life insurance, our natural capital: an EU biodiversity strategy to 2020 Claudia Olazábal Deputy Head of Unit Biodiversity Unit DG Environment European."— Presentation transcript:

1 Our life insurance, our natural capital: an EU biodiversity strategy to 2020 Claudia Olazábal Deputy Head of Unit Biodiversity Unit DG Environment European Commission Greens/EFA Conference- Seeds for a sustainable future

2  Decline in species and habitats degradation have led to an significant decline in the genetic diversity of life on Earth.  Since beginning of agriculture, the world’s farmers have developed roughly plant species for use in food and fodder production.  Today, only 150 crops feed most of the world’s population  Only 12 crops provide 80 % of dietary energy from plants, with rice, wheat, maize and potato providing 60 %  About 3/4 of the genetic diversity found in agricultural crops have been lost over the past century  in China: local rice varieties being cultivated has declined from 46,000 in the 1950s to slightly more than 1,000 in 2006  General homogenization of landscapes and agricultural varieties make rural populations vulnerable to future changes, if genetic traits kept over thousands of years are allowed to disappear. THE PROBLEM

3  Significant progress on ex situ conservation of crops - the collection of seeds from different genetic varieties for cataloguing and storage for possible future use  There are some individual gene banks worldwide  For some 200 to 300 crops, over 70% of genetic diversity is already conserved in gene banks THE PROBLEM

4  Among the most ambitious programmes: Millennium Seed Bank Partnership, which now includes nearly 2 billion seeds from 30,000 wild plant species, mainly from drylands;  Svalbard Global Seed Vault, in Norway, close to the Arctic Circle, to provide the ultimate safety net against accidental loss of agricultural diversity in traditional gene banks. The vault has capacity to conserve 4.5 million crop seed samples EXAMPLES OF EX-SITU CONSERVATION Figure 1. Geographic distribution of gene banks with holdings of > accessions in national and regional gene banks (blue); CGIAR centre gene banks (beige); Svalbard Global Seed Vault (green)

5  However, in addition to ex-situ conservation, major efforts are still needed to conserve genetic diversity on farms (for adaptation to climate change and other challenges)  The FAO recognises the leading role played by plant and animal breeders in conservation and sustainable use of genetic resources THE PROBLEM

6  Environmental  Political  Economic RATIONALE FOR ACTION

7 EU MANDATE March 2010 European Spring Council endorsed: A 2050 VISION European Union biodiversity and the ecosystem services it provides – its natural capital – are protected, valued and appropriately restored for biodiversity’s intrinsic value and for their essential contribution to human wellbeing and economic prosperity, and so that catastrophic changes caused by the loss of biodiversity are avoided. A 2020 HEADLINE TARGET Halt the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services in the EU and restore them insofar as feasible, and step up the EU's contribution to averting global biodiversity loss

8 GLOBAL MANDATE CBD COP 10 (Nagoya, October 2010):  Strategic Plan for Biodiversity vision mission: Take effective and urgent action to halt the loss of biodiversity… - 20 “Aichi Targets”  Strategy for Resource Mobilisation - Finance target(s) expected to be adopted at COP-11 in Delhi, 2012  Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit- Sharing (ABS) 20 AICHI TARGETS

9 AICHI TARGETS Target 13: By 2020, the genetic diversity of cultivated plants and farmed and domesticated animals and of wild relatives, including other socio-economically as well as culturally valuable species, is maintained, and strategies have been developed and implemented for minimizing genetic erosion and safeguarding their genetic diversity

10 STRUCTURE OF THE STRATEGY 2050 Vision 2020 headline target Halt biodiversity loss – restore ecosystem services – global contribution Enhance implementation of nature legislation Restore ecosystems est. Green Infrastructure Sustainable Agriculture & Forestry Sustainable Fisheries Combat Alien Invasive Species Contribute to averting global biodiversity loss ANNEX OF ACTIONS 6 Targets:

11 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. 3A. Sustainable Agriculture

12 Actions: Action 10: Conserve Europe’s agricultural genetic diversity The Commission and Member States will encourage the uptake of agri environmental measures to support genetic diversity in agriculture and explore the scope for developing a strategy for the conservation of genetic diversity 3A. Sustainable Agriculture

13  Revision of the EU Regime for seed marketing- led by DG SANCO  Community Programmes for the Conservation of genetic resources in agriculture – led by DG AGRICULTURE  LIFE PROJECTS ONGOING INITIATIVES

14 Thanks for your attention Bise


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