Official Journal of the European Union

CE 259/73

Biological diversity and biosafety


European Parliament resolution of 24 April 2008 on preparations for the COP-MOP meetings on biological diversity and biosafety in Bonn, Germany

(2009/C 259 E/13)

The European Parliament,

having regard to the 9th Conference of the Parties (COP 9) to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), to be held from 19 to 30 May 2008 in Bonn, Germany,

having regard to the 4th Meeting of Parties (MOP 4) to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (BSP), to be held from 12 to 16 May 2008 in Bonn, Germany,

having regard to its resolution of 22 May 2007 on halting the loss of biodiversity by 2010 (1),

having regard to Rule 108(5) of its Rules of Procedure,


whereas the CBD is the largest global agreement on the protection of biodiversity, addressing the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits from the use of genetic resources, and whereas it has been signed by 190 parties, including the 27 EU Member States and the European Community,


whereas parties to the CBD have committed themselves to reduce significantly the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010, and to establish a global network of protected areas on land by 2010 and on sea by 2012,


whereas the credibility of the CBD will depend on its capacity to meet those targets,


whereas the credibility of the European Union, in the CBD context, is hampered by the deficient implementation of internal biodiversity legislation and policies such as the Birds (2) and Habitats (3) Directives, the insufficient practical work for achieving the commitment to halt the loss of biodiversity by 2010 within its territory, its reluctance to enter into text-based negotiations of a legally binding instrument on access and benefits sharing (ABS) and its reluctance to provide new and additional targeted funding for the implementation of the CBD in developing countries,


whereas forest biodiversity loss, deforestation rates and the climate crisis are of such magnitude that significant steps to tackle deforestation and forest degradation cannot wait until after 2012,


whereas significant implementation gaps in the working programmes of the CBD need to be filled,


whereas the last CBD COP meeting took a step towards enhancing the role of representatives of indigenous peoples and local communities in further negotiations on ABS and their right to determine priorities on their territories as defined in the 2007 UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,


whereas the last CBD COP meeting invited parties to strengthen their efforts to improve forest law enforcement and to address related trade,


whereas the last CBD COP meeting reaffirmed the application of the precautionary approach to the use of Genetic Use Restriction Technology and recommended that field trials and commercial use should not be approved,


whereas climate change will further aggravate the situation as regards global biological diversity, leading to ecosystem degradation and species extinction, and knock-on impacts on human development and poverty eradication,


whereas it is estimated that approximately 20 % of global carbon emissions are caused by deforestation and forest degradation,


whereas the CBD and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos) provide the international legal framework governing the protection of the marine environment as a whole; whereas there is still no overarching, legally binding agreement that would ensure that the existing commitments are consistently applied to all areas of the sea, including the international waters of the high seas,


whereas the CBD has a key role in supporting the work of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) with regard to Marine Protected Areas beyond national jurisdiction by providing scientific and, as appropriate, technical information and advice related to marine biological diversity,

1.   Is deeply concerned at the continued loss of biodiversity and at the EU's ever increasing ecological footprint, which extends the impact on biodiversity well beyond the borders of the EU;

2.   Calls on the Commission and the Member States to show leadership and conviction by agreeing to and facilitating concrete measures for the protection of biodiversity, both domestically and internationally;

3.   Calls on the Member States, the Commission and the other parties to the CBD to set up an international scientific panel on biodiversity to advise the Convention and to establish comprehensive global mapping of high conservation value areas;

4.   Recognises the contribution of European Natura 2000 network of protected areas as a cornerstone of EU efforts to fulfil its international and internal biodiversity commitments and a major contribution to the global network of protected areas; calls on the Commission and Member States to ensure full implementation of the Birds and Habitats Directives and strongly opposes any attempts to weaken the protection afforded by those Directives;

5.   Considers that the discussion in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries must be informed by the CBD and must ensure consistency with CBD aims and the objective of preserving forest biodiversity;

6.   Calls also for strengthened efforts to improve the synergies of the CBD, the UN Convention on Combating Desertification (UNCCD) and the UNFCCC in the area of climate mitigation and adaptation;

7.   Urges the Commission and the Member States to:

ensure that the COP 9 decisions are geared to implementing the CBD's programme of work on protected areas and to strengthening the implementation with a view to the 2010 targets, with particular reference to the CBD's programme of work on forest biological diversity,

financially support the Life Web Initiative aimed at matching voluntary commitments by parties for the designation and management of protected areas with voluntary commitments from donors for dedicated financing and co-financing,

play a leading role in the negotiations to adopt a fair and equitable, legally binding international regime on ABS of genetic resources; considers as essential that COP 9 makes progress in identifying the main elements of the international ABS regime, and guarantees full compliance with national legislation in provider countries to ensure effective measures against biopiracy;

enhance synergies and links between the UNFCCC and CBD with the aim of maximising co-benefits with regard to the mitigation of climate change, biodiversity protection and sustainable human development,

consider that achieving conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity should be amongst the top priorities for COP 9,

ensure the recognition of effective management and financing of protected areas and their network as a vital necessity, and the adoption of innovative and permanent financial mechanisms, as they contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity,

carry out an EU impact assessment on droughts and water scarcity caused by climate change and its effects on wildlife habitats, highlighting the zones where migratory birds nest, and promoting international cooperation to protect migratory birds and the seasonal wetlands which provide them with water and food,

ensure that COP 9 invites parties to begin a discussion and agree on common principles and criteria of good forest governance, building on the progress already made in various regional Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEG/T) processes and the Amazon Treaty,

ensure that COP 9 agrees that parties begin discussions to agree a global mechanism to regulate timber harvesting and trade for the purpose of combating illegal logging and promoting sustainable use of forest resources, and that COP 9 invites parties to adopt national legislation which prevents the sale of timber and timber products obtained through illegal and destructive logging,

ensure that COP 9 recommends that parties further integrate forest biodiversity aspects of climate change impacts and response activities into national biodiversity strategies and action plans (NBSAPs) and into national forest programmes and other forest related strategies, as well as support research to better understand the impacts of climate change on forest biodiversity,

ensure acceleration of the implementation of existing commitments for better conservation and sustainable management of marine biodiversity in order to protect marine biodiversity from destructive practices,

ensure that COP 9 adopts the proposed set of scientific criteria for the identification of marine areas in need of protection and for representative networks of marine protected areas, as recommended by the Expert Workshop on Ecological Criteria and Biogeographic Classification Systems for Marine Areas in Need of Protection,

ensure that COP 9 recommends that parties work towards an integrated governance approach for marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction, with a view to applying the agreed criteria and extending national and regional networks of marine protected areas to the international waters beyond national jurisdiction,

encourage states to begin negotiations on an Unclos implementing agreement for the protection of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction, so as to ensure integrated governance in the long term,

ensure that COP 9 adopts a final decision to ban all terminator technologies and agree a moratorium on the environmental release, including field trials, and commercial use of genetically modified trees,

ensure that COP 9 makes available the recommendations on marine and coastal biodiversity of the Expert Workshop mentioned above to the UNGA Ad Hoc Open-Ended Informal Working Group,

play a leading role in the Meeting of Parties to the Cartagena Protocol to ensure a legally binding liability regime with a broad scope,

ensure that COP 9 urgently addresses the negative effects of the production of biomass for energy, especially of agrofuels production, on biodiversity and on indigenous and local communities;

promote the full implementation of the CBD Guiding Principles on Invasive Alien Species and in this regard adopt EU legislation to ensure that the threats posed by Invasive Alien Species on EU habitats and species are comprehensively addressed,

promote the implementation of the programme of work on protected areas, with particular reference to its goal 2.2, which seeks to enhance and secure involvement of indigenous and local communities and relevant stakeholders in the designation and management of protected areas, including promoting awareness on mitigation and adaptation activities and increasing cooperation between administrations and land owners,

encourage and support certification schemes for sustainable forestry and other crops including biofuels and the planting of trees in cattle rearing areas,

8.   Welcomes the initiative taken at COP9 to convene a high-level dialogue with parliamentarians, and expresses its support for involving parliamentarians as a major group in the effective implementation of the three objectives of the Convention;

9.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the parties to the CBD.

(1)  OJ C 102 E, 24.4.2008, p. 117.

(2)  OJ L 103, 25.4.1979, p. 1. Directive as last amended by Directive 2006/105/EC (OJ L 363, 20.12.2006, p. 368).

(3)  OJ L 206, 22.7.1992, p. 7. Directive as last amended by Directive 2006/105/EC.