Halting biodiversity loss: EU outlines achievements one year after adoption of global plan for nature and people

Photo-illustration: Unsplash (Mathew Schwartz)

Yesterday marked one year since 196 countries agreed the Kunming–Montréal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) at the United Nations Conference on Biodiversity (COP15) as an action plan to protect, restore, sustainably use, manage and finance ecosystems. Full implementation of both the GBF and the Paris Agreement will result in a truly sustainable economy and help to achieve the sustainable development goals. One year on, the EU has made progress in implementing the deal but more needs to be done ahead of COP16 in October 2024.

Building on the European Green Deal and its strategies, the EU is on track in the implementation of the GBF. The EU has proposed and adopted many new laws this year including:

  • A law on deforestation-free products to ensure European consumption does not cause deforestation in other parts of the world, that will apply at the end of 2024.
  • A provisional agreement on a nature restoration law to restore Europe’s degraded ecosystems. Once adopted and applied in the EU Member States, the law will be key to reaching climate neutrality by 2050 and increasing Europe’s preparedness and resilience to the effects of climate change. The law will help the EU and its Member States meet the restoration target they committed to under the Kunming-Montréal Global Biodiversity Framework.
  • Strengthened monitoring and measuring: a proposal for a soil monitoring law to protect and restore soils and ensure that they are used sustainably, and a proposal for a monitoring framework for resilient European forests to plug existing gaps in the information on European forests and create a comprehensive forest knowledge base.
  • New rules for companies to respect environment in global value chains: a proposal for a Directive on corporate sustainability due diligence will oblige companies to identify and prevent, end or mitigate adverse impacts of their activities on human rights and on the environment, for example pollution and biodiversity.


In addition, the EU along with its Member States continues to mobilise resources to support the implementation of the agreement. The EU and its Member States are the main provider of international biodiversity funding and he Commission already announced a doubling of its international biodiversity financing to seven billion euros for the 2021-2027 period. The European sustainable financing initiative will help to direct finance to support investments in biodiversity. The new EU budget provides for 10 percent to be used for biodiversity-relevant activities as of 2026.

Photo-illustration: Unsplash (Luca Bravo)

In addition, this year saw the signature of the Treaty of the High Seas, enabling large-scale marine protected areas in the high seas, facilitating the achievement of the GBF target to effectively conserve and manage 30 percent of land and sea by 2030. The EU has committed to support the High Seas Treaty’s ratification and early implementation through the EU Global Ocean Programme of 40 million euros and is at the moment working towards its own speedy ratification.

The EU also continues to maximise synergies between climate and biodiversity action, especially by making sure nature-based solutions inform the implementation of both the GBF and the Paris Agreement. The Commission is funding and providing technical support to at least 74 projects on nature-based solutions, with a total contribution of EUR 654 million. The involvement of cities, municipalities and a wide variety of stakeholders, in agriculture, finance and insurance, navigation and water management is facilitating the consideration of nature-based solutions across all sectors of the economy.

The Commission is working with UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Centre to set up a Global Knowledge Support Service for Biodiversity, in particular to support Parties in the monitoring of implementation of the Global Biodiversity Framework. As part of the new biodiversity knowledge governance framework, the Commission has put in place a comprehensive indicator-based monitoring mechanism – EU Biodiversity dashboard and action tracker. The tool will be used for tracking EU and MS progress on global targets, facilitating the exchanges needed to fill some common knowledge gaps in the most cost-efficient way.

Finally, the EU will continue working with partners, including as part of the Team Europe Initiative on deforestation-free supply chains launched at COP28, NaturAfrica and the Sustainable Cocoa Initiative.

Photo-illustration: Unsplash (
Fabian Quintero)

Further actions needed

The CAP Strategic Plans have the potential to contribute to halting and reversing biodiversity loss, however the scale of biodiversity-related needs calls for greater coverage of more promising schemes. Major challenges also remain in terms of the status of farmland biodiversity. Effective implementation pf GBF requires the active engagement of all government, all society and all economy, mobilisation of resources from all sources and will need continued effort and leadership. The EU is currently analysing whether anything needs to be added or strengthened to effectively implement the GBF and is working together with other Parties and stakeholders to enable the full and swift implementation of GBF at global level.

Next steps

As agreed at CBD COP15, the EU will communicate its targets to the CBD ahead of CBD COP16 early in 2024, including an assessment of whether EU existing goals and targets are aligned with the GBF. All Parties are expected to do the same. This should allow to assess at COP16 whether the sum of all national targets suffice for achieving the global goals and targets.

At CBD COP16, governments and stakeholders should demonstrate significant progress on all fronts, announcing strategies and action plans, as well as proving progress on resource mobilization, capacity building, access and benefit-sharing and monitoring.

Source: European Commission