As the biggest annual international event focusing on EU environment policies, the Green Week provided a unique opportunity for exchange of experience and best practice on how to preserve biodiversity between representatives from different levels of government, business, international institutions, non-governmental organisations and the scientific biodiversity community.
To preserve and restore biodiversity, EU Heads of State and Governments have agreed 'to halt the loss of biodiversity by 2010' and to restore habitats and natural systems. Although half of the time to reach this goal has already past, the decline of biodiversity continues unabated. The Green Week 2006 conference programme therefore looked at key aspects of EU biodiversity policy and potential approaches for strengthening cooperation with stakeholders to ensure the 2010 target is reached. Structured around four main strands - biodiversity as a global issue, the management of natural resources, space for nature and biodiversity and society – the sessions and workshops gave rise to some lively debates.
In some sessions, the inclusion of actors outside the environmental scene would have been an asset because those participating almost exclusively agreed that biodiversity loss is a central issue for concern and that stopping or halting the loss should be a top political priority. Larger numbers of stakeholders and actors from different backgrounds (industry, natural resource exploitation sector, etc.) weighing biodiversity conservation relative to other societal objectives (welfare generation, economic growth, employment policies) or outlining reasons for common obstacles for biodiversity conservation from their perspective would have been appreciated.
Keywords: Biodiversity, Governance, Green Week, natural resources, Europe, environment
- Countdown 2010
- EU Commission Green Week homepage
- EU Commission (DG Environment): Nature and biodiversity homepage
- Communication from the Commission "Halting the loss of biodiversity by 2010 – and beyond"
- EU Commission (Press release): "Questions and answers about EU biodiversity policy"