"We want Africa to preserve the unique wildlife of its countries, we want the Amazonian and Indonesian forests to be protected, but should we not also consider our own rich natural heritage in Europe?", emphasised Roby Biwer, Member of Bettembourg Municipal Council (Luxembourg), speaking at the meeting of the Committee of the Region's Commission for the Environment, Climate Change and Energy (ENVE) in Balatonfüred, Hungary.
His draft opinion, which was supported unanimously by ENVE members, will form the CoR's contribution to the Fourteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP14) and will provide valuable input to the post-2020 EU Biodiversity Strategy.
"Investing in our natural heritage plays an important role in making our societies more resilient by enhancing the quality of life, strengthening the local economy and reducing the impacts of climate change", stressed Biwer.
In this context, he underlined the crucial role of cities and regions in supporting the implementation of the objectives of the EU Biodiversity Strategy and the Convention on Biological Diversity, as many decisions affecting biodiversity are taken in cities and regions.
"The EU has one of the most advanced legislations on the protection of habitats and species. We now need to focus on its implementation. The CoR can play an important role regarding the engagement with regional and local authorities all over Europe and by advocating multilevel governance for biodiversity protection at a global level", he concluded.
Roby Biwer will represent the CoR at the fourteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, which will take place from 10 to 22 November 2018 in Egypt. It will be a crucial opportunity to mobilise resources and reinforce efforts for the implementation of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets for 2020, and to prepare the ground for a new strategic plan on how to halt biodiversity loss and restore eco-systems globally until 2050.