EU Ministers Discuss Biodiversity Protection, Climate Change Adaptation and Aid To Ukraine
An informal meeting of EU Environment Ministers took place in Prague on Wednesday 13 July, to discuss EU actions related to protecting biodiversity and adapting to climate change. Photo credit: EU2022.cz
Czech Republic, July 15 (BD) – Ministers and other senior EU officials discussed the conservation of nature and biodiversity, the environmental impacts of the war in Ukraine, and measures to adapt to climate change during an informal meeting in Prague on 13 July.
“At the informal Council we discussed a number of topics,” said Czech Environment Minister Anna Hubáčková. “The Czech Presidency particularly wants to stress that in climate protection it makes no sense to separate efforts to reduce emissions from adaptation measures. Adaptation to climate change is closely linked to the protection of biodiversity and the restoration of nature.” She added that the EU Environment Ministers also agreed on measures they could take to help Ukraine to identify and repair the environmental damage caused by the war.
Ministers also discussed the EU’s international commitments. The Czech Republic will represent the EU at the upcoming COP 15 biodiversity conference in Montreal.
The European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, stressed that during the conference it will be necessary to agree on the Global Biodiversity Framework beyond 2020, a key strategy for the conservation and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems in the world for the next ten years.
“Billions of people depend on biodiversity for food, medicine, energy and clean water. Biodiversity is a powerful tool in adapting to climate change. Yet we are still losing biodiversity at an unprecedented rate and urgent action is needed to change course globally. At COP15, we will be able to agree on a transformative Global Biodiversity Framework beyond 2020. The European Union will push for ambitious measures to address this crisis, from strong targets for protecting our land and oceans to a framework for monitoring and reviewing implementation,” said Sinkevičius.
Ministers therefore agreed that, as on climate, Europe must be a world leader on biodiversity and pursue ambitious global targets.
The EU ministers’ discussion on limiting, monitoring and subsequently repairing the serious environmental damage caused by the war in Ukraine started with a summary of the environmental damage from the Ukrainian Environment Minister Ruslan Strilets, who was present in person.
“One fifth of the Ukrainian landscape is affected by the war. For example, water resources are threatened, which means that people do not have access to clean water. Nothing will bring back the value that has been destroyed by the war. Our natural resources mean nothing to Russia, but they are of great value to us,” said Strilets.