BUSINESS AND BIODIVERSITY - BUILDING PARTNERSHIPS
THE EU BUSINESS AND BIODIVERSITY INITIATIVE
BEYOND THE LISBON CONFERENCE
A DISCUSSION PAPER FOR THE EU BUSINESS AND BIODIVERSITY
CONFERENCE, LISBON, 12-13 NOVEMBER, 2007
The EU agenda for biodiversity
The European Union has a stated political aim dating from the 2001 European Summit in
Gothenburg "to halt biodiversity decline by 2010". At a global level, in 2002 at the World
Summit on Sustainable Development, the EU also committed itself to "significantly reduce
the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010".
In May 2006 the European Commission adopted a Communication entitled "Halting the loss
of Biodiversity by 2010 - and beyond - sustaining ecosystem services for human well-being"1.
This communication sets the EU agenda for biodiversity. While confirming the central
importance of existing legislation and in particular the Natura 2000 network, the
communication also sets out a more comprehensive and inclusive vision for biodiversity
protection with a specific focus given to the goods and services provided by ecosystems.
This Communication identified a number of key objectives and actions that will be necessary
to halt biodiversity decline. One of the key measures is the building of more effective
partnerships, including partnerships with Business both at the level of the EU and in the
Member States, fully in line with the global commitments under the Convention on Biological
In the political agendas of the German, Portuguese and Slovenian presidencies of the EU
(January 2007 - June 2008), the protection of biodiversity and the integration of biodiversity
into business decision-making and corporate governance (“Business and
Biodiversity”) have been recognised as a common priority.
COM (2006) 216 OJ C184, 8.8.06 p. 121.
More specifically Portugal, in its capacity as current Presidency