22 May 2018

Biodiversity, the other battle to be fought

Nicolas Hulot, Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, has outlined his strategy for action aimed at protecting biodiversity, with a view to giving this issue as much precedence as the climate, and France becoming a world leader on the subject.

Protecting biodiversity is a key issue as, for Nicolas Hulot, humanity has become "a weapon of mass destruction against nature". The number of bird species in France has plummeted by a third in 15 years for example.

This challenge is inextricably bound up with the climate issue, since one battle will not be won without the other.

The Government is firmly committed to France becoming a world leader on the subject, just as it is on climate matters.

  • The subject will take centre-stage at the G7, for which France is set to take up the presidency in 2019
  • In April-May 2019, France will be hosting the plenary session of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)
  • In Europe, France is actively pushing for biodiversity to be taken fully on board in European policies, and for Europe to adopt a strong, united stance on the subject on the international stage
  • Marseille will be hosting the 7th IUCN World Conservation Congress in June 2020

France setting a glowing example in terms of protecting biodiversity

Portrait of Minister Nicolas Hulot
"French society must now be a nature-caring society. For nature's sake, we need to make peace with it".
Nicolas Hulot
Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition

France needs to set a glowing example if we are to be a leading light in this regard. This is the purpose of the Interministerial Plan for Biodiversity, due to be presented this coming July. This will form the 2nd pillar of the Government's ecological transition policy, after the Climate Plan.

The aim: that France, by 2030, is no longer playing a part in nature's destruction, but instead helping to "repair the living".

  • This particularly involves halting land take, with a target of no net land take in 2025, whereas at current rates, an area roughly the size of Pas-de-Calais (or Devon in England) is subject to land take every 10 years.
  • It also means developing nature in urban areas, limiting pesticides which are destroying certain species, creating new nature reserves and spots or extending existing areas as much as possible, and bolstering protection of the oceans.

To achieve this, widespread mobilisation is absolutely essential, by rallying economic stakeholders to the cause in particular, not least through amendments to the Common Agricultural Policy, for "we must each assume our share of responsibility," Nicolas Hulot said.

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