Culture, Heritage and Diversity

The Pan-European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy

" ...The Strategy establishes an international framework for co-operation for consolidating and extending schemes and programmes in the conservation field... "

The Pan-European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy (PEBLDS) was set up following the Rio Earth Summit and the adoption of the United Nations "Convention on Biological Diversity". It was adopted at the 3rd Ministerial Conference "An Environment for Europe" held in October 1995 in Sofia, Bulgaria. The principal aim of the Strategy is to find a consistent response to the decline of biological and landscape diversity in Europe and to ensure the sustainability of the natural environment.

A Strategy for conservation: approach and objectives

Europe, more so than any other continent, is a patchwork of relatively small countries. As a consequence, ecosystems and the processes that disrupt their functioning often extend across national boundaries. Isolated measures taken within a local, regional or national context will therefore in many cases be inadequate to deal with the problems.

Working within an international framework provides the opportunity to take more effective measures by facilitating the development of a common approach to the conservation of Europe's biodiversity and by helping to promote coordinated action.

It was for these reasons that 54 countries endorsed in 1995 the Pan-European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy. In doing so, the governments of the countries recognised the special need for international cooperation in efforts to conserve biodiversity and landscapes of European importance.

A new approach

The strategy differs from previous attempts to conserve biodiversity in four important ways:

it has a vast geographical scope, covering virtually the entire continent of Europe and northern and central Asia;
it aims to ensure that the ecosystems on which species depend continue to function, rather than protecting only threatened species or a limited number of valuable sites;
it brings together the conservation of biodiversity and landscapes into an integrated framework;
it provides for a systematic programme of concrete actions that are designed to ensure that long-term conservation objectives are achieved.

Long-term objectives

The long-term objectives of the strategy are:

the establishment of a Pan-European Ecological Network to conserve ecosystems, habitats, species and landscapes that are of European importance;
the sustainable management and use of Europe's biodiversity;
integrating biodiversity conservation and sustainability into the activities of other sectors, such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries, industry, transport and tourism;
improving information on and awareness of biodiversity and increasing public participation in conservation actions;
improving our understanding of the state of Europe's biodiversity;
assuring that adequate funds are made available to implement the strategy.

Intergovernmental Conferences

22-24 September 2009, LiŤge (Belgium), 5th Conference "Biodiversity in Europe"

22-24 February 2006, Plitvice Lakes National Park (Croatia), 4th Conference "Biodiversity in Europe"

18-21 January 2004, Madrid (Spain), 3rd Conference "Biodiversity in Europe"

24-28 February 2002, Budapest (Hungary), 2nd Conference "Biodiversity in Europe"

20-23 March 2000, Riga (Latvia), 1st Conference "Biodiversity in Europe"

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