EU Needs Human & Nature Friendly Farming

From farm to fork

What WWF will be looking out for in the EU Biodiversity and Farm to Fork Strategies:
“On 20 May, the European Commission will publish the 2030 EU Biodiversity Strategy and the Farm to Fork Strategy. These two strategies are key components of the European Green Deal, and will set out the main features of the EU’s biodiversity and food-related policies for the coming decade. The strategies must announce strong, ambitious plans to accelerate the transformation towards sustainable food and farming systems in Europe, and to protect and restore our nature for a healthier, safer environment, climate change action, and improved economic and environmental resilience.

The COVID-19 outbreak has shone a spotlight on the close interlinkages between healthy ecosystems and human health. With one million species facing extinction worldwide, the stakes have never been higher. WWF is urging the Commission to make these strategies strong, with ambitious and enforceable targets to reorient EU’s agriculture towards nature-friendly farming, proper fisheries management measures and announcing new restoration legislation to finally halt and reverse biodiversity loss.

“The recent pandemic has been a wake-up call that our society, economy and our own health are inextricably linked to the way we treat the natural world. It has never been more urgent to present an EU Biodiversity Strategy that can bring nature back for the good of people and planet,” said Sabien Leemans, Senior Policy Officer for Biodiversity at WWF European Policy Office.

“As the EU looks towards recovery, the EU Farm to Fork strategy could be a key tool in building a more sustainable, resilient food and farming system” said Jabier Ruiz, Senior Policy Officer for Food and Agriculture at WWF European Policy Office. “An ambitious Farm to Fork could be the push that finally turns the backward-looking Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) around.”

After the publication of both strategies, WWF will send a reactive statement to the media with a brief analysis of the main elements mentioned below.

What WWF is looking out for:

EU 2030 Biodiversity Strategy
Europe is no exception to the biodiversity crisis. To finally halt and restore biodiversity loss by 2030, the Biodiversity Strategy must:

  1. Commit to keeping existing environmental policies strong and stimulate enforcement and implementation of the Birds and Habitats Directives, Water Framework Directive, Marine Strategy Framework Directive, the EU Timber Regulation and the Invasive Alien Species regulation.
  2. Commit to an effectively managed and connected network of protected areas, covering 30% of the EU’s land and sea and  to introduce a legally binding restoration target supported by a new EU law.
  3. Address unsustainable use on agriculture, fisheries, bioenergy and water management and by doing so, tackle the key drivers of biodiversity loss.
  4. Invest in nature and phase out conflicting funding.
  5. Take a leadership role globally by reducing EU’s footprint and advocating for an ambitious 2030 global biodiversity framework.

EU Farm to Fork Strategy
The EU Farm to Fork strategy must change the current silo approach to food-related policy making and accelerate the transition to truly sustainable food systems in the next decade. To do this, the Farm to Fork strategy must:

  1. Based on a long-term vision, set out ambitious quantitative targets for 2030 on key parameters such as organic and high nature value farming, fertilisation reduction, agrochemical use, GHG emissions reduction and carbon dioxide removal, as well as farmland biodiversity.
  2. Make a strong commitment to reorient the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and its ongoing reform.
  3. Ensure EU fisheries and imports of seafood are fully transparent and traceable, and that fisheries controls are better applied.
  4. Develop and implement clear rules to ensure supply chains of agriculture products are free from deforestation and destruction of other ecosystems and human rights violations.
  5. Reduce high-footprint food production and consumption, including actions to accelerate the transition to healthy sustainable diets, an action plan on proteins and shifting away from industrial animal farming.”
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