CM/Cong(2009)Rec232 final 28 April 2009
“Biodiversity policies for urban areas” –
Recommendation 232 (2008) of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe
(Reply adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 22 April 2009 at the 1055th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies)
1. The Committee of Ministers has taken note of Congress Recommendation 232 (2008) on “Biodiversity policies for urban areas”. It thanks the Congress for the proposals put forward which have been duly brought to the attention of member states so that they may use them as guidance. It has also forwarded the recommendation to the European Union for information and to the European Conference of Ministers responsible for Regional/Spatial Planning (CEMAT), the European Committee for Local and Regional Democracy (CDLR) and the Standing Committee of the Bern Convention, for comments.
2. The Committee of Ministers welcomes the interest of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe in biodiversity conservation and, in particular, urban biodiversity. It shares the Congress' view that biodiversity erosion is related to human activity and the environmental problems it has generated, in particular climate change, deforestation, habitat loss due to land conversion, pollution and accelerating urbanisation.
3. Like the Congress, the Committee of Ministers acknowledges the importance of action taken by the international community to stem biodiversity reduction, and notes that the Congress quite rightly recognises the pioneering role played by the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Bern, 1979). The Committee of Ministers supports environmental approaches which integrate actions to halt biological diversity loss within strategies and policies addressing spatial planning, transport and mobility, energy resources and water and waste management. In this regard, it believes that urban biodiversity should be fully addressed in all biological diversity instruments, strategies and action plans.
4. The Committee of Ministers notes with interest the Congress’s proposal that the competent bodies of the Council of Europe envisage a co-ordinated approach for participation in the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity.
5. With regard to the Congress’s suggestion that a recommendation to member states be drafted on the challenge of biodiversity loss which takes into account the specific nature of urban biodiversity, the Committee of Ministers observes that this suggestion could be considered in the context of its future activities. In this respect, the Committee of Ministers notes the work currently being carried out by the Standing Committee of the Bern Convention on issues of relevance for urban biodiversity, such as invasive alien species, the conservation of wild species, and the impacts of climate change. It encourages the Congress to pursue its collaboration with the Bern Convention on biodiversity-related matters.