Media advisory - 003(2010)

EU-CoE Conference marking and celebrating 2010 as “International Year of Biodiversity”

Date: 26 – 27 January

Place: Madrid (Spain), IFEMA - Convention and Congress Centre

Description: The Council of Europe has co-operated with the Spanish Ministry of Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs to organise a 2-day conference in Madrid marking the beginning of 2010 as the International Year of Biodiversity. The conference will be held on 26-27 January 2010 and will focus on “Post-2010 Biodiversity Vision and Target -The role of Protected Areas and Ecological Networks in Europe”.

The event will take place right at the start of the Spanish Presidency of the European Union, and the CoE will be represented by Mr Moritz Leuenberger, Swiss Councillor responsible for Environment, (as Switzerland currently holds the Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe).

The aim of the Conference is to assess and analyse the biodiversity targets set in 2002 for 2010, and define new targets for biodiversity conservation and sustainable use for the coming years. In addition, the conference will provide a forum to address to what extent the measures and initiatives taken in Europe, at governmental and non-governmental level, contribute to the implementation of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and its Programme of Work on Protected Areas. Finally, the conference will discuss the role of ecological networks in Europe’s biodiversity, including the Emerald Network (built under the Bern Convention), the EU’s Natura 2000 Network, and the Pan-European Ecological Network.

International Year of Biodiversity: The United Nations General Assembly declared 2010 the International Year of Biodiversity to coincide with the deadline adopted by Governments in 2002 to achieve a significant reduction in the rate of loss of the diversity of species and ecosystems of the planet. During the year, the diversity of life on the planet and its contribution to human well-being will be celebrated, while discussions will be held to take the steps needed to combat its loss. At a ceremony in Berlin on 11 January 2010, political leaders urged biodiversity protection to be elevated to a high level together with other issues such as climate change and economic development.

More information on the conference

Contact: Eladio Fernández-Galiano, Head of the Biological Diversity Unit,

Council of Europe Directorate of Communication
Tel: +33 (0)3 88 41 25 60
Fax:+33 (0)3 88 41 39 11