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Publication: Pathways for biodiversity conservation and restoration in Europe

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#BioDivScen: Scenarios to navigate declining European biodiversity

The latest scientific data show that Europe's biodiversity has reached a tipping point: Over the past four decades, the populations of Europe's farmland birds and insects have declined significantly. To improve the situation, seven projects of the BiodivScen program propose collaborative and sustainable solutions. ZALF has contributed to these solutions with the SALBES project (Scenarios for Agricultural Landscapes' Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services).

The seven projects, co-funded by Biodiversa+, the European Commission and the Belmont Forum, offer future biodiversity scenarios that explore the future of European ecosystems. They cover key topics such as pollinators, migratory birds, marine and upland biodiversity.

Going beyond mere projections, these biodiversity scenarios provide estimates of policy and societal trajectories that present both desirable and worrisome prospects for the future. They are proving to be central elements in the development of action plans, providing an essential roadmap for navigating the complex interface between human activities and the environment. In addition, the projects address knowledge gaps identified by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and are expected to contribute significantly to future IPBES assessments.

The ZALF project SALBES emphasizes the importance of diverse land cover types and extensive management for the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services in different European regions. Results of the project, completed in 2022, show that sustainable and resilient agriculture requires equal consideration of ecosystem services, biodiversity and economic outcomes, despite potential short-term economic conflicts.

With the recent adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework and the commitment to the ambitious 'EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030', and as Europe prepares for the new EU Nature Restoration Law, scenarios are expected to guide collective efforts to restore nature by 2050. The BiodivScen projects contribute to a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and opportunities in conserving Europe's biodiversity, providing essential insights for policy makers, conservationists and the public.


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