Biodiversity announced as the EGU's 1st Policy Priority Area - find out how you can get involved!

Dear Experts,

Earlier this month, Biodiversity was selected as EGU’s 2022-2024 Policy Priority Area due to its connection with many geoscience areas, current and future policy relevance, and the need for continued scientific support in the creation or renewal of European legislation and initiatives.

This month’s Science for Policy Newsletter will focus on the new Policy Priority Area and explain how EGU members can get involved in this exciting new initiative by joining the EGU’s Biodiversity Task Force!

If you have any further questions about biodiversity, the Policy Priority Area or about joining the Biodiversity Task Force, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via or on Twitter @Chl0e_Hill.

Best wishes,
Chloe Hill, EGU Policy Manager

Biodiversity: EGU’s 2022-24 Policy Priority Area

Biodiversity is an essential component of life on Earth and of human society. It’s now also a primary focus area of the European Union with the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 launched in 2020 as part of the European Green Deal. The EU’s Biodiversity Strategy has some extremely ambitious targets such as increasing the EU-wide network of protected areas to 30% for both land and sea, planting at least 3 billion trees in the EU by 2030 while protecting, and restoring at least 25,000 km of rivers, floodplains, and wetlands by 2030.

The EGU hopes to support these targets by establishing biodiversity as our Policy Priority Area and creating a Biodiversity Task Force. These initiatives will enable the EGU to concentrate on a key area that is relevant for both EU policy and the geosciences, and therefore meaningfully contribute to specific EU policies.

You can read more about the EU’s biodiversity targets and upcoming policies as well as the aims of EGU’s Biodiversity Policy Priority Area in November’s GeoPolicy Blog post.

EGU’s Biodiversity Task Force – apply now!

Along with the new Policy Priority Area for 2022-204, the EGU has also launched a Biodiversity Task Force that will lead the Union’s biodiversity initiatives and allow EGU to contribute to the EU’s upcoming biodiversity policies and activities!

Starting in 2022, this Task Force of 8-10 experts will oversee EGU’s biodiversity-related activities and contribute to specific EU policy activities. It is hoped that this Task Force will not only support EGU activities but also provide individuals within the group with the opportunity to gain experience working at the science-policy interface, gain new insights, and expand their network. If you’re interested in getting more involved with policy and work in a biodiversity-related area, we would really encourage you to apply!

You can read more about the Task Force and how to apply here.

For more details about the Task Force, take a look at November’s GeoTalk where I answer questions about why EGU needs a Task Force, what the main roles of Task Force members will be, and who should apply!

Biodiversity-related European Consultations & Draft Acts

One example of an initiative that the EGU’s Biodiversity Task Force might undertake is answering a European Commission Consultation or Draft Act. EU Consultations and Draft Acts provide individuals and organisations such as the EGU with an opportunity to contribute to the EU policymaking process by providing feedback on Commission initiatives as they take shape or are being evaluated. Below are some examples of biodiversity-relevant Consultations and Draft Acts that are currently open that you can also respond to!

EU Consultation: Hazardous waste – updated concentration limits for chemical pollutants

Persistent organic pollutants refer to chemicals that break down slowly, get into the food chain, and have the potential to impact both biodiversity and human health. To minimise their harm, the EU sets concentration limits for these chemicals which are then regularly reviewed using the latest research. In this Consultation, the EU hopes to get feedback to assist in reviewing these limits and ensure that waste containing these persistent pollutants is managed in an environmentally sound way.

You can have your say and submit your feedback on this Consultation here until midnight CET on 23 December 2021

Draft Act: Updating the list of invasive alien species threatening biodiversity and ecosystems across the EU

Invasive alien species are animals and plants that are introduced into an environment where they are not normally found. Some invasive species can have serious negative consequences for their new environment. The EU maintains a list of ‘invasive alien species of Union concern’ to track these. This Draft Act aims to add more species to this list.

You can have your say and submit your feedback on this Draft Act until midnight CET on 14 December 2021.

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