The European Commission has adopted the new EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 and an associated Action Plan – a comprehensive, ambitious, long-term plan for protecting nature and reversing the degradation of ecosystems.

It aims to put Europe’s biodiversity on a path to recovery by 2030 with benefits for people, the climate and the planet. It is also the proposal for the EU contribution to the upcoming international negotiations on the global post-2020 biodiversity framework.

In the post-COVID context, the Biodiversity Strategy aims to build our societies’ resilience to future threats. A core part of the European Green Deal, the Biodiversity Strategy will also support a green recovery following the pandemic.

Main elements of the Strategy for 2030

The Strategy contains specific commitments and actions to be delivered by 2030, including:

  1. Establishing a larger EU-wide network of protected areas on land and at sea, building upon existing Natura 2000 areas, with strict protection for areas of very high biodiversity and climate value.
  1. An EU Nature Restoration Plan – a series of concrete commitments and actions to restore degraded ecosystems across the EU by 2030, and manage them sustainably, addressing the key drivers of biodiversity loss.
  1. A set of measures to enable the necessary transformative change: setting in motion a new, strengthened governance framework to ensure better implementation and track progress, improving knowledge, financing and investments and better respecting nature in public and business decision-making.
  1. Measures to tackle the global biodiversity challenge, demonstrating that the EU is ready to lead by example towards the successful adoption of an ambitious global biodiversity framework under the Convention on Biological Diversity.

What does this strategy mean for the outdoor sports sector?

This strategy establishes a decisive political framework to tackle the challenges ahead. The promotion of healthy ecosystems, green infrastructure and nature-based solutions will be systematically integrated into urban planning, including the design of public spaces and infrastructure. This is a major opportunity for the development of outdoor sports in Europe.

The strategy also includes commitments to reverse the decline of pollinator insects. The Commission proposes that 10% of agricultural land should consist of ‘high-diversity landscape features’, for instance in the form of hedges or flower strips, which could potentially also be used for recreational purposes and connecting people to the nature in them.

A major drive of the strategy is foreseen to protect and restore EU forests, including primary and old growth forests including an objective of planting 3 billion additional trees in the EU by 2030. Forests are extremely important resources for outdoor recreation, providing space for many types of activities and experiences.

Improved protection of freshwater and marine ecosystems provides water sports enthusiasts with clean and sustainable places to participate.

How does ENOS address the biodiversity challenges and engage in the biodiversity strategy?

ENOS is committed to support the biodiversity agenda, addressing the widening gap between people and nature by raising biodiversity awareness as follows:

  • Connecting people and biodiversity
    The BOSS project has highlighted the importance of outdoor recreation to bring nature back to our lives and promote sustainable ways for European citizens to interact with their local environments. The diversity of outdoor sports provides extensive opportunities for everyone to experience nature connectedness and sustainable human-nature interactions. 
  • Promoting the exchange of best practices beyond borders
    ENOS promotes cooperation between outdoor sports stakeholder across Europe, capitalising on good practices and examples in order to promote the biodiversity agenda by facilitating project      applications, networking opportunities and information sharing.
  • Cooperation with key stakeholders at European level
    ENOS welcomes the step towards recognition of the value of Protected Areas as a key delivery mechanism for the strategy. This  provides a great opportunity for ENOS to continue to strengthen its cooperation with EUROPARC federation to share best-practice, take the initiative to lower the impact of outdoor sports on the natural environment, and to support the effectiveness of the Biodiversity Strategy.
  • Provide guidance, support and advocacy for the recognition of the power of outdoor sports
    Outdoor sports are multi-faceted and can be an effective agent for the promotion of cross-cutting issues. However, they are not always recognised for their power as a change agent for addressing sustainability and environment challenges in the political arena. Therefore ENOS continues to promote the dialogue with decision makers at European level.

Key documents
Communication: EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 and Annex
Factsheets: Bringing nature back into our lives – EU 2030 Biodiversity Strategy and EU Biodiversity strategy info sheet