Lib Dem Euro MP, Catherine Bearder, today launched a campaign to intensify the EU's commitment to protecting the world's threatened ecosystems and endangered species.
The UN has declared 2010 as the International Year of Biodiversity. To coincide with this, Catherine Bearder MEP is urging other MEPs to sign her Written Declaration* on protecting and valuing biodiversity in Europe. MEPs can be contacted via the 'They work for you' website.
At the launch Catherine said, "Europe has a rich biodiversity that needs protecting from short-sighted action and climate change."
"The EU must work towards a system of protection that acknowledges the true economic and social value of biodiversity and ecosystems."
"In many sectors there is a clear link between biodiversity and our economic productivity. The future of Europe's farmers and fishermen will be threatened if we cannot guarantee the survival of the land they sow and the fish they catch."
"Many people come to visit the beautiful nature reserves and national parks all across Europe. Ecotourism is growing in size and can play a big part in building a new green economy across Europe."
"It is cheaper to protect our biodiversity today than it will be to replace it tomorrow, if it would even be possible. Extinction is looming for much of our wildlife and extinction is forever."
"If you care about the survival of our planet's ecosystems then contact your MEPs and get them to sign my Written Declaration."
A Written Declaration is a written statement that launches a debate on an issue that falls within the EU's remit. If it is signed by a majority of MEPs, it is forwarded to the European Commission to act on. Please see the full text of Catherine's Written Declaration below:
Written declaration on the protection of fragile ecosystems and endangered species
The European Parliament, having regard to Rule 123
of its Rules of Procedure,
A. whereas 2010 has been declared the United Nations International Year of Biodiversity,
B. whereas in 2002 global leaders agreed to reduce biodiversity loss by 2010 but it is now generally accepted that this target has not been achieved,
C. whereas tropical rainforests and other forests are acknowledged as playing a fundamental role in regulating the world's climate systems,
D. whereas the abundance of large and small vertebrates is rapidly declining in forests, particularly in the tropics, where over-hunting and human encroachment has left many forests structurally intact but potentially incapable of sustaining their biodiversity,
E. whereas the exploitation of marine and other ecosystems is contributing to depletion of many of the world's most iconic species which now face extinction,
F. whereas the European Union can internationally have a decisive say over political and economic issues affecting fragile ecosystems and endangered species,
1. Urges the Commission and Member States to intensify the EU's commitment to ensuring that the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity includes concrete measures to protect the world's threatened ecosystems and endangered species;
2. Requests urgent progress towards a system for measuring and acknowledging the true economic and social value of biodiversity and ecosystems which reflects their vulnerability, capital stock, the benefits to communities that depend on them and the true cost of their loss;
3. Instructs its President to forward this declaration, together with the names of the signatories, to the Council and the Commission