Our Work

The EU has a well-established biodiversity conservation policy framework that has provided major benefits for biodiversity in Europe. IEEP has a strong track record of assessing and advising on the implementation, monitoring and enforcement of EU policy for biodiversity and ecosystem services. Our work, with partners, helps to strengthen the implementation of the EU Biodiversity Strategy, the Habitats and Birds Directives and the Natura 2000 network. We seek to improve our knowledge of the status of biodiversity in Europe and globally, and highlight the cost of policy inaction.

IEEP continues to be instrumental in developing nature conservation policy and other sectoral policies to support biodiversity and ecosystem services. We are advancing the Biodiversity Strategy objective of ‘no net loss’ of biodiversity, by identifying policy measures to avoid and minimise negative impacts on biodiversity, and to offset residual impacts tools.

IEEP has helped to establish a structured process to minimize harmful impacts of EU spending and maximise the biodiversity benefits through our work on ‘biodiversity proofing’ EU funding instruments such as those under the Common Agricultural Policy, Common Fisheries Policy, Cohesion Policy. Our work has also helped to develop policy measures to support the concept of green infrastructure, by assessing its potential costs and benefits, and identifying policies that could support its enhancement.

Latest in Biodiversity Policy & Instruments

  • Access to Nature Reduces Health Inequalities: An IEEP Briefing

    Improving access to nature can help address health and social challenges across Europe and reduce health inequalities.

  • Can green infrastructure help conserve biodiversity?

    A new article, published in Environment and Planning and co-authored by IEEP’s Marianne Kettunen, explores nature conservation practitioners’ views on green infrastructure, including opportunities and risks related to its implementation.

  • Fitness Check of the Birds and Habitats Directives

    The Nature Directives (i.e. Birds Directive and Habitats Directive) are the key instruments of EU environmental policy; the Fitness Check support study, carried out by Milieu, IEEP and ICF for the European Commission DG-ENV, examined their effectiveness, efficiency, relevance, EU-added value and their coherence with the wider acquis.

  • New study on the Health and Social Benefits of Biodiversity and Nature Protection

    Protecting nature and biodiversity is helping to tackle urgent health and social challenges across Europe. A new IEEP study shows how urban, suburban and rural green areas bring multiple and often overlooked benefits to society.

  • Biodiversity offsets: What did the UK pilot scheme achieve?

    Voluntary biodiversity offsetting was piloted in six English areas by local planning authorities and stakeholder organisations who agreed to take part in the government programme. IEEP and Collingwood Environmental Planning, together with David Tyldesley, assessed the UK government programme from 2012 to 2014.

  • IEEP steps up work on the multiple benefits of biodiversity

    IEEP explores the multiple benefits of nature, showing that health, social and economic benefits can complement biodiversity’s intrinsic value.

  • Socio-economic benefits of EU Marine Protected Areas

    They are more than just a nature conservation tool – a study by IEEP shows how EU Marine Protected Areas help to maintain and improve the provision of a wide range of ecosystem services and related socio-economic benefits.

  • Improving environmental financing via result-based agri-environment measures

    A new article by IEEP explores the use of result-based agri-environment measures in the region of Baden-Württemberg, Germany. The study shows that result-based schemes can increase the environmental effectiveness and conditionality of the EU Common Agricultural Policy.

  • Wildlife crime and the EU

    Wildlife crime threatens global biodiversity. The EU is both a destination and a transit region for illegally-traded products. A new study for the European Parliament summarises the situation in Europe and offers policy recommendations in view of the upcoming EU Action Plan. A set of in-depth case studies outline the situation in five EU countries.

  • Conference on the Fitness Check of EU Nature Legislation

    As part of the fitness check of the EU Nature Directives, the European Commission is organising a high-level conference in Brussels on 20 November. The purpose of the conference is to present and discuss the emerging findings from the assessment of evidence and information gathered during the process.

  • Protected area approaches in the EU

    Protected areas play an important role in achieving biodiversity conservation targets. IEEP has compared the approaches and rationale of designating and managing protected areas in the UK and a selection of eight other EU Member States.

  • Result-based agri-environment measures: market-based instruments, incentives or rewards?

    Result-based schemes are innovative agri-environment measures, which remunerate farmers only if they can demonstrate to have achieved the desired environmental goal. This is different from ...

  • Biodiversity offsets: design of biodiversity metrics and mechanisms for securing long term conservation benefits

    This study by ICF International, IEEP and national experts reviewed international best practice for designing biodiversity offsetting metrics and establishing mechanisms for ensuring long term conservation benefits from offsetting. It explores options for implementation at the European level and possible challenges. The report follows up on the IEEP report on policy options to achieve no net loss of biodiversity.

  • How is favourable conservation status being defined across the EU?

    The core objective of both nature directives is to achieve a favourable conservation status of European protected habitats and species. An understanding of how these criteria for conservation status have been interpreted and implemented across the Member States is important as greater uniformity in the interpretation could improve the quality of biodiversity reporting at the European level.

  • Public consultation on EU Nature legislation ‘Fitness Check‘ launched

    The ‘Fitness Check’ on EU Nature legislation has moved to a new phase with the launch of an online public consultation. The consultation allows all interested parties throughout the European Union to share their views on the legislation.

  • The use of eco-accounts in Baden- Württemberg to implement the German Impact Mitigation Regulation: A tool to meet EU’s No-Net-Loss requirement?

    A case study which looks into the extent to which the Eco-accounts in place in Baden-Württemberg in Germany are effective and consistent with the EU’s no-net-loss objective and international offsetting principles.

  • The Manual: Chapter 9 - Biodiversity

    This is a chapter of IEEP’s Manual of European Environmental Policy. In this chapter the development of the EU biodiversity policy framework is explored, including the Birds and Habitats Directive and other legislation on Genetically Modified Organisms, for example.

  • The Manual: Chapter 13 - Sectoral policies

    This is a chapter of IEEP’s Manual of European Environmental Policy. This chapter sets out the development of some of the most important links between EU environmental policy and other policy areas, such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries, transport, trade, and so on.

  • Time for an updated global agenda for protected areas - IUCN World Parks Congress in Sydney (12 – 19 November)

    The landmark international forum on protected areas - IUCN World Parks Congress (WPC) – will take place in in Sydney 12 – 19 November. IEEP’s Marianne Kettunen will be attending the event, showcasing and drawing lessons from IEEP’s longstanding work on protected areas.

  • IEEP to support the European Commission’s nature legislation fitness check

    As part of its Smart Regulation policy the European Commission is to undertake a Fitness Check of EU Nature legislation, which will comprise a comprehensive assessment of whether the regulatory framework is “fit for purpose”. IEEP is part of a consortium, led by Milieu, that has been awarded the study contract to support the Commission in collecting and assessing evidence for the fitness check.