C1 Hall

Biodiversity and ecosystem services in Europe and Central Asia – status, trends and future scenarios


Piero Visconti


The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), a science-policy platform administered by the United Nations Environment Programme, at its third plenary in January 2015, in Bonn, requested the undertaking of a set of regional and sub-regional assessments of biodiversity and ecosystem services.
These assessments aim to synthesize the body of scientific, indigenous and local knowledge on status and trends of biodiversity and ecosystem services, direct and indirect drivers of change, alternative future scenarios, and key challenges and opportunities for achieving Sustainable Development Goals in each region.
The Europe and Central Asia assessment (ECA) is expected to inform several international environmental agreements by providing the science-base underpinning all environmental policies in the region in the near-future.
In this talk I will illustrate the main trends across taxa, habitats and regions and the main past drivers of biodiversity change. We found strong evidence for long-term and ongoing declines in extent and condition of habitats and species conservation status across all realms, with exceptionally high rates in the freshwater realm where wetlands across Europe and Central Asia have declined by 60% from 1970, and 71% of fish and 60% of amphibians with known population trends are declining. However, conservation efforts have shown the potential to reverse negative species trends, for instance the bird taxa breeding in the EU and in Annex I of the European Union Birds Directive have in have better population trends than the average and several species that attracted conservation interests have improved their prognosis.