Strasbourg, 30 November 2021                                                                                 T-PVS(2021)14rev




Standing Committee

41st meeting

Strasbourg, 29 November – 3 December 2021


Draft Vision for the Bern Convention

for the period to 2030

Revised 30/11/21

Document prepared by the independent consultant,

Mr Dave E Pritchard

Ø The Vision

“Healthy nature for healthy people”

By 2030, declines in biodiversity are halted, leading to recovery of wildlife and habitats, improving the lives of people and contributing to the health of the planet.

Ø The Bern Convention’s mission

The mission of the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Bern Convention) is to ensure that wild flora, fauna and habitats are maintained at, or restored toa favourable conservation status. The Convention enables cooperation and coordination across borders, building bridges between science and citizens, and uniting governments and society at large in a common endeavour. It connects environmental protection with human rights and democracy in the framework of the Council of Europe’s core values and priorities, and makes a distinctive contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and to global agreements on nature and climate change.

Ø New energy to meet the growing challenge

Healthy natural systems are vital. They support a diversity of species, and underpin the Earth’s ability to provide for people’s prosperity and well-being. Biodiversity however is in accelerating decline. There is an urgent need for a step-change in humanity’s response to this.

Parties to the Bern Convention commit to focusing renewed energies to this end:

·         The period to 2030 will be marked by strengthened investment in conservation accompanied by greater efforts towards restoration and recovery.

·         Parties will ensure that the extent, quality and management of the Emerald Network meets the needs of the habitats and species it protects.

·         Actions under the Convention will strengthen the link between the conservation and sustainable use of nature and other measures relating to human rights, democracy, landscape, climate change, cultural heritage, health and major hazards.

·         Bern Convention mechanisms including Action Plans, Strategies, Codes of Conduct, the Emerald Network, Case Files, On the Spot Appraisals and the European Diploma will be used effectively to deliver the objectives of the treaty.

Ø Four key goals

An accompanying Strategic Plan for the Convention for the period to 2030 sets out the more detailed objectives that support this Vision, and multi-year work programmes will define the actions that deliver it. These all link closely to the Global Biodiversity Framework, helping to implement it in the pan-European context and avoiding duplication[1]. Four key goals guide this:

  GOAL 1:   The area, connectivity, integrity and resilience of natural and semi-natural ecosystems is increased, including through protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures covering at least 30% of the land and of the sea areas.

  GOAL 2:  The conservation status of threatened species is improved, the abundance of native species has increased, and human-induced extinctions have been halted.

  GOAL 3    The contributions of wild flora and fauna and their natural habitats to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment are valued, maintained and enhanced.

  GOAL 4:  Sufficient resources are available and are used efficiently to achieve all goals and targets in the Plan.

Ø Special advantages of the Bern Convention

Ø  The only pan-European treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of species and habitats, with 51 Contracting Parties (including four African States and the European Union) and active since 1979.

Ø  Embodies the principles of participation and transparency, fully involving relevant governmental and non-governmental organisations as well as wider society.


Ø  An instrument of the Council of Europe, thus providing coherent linkage between environmental protection and frameworks for human rights, democratic governance and inclusive participation.

Ø  A pan-European network of conserved areas (the Emerald Network, harmonised with the EU Natura 2000 Network).

Ø  Transparent monitoring mechanisms, including implementation reports and a “case file” system that is open to engagement by civil society organisations and citizens.

[1]  The references here to the “Strategic Plan for the Convention” and to the “Global Biodiversity Framework” anticipate documents to be agreed at a future date and should not prejudge the negotiations of these documents.