Overall the implementation of the Strategy is carried out by the activities of the Strategy bodies, the Strategy Council and its Bureau (formally the Executive Bureau), through its national members and regional groupings, the Joint Strategy Secretariat of Council of Europe and UNEP, and via (other) national and international organisations.
Strategic and operational framework: The legal basis for implementing action under the Strategy is found in existing and widely accepted international agreements and treaties such as the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Bern Convention, the Bonn and Ramsar Conventions, the EU Habitats and Birds Directives and the European Landscape Convention.
The Strategy seeks to achieve its activities by:
facilitating and supporting the exchange of experience on, and creation or further development of, National Biodiversity Strategies, Action Plans and Programmes as stipulated by the Convention on Biological Diversity, and promoting a consistent approach and common objectives in all countries of Europe;
using all other existing international and national legislation and policy, such as the EU Natura 2000 Programme, sectorial policy including agricultural, fisheries, transport, regional development and social policies, and implementing fully the EU Sixth Environmental Action Programme and the EU Sustainable Development Strategy;
facilitating, supporting and promoting the implementation of the existing international agreements and treaties
Actions are to be implemented by dividing the Strategy into Action Plans or Work Programmes, which stimulate conservation and sustainable use activities and ensure concerted and integrated action by international and national actors. The Action Plans / Work Programmes provide a framework that contributes to a common European response to the Convention on Biological Diversity and in particular the National Biodiversity Strategies.
The Action Plans’ Work Programmes identify the fundamental actions towards the realisation of each set of five year goals. These actions can be fully elaborated into projects which can be undertaken by international agencies, government authorities, economic sectors or NGOs as separate, individual or stand-alone activities, either because they fall within the National Biodiversity Strategies, within their own existing work programmes or actions can be initiated in direct response to the Strategy Action Plan. By thus linking in to existing initiatives and work programmes, a coherent spectrum of projects is executed, fitting within the framework of the Strategy.
It was the aim of the Pan-European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy that all the actions listed in the First Action Plan 1996-2000, were to be elaborated into projects over the five year period.
The first work programme of the First Action Plan was approved by the former Strategy Executive Bureau in 1996, and ran until the approval of the new Work Programme at the Strategy Council meeting in 2002, two years later than originally envisaged. The Council decided to introduce the concept of a Rolling Work Programme.
Projects developed within the framework of the Action Plan were innovative, proactive, cross-sectorial, achievable within a five year time frame and acceptable to involving the public. Project outlines incorporate concrete activities, time frame, funding mechanisms, costs and actors, and instruments including incentives.
Prioritisation into Action Plans is based on the following criteria:
need to address urgent issues;
possibility to take advantage of unique opportunities;
potential to ensure concrete action and produce results within a set time frame;
need to undertake activities in a structured and coordinated sequence.
Actions were undertaken at the national, regional and international level.
In the First Action Plan, the Pan-European Ecological Network was the main framework within which many of the strategic and priority actions were taken. It acted as both a physical network through which ecosystems, habitats, species, landscapes and other natural features of European importance are conserved, and a co-ordinating mechanism through which the partners in the Strategy could develop and implement co-operative actions. It built on a variety of existing initiatives, including Natura 2000, the European network of Biogenetic Reserves, the EECONET concept, the Bern Convention (Emerald Network) and European Diploma of protected areas, the Bonn Convention, and the many national and regional ecological networks already under development.
Other important frameworks for Action under the First Action Plan were:
the support for the development and implementation of national biodiversity strategies and action plans;
action aiming at further integration of biodiversity in economic and financial sectors, such as agriculture, tourism, infrastructure and banking;
activities in support of communicating education and information regarding biodiversity;
activities for European landscapes;
activities for European ecosystems and species.
The development of the second Rolling Work Programme under the current Action Plan was focussed at the third Strategy Council meeting. The Rolling Work Programme has a series of goals based on the principles of the Strategy to address fundamental issues in Europe, with the focus on CBD.
The Joint Secretariat made the following modifications:
Retained the Aims of the PEBLDS as the overarching strategic goals for the European region and combined the objectives of the PEBLDS with the objectives of the CBD Strategic Plan (in the European context) and, in that way focused the work programme and eliminated any overlaps or duplication.
Dropped the existing programme element and sub-element headings as it was possible to fit all activities under the new integrated goals and objectives.
Noted when an activity contributed to the implementation of a thematic or cross-cutting programme of the CBD, but grouped activities according to their objective rather than the CBD programme