[REPONSE] Question écrite à la Commission de Maria Heubuch (Verts/ALE) – Le plan externe d’investissement : biodiversité et pratiques agro-écologiques, E-001272-18

Niveau juridique : Union européenne

Texte de la question :

« The New European Consensus on Development states: ‘The EU and its Member States will support agro-ecological practices and actions to reduce post-harvest losses and food waste, as well as to protect soils, conserve water resources, halt, prevent and reverse deforestation, and maintain biodiversity and healthy ecosystems’(1).

The EU Biodiversity Strategy 2020 states: ‘The Commission will continue to systematically screen its development cooperation action to minimise any negative impact on biodiversity, and undertake Strategic Environmental Assessments and/or Environmental Impact Assessments for actions likely to have significant effects on biodiversity’(2).

In its answer to Written Question E-004891/17, the Commission did not provide information on how it intends to use the EIP/European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD) to implement its commitment to support agro-ecological practices. Could the Commission please provide this information?

Has the Commission carried out an Environmental Impact Assessment of the EIP/EFSD?

What specific indicators is the Commission using to screen and assess the impact of the EIP/EFSD on agro-biodiversity, in light of the provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity? 

(1)New European Consensus on Development (2016)

(2) COM(2011)0244, Action 19.»

Réponse donnée par Mr Mimica au nom de la Commission :

« The European Investment Plan/European Fund for Sustainable Development is one of the tools at the EU’s disposal to directly promote sustainable investment in Africa and the Neighbourhood.

This will be particularly the case through the sustainable agriculture, rural entrepreneurs and agroindustry investment window. In agriculture, access to capital has been inadequate for many smallholders in partner countries, and improving this situation could have substantial benefits for the well-being of these smallholders and the development of the local areas.

When engaging with the private sector, the EU fully recognises the need for safeguards to ensure the EU promotes sustainable and inclusive investments, both avoiding negative externalities and ensuring positive development, environmental and social outcomes.

The same standards are applied for actions funded under blending in the mentioned Plan. These safeguards include the respect of high standards in due diligence requirements, notably relating to land tenure, whilst encouraging sustainable production systems, as drivers of growth. The Commission Decision(1) states that ‘particular attention should be paid to deforestation and other land use change with an overall concern to ensure sustainability’.

Sustainability is considered an integral part of the actions, and special attention will be paid to its economic, environmental and social dimensions. The Environmental impact assessment is to be carried out at project level, where relevant. In practice, this means the aboveā€mentioned tools would not support actions likely to have negative effects on biodiversity.

The Result Management Framework for the Fund and the related indicators are currently being elaborated and are expected to be presented for information at the next Operational Board’s meeting.

(1) C(2017)7899. »

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