UNEP actively promotes the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity in the Pan-European region by providing Secretariat services to the Pan-European Biodiversity Platform and providing expert and technical assistance to countries of Eastern Europe, Caucasus, Central Asia, and the Western Balkans.
In 2011, the Pan-European 2020 Strategy for Biodiversity was endorsed as the successor of The Pan-European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy (PEBLDS), which was set up following the Rio Earth Summit and the adoption of the United Nations "Convention on Biological Diversity". It was adopted at the 3rd Ministerial Conference "An Environment for Europe" held in October 1995 in Sofia (Bulgaria). The principal aim of the Strategy was to find a consistent response to the decline of biological and landscape diversity in Europe and to ensure the sustainability of the natural environment.
The Sixth Biodiversity in Europe Conference held in April 2013 in Batumi (Georgia) reaffirmed the new institutional arrangement, creating the Pan-European Biodiversity Platform, identified areas on which the new Platform should focus its work and initiated a process for the development of a work plan to follow up the Pan-European 2020 Strategy.
In continuing with the previous work, the Pan-European Biodiversity Platform refocuses efforts to prevent further loss of biodiversity in the Pan-European region. The 2020 Strategy is in line with the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, its Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020.
In December 2013 the first Steering Committee of the Pan-European Biodiversity Platform was held in Antalya (Turkey). During the meeting, the Steering Committee endorsed the work programme 2014-2017.
The text highlights the priority for the Pan-European region to enhance capacity building and technical support for the revision and implementation of National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs), particularly for indicator development; integrating biodiversity and natural capital into economic and development frameworks and policies; and coordinating and strengthening Multilateral Environmental Agreement (MEA) implementation.