On 6 June 2017, Cerame-Unie attended a joint European Commission and Committee of the Regions conference to launch “An Action Plan for nature, people, and the economy”. The goal of the Action Plan is to concentrate efforts between now and 2019 to achieve the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2020 of halting biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation. The impetus for creating the Action Plan came from the findings of the fitness Check on the Birds and Habitats Directives which was published in December 2016. It is a set of 4 priorities and over 100 individual measures to be rolled out by 2019.
Priority A is about encouraging full involvement of land owners and land users in lessening tensions between nature protection and socio-economic activities. It is relevant for Non-Energy Extractive Industries, which includes clay extraction. In 2011, the European Commission published a guidance document on “Non-energy mineral extraction and Natura 2000”. As part of the Action Plan, this guidance document will be updated and translated into all official EU languages and easy-to-read summaries will be made available to promote uptake of the guidance amongst industry.