First-ever Nature Restoration Law
Yesterday, the European Commission adopted pioneering proposals proposal for a Nature Restoration Law to restore damaged ecosystems and bring nature back across Europe, from forests, agricultural land, and seas, to urban environments. This is the first-ever legislation that explicitly targets the restoration of Europe's nature, repairing the 80% of European habitats that are in poor condition, and bringing back nature to all ecosystems.
The law prepared by the European Commission will now be examined by the European Parliament and the Council.
This is a key step in avoiding ecosystem collapse and preventing the worst impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss. Restoring EU forests, wetlands, rivers, grasslands, marine ecosystems, urban environments and the species they host is a crucial and cost-effective investment: into our food security, climate resilience, health, and well-being. In the same line, also proposes to reduce the use and risk of chemical pesticides by 50% by 2030.
The law would require member states to draw up national restoration plans in close collaboration with scientists.
Repair damage done to Europe's nature by 2050
The law will scale up existing experiences of nature restoration measures such as rewilding, returning trees, greening cities and infrastructure, or removing pollution to allow nature to recover. Nature restoration does not equal nature protection and does not automatically lead to more protected areas. While nature restoration is necessary for protected areas as well due to their increasingly poor condition, not all restored areas have to become protected areas. Restoration is about living and producing together with nature by bringing more biodiversity back everywhere, including to the areas where economic activity takes place like managed forests, agricultural land, and cities for example.
This is why restoration involves and benefits all parts of society, it has to be done in an inclusive process and it has a particularly positive impact on those who directly depend on healthy nature for their livelihood, including foresters, farmers, and fishers.
Investment into nature restoration adds €8 to €38 in economic value for every €1 spent, thanks to the ecosystem services that support food security, ecosystem and climate resilience and mitigation, and human health. It also increases nature in our landscapes and daily lives, with demonstrable benefits for health and wellbeing as well as cultural and recreational value.
Check out the Nature Restoration Law here.