Europe needs a Nature Restoration Law fit for purpose, urge 200 NGOs

In recent months, the call for an impactful Nature Restoration Law received unprecedented support from more than one million citizens, businesses, scientists, and multiple other stakeholders [1]. As the three EU institutions engage in the conclusive ‘trilogues’ to finalise the law, it is crucial that the negotiators ensure this long-awaited law is equipped to tackle global climate and biodiversity emergencies. 

 

The negotiations take place following another summer of devastating extreme weather events of unprecedented intensity across Europe. Floods in Greece, wildfires across the Mediterranean, and heatwaves in southern Europe painfully remind us that Europe desperately needs healthy and resilient ecosystems to prevent such catastrophes and protect its citizens. It is the duty of our leaders to give Europeans a law that will truly protect them from future climate change-related disasters. 

 

Now, 200 NGOs call upon all EU Member States, Members of the European Parliament and the European Commission to ensure several key elements are included in the final text of the law, among them:

  • All terrestrial and marine habitats are covered by quantified, time-bound and enforceable targets in and outside Natura 2000 areas.
  • Restoration of agricultural ecosystems, complemented by dedicated targets for the restoration of drained peatlands. 
  • Ensure the law can enter into force immediately, without preconditions for the timely and steady implementation of the restoration targets
  • Dedicated and additional funding to finance restoration measures.

Find all the key elements in the full version of the NGO statement. 

Click here to read the full statement.

 

Sabien Leemans, Senior Biodiversity Policy Officer at WWF European Policy Office:

“This summer has once again left many Europeans desperate and extremely vulnerable to the immediate effects of climate change. What more signs do we need to finally act? Large-scale nature restoration will save lives. It will protect us all from the worst consequences of floods, droughts and wildfires. By saving our ecosystems, we are saving ourselves.” 

Sergiy Moroz, Policy Manager for Water and Biodiversity at the European Environmental Bureau:

“Civil society continues to support the EU decision-makers as they edge towards agreement on the first Nature Restoration Law for Europe. However, the devil is in the detail – this law can put nature on the path to recovery only if it obliges governments to take effective measures to recover species and habitats severely impacted by intensive agriculture, forestry and fisheries. Only an ambitious EU law offering real solutions to tackle biodiversity and climate crisis could fulfil EU’s international commitments to protect and restore nature.” 

Sofie Ruysschaert, Nature Restoration Policy Officer at Birdlife Europe: 

“Europe’s rural heart is losing its heartbeat as the birds, bees and other vital species disappear. Impoverished drained peatlands fail to hold CO2 and water. If Europe is serious about its commitment to restoring nature, the law must include robust targets to recover biodiversity, and bolster the climate resilience of farmland ecosystems, including drained peatlands.” 

Ioannis Agapakis, Nature Conservation Lawyer at ClientEarth:

“What we demand from all three EU institutions is an agreement on an ambitious and legally sound law, which is urgently needed to address the many pressures put on Europe’s nature. Nature restoration and human activities can – and must – exist in harmony. To rise to the occasion, negotiators should not shy away from striking a balance that guarantees nature restoration while also supporting sustainable uses both on land and in the ocean.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

[1] The Nature Restoration Law has received support from EU Member States, the wind energy and solar industry, scientists, the progressive farming community, European hunters, financial institutions, European mayors, an increasing number of companies and business associations and European youth. Almost 1,200,000 signatures and messages for an ambitious Nature Restoration Law have been collected through various campaigns, which were launched by the #RestoreNature coalition (incl. Avaaz), WeMove, etc.

Europe needs a Nature Restoration Law fit for purpose, urge 200 NGOs
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