Nature Restoration Law officially approved!

Nature Restoration Law officially approved!

On 17 June 2024, the EU Council officially approved the Nature Restoration Law, with 20 member states voting in favour. Its approval represents an important step forward towards an essential goal: halting biodiversity loss and preserving ecosystems.

The Nature Restoration Law requires EU countries to restore at least 20% of the EU’s land and sea areas by 2030. It covers terrestrial, coastal and freshwater, forest, agricultural and urban ecosystems, including wetlands, grasslands, forests, rivers and lakes. For habitats deemed to be in “poor condition”, Member States will have to implement measures to restore “at least 30% by 2030, at least 60% by 2040 and at least 90% by 2050”.

20 member states of the European Union voted in favour of the Nature Restoration Law, while countries such as Italy, Sweden, Finland, Hungary, the Netherlands voted against it, and Belgium abstained.

It is thanks to Austria’s change of position that the law was approved. The achievement of 66% of the consensus therefore allowed the publication of the law in the Official Journal.

It will also be important to ensure that the restored areas do not deteriorate again, which is why the law requires each state to plan in advance and submit national restoration plans to the Commission, showing how the objectives are being achieved and monitoring their progress, based on EU-wide biodiversity indicators.

The EU executive will ensure that the law is respected and will have to present, within one year of its entry into force, a report on the economic resources available at Community level to finance the necessary interventions.

Actions to help pollinators, planting three billion new trees, restoring at least 25,000 km of rivers to free-flowing rivers, creating and expanding green spaces in cities, are just some of the goals set out in the law on restoring nature.

The aim is to directly address the restoration of ecosystems and at the same time combat climate change and biodiversity loss, ensuring sustainability, future and well-being for citizens and future generations while respecting nature. According to the European Commission, the benefits will be both environmental and economic: every euro invested in the restoration of ecosystems will translate into at least 8 euros earned.

WBA shares the objectives of the Nature Restoration Law and has always promoted numerous activities for the protection of biodiversity, from research through naturalistic expeditions for the purpose of surveying biodiversity, to education through widespread training action and finally to conservation through direct actions to safeguard environmental balances such as the promotion of low environmental impact activities.