The legislative proposal for binding nature restoration targets presented by the European Commission is the first major piece of EU biodiversity legislation since the Habitats Directive in 1992. We call for its urgent adoption and implementation as it is a true and strong attempt to reverse the tide of biodiversity loss and climate change.
Member States will have to draw up national restoration plans with the key elements on what to restore where and how to finance it. The Commission’s review and linked obligation for Member States to adapt their plans accordingly are also promising to ensure that the plans actually deliver and meet the targets
Key messages of the proposed law:
• EU biodiversity is in a terrible state and nature restoration is a massive opportunity to tackle both the biodiversity and climate crisis
• Nature Restoration Law (NRL) is the much-needed tool to get there as it will have legally binding targets for Member States to meet (including Hungary)
• Proposal was supposed to be released in march, but due to lobbying from certain industries over concerns for food security caused by the war in Ukraine – it was delayed
• Once the proposal is out, it is over to Member States and the Parliament to speedily deal with the proposal and support it
• In addition to the NRL, the EU Commission will present its long-awaited proposal for the first binding law to slash pesticide use
While the content of the law is overall positive, there are still elements to be strengthened, such as the marine, peatlands and river restoration targets and enforcement mechanisms. However, this is a huge milestone: by restoring ecosystems and enhancing biodiversity we can prevent future pandemics, fight climate change, prevent disasters and secure food resilience.