What’s going on here?
The EU is planning to propose a new nature restoration law in the next few weeks. The planned law will aim to restore nature to cities, farmland, and marine environments, and strive to revive rivers and plant trees.
What does this mean?
In 2021 just 15% of habitats in the EU had a ‘good’ conservation status while 81% were ranked ‘poor’ or ‘bad’, according to the European Environmental Agency.
The nature restoration law could help fix this. Proposed restoration measures “should cover at least 20% of the union’s land and sea areas by 2030 and all ecosystems in need of restoration by 2050”, said a leaked draft that EURACTIV saw in March.
Why should we care?
Healthy ecosystems help to mitigate global warming, prevent natural disasters, and strengthen food security. They could also bolster the economy. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said each euro spent in land restoration brings an economic return of up to 30 euros, according to EURACTIV’s report.
But the new wildlife law is not without critics, like the EU’s former Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik. He said the EU must stop the drivers of biodiversity loss, like intensive farming and construction, and decouple economic growth from resource use. “If we don’t remove them, then restoration will not help us a lot because [we will just need] more and more restoration,” he said.
Other detractors say the new law threatens to transfer environmental regulations to financial markets, as reported by Al Jazeera.
- Find out why we need rewilding.
- Back in the UK, MPs called in May for strong UK leadership at the UN Biodiversity Summit, as edie reported. You could ask your MP to join their colleagues’ call, over on WriteToThem.
- Have a read of our news piece on post-Brexit biodiversity plans from January.