News | 01 Mar, 2024

The Nature Restoration Law passes to restore 20% of Europe's degraded land and sea

On Tuesday, the European Parliament approved the Nature Restoration Law, marking a significant step towards the restoration of Europe's ecosystems. This law sets a target for the EU to restore at least 20% of its land and sea areas by 2030, with a commitment to restoring all ecosystems in need by 2050. 

Investing in the restoration of European nature is vital for our future well-being, especially in light of increasing climate change-related threats like droughts, wildfires, and floods. Nature plays a crucial role in mitigating climate change and enabling economies to adapt to its impacts.

The Nature Restoration Law received approval with 329 votes in favour, 275 against, and 24 abstentions. With over 80% of European habitats in poor condition, the EU Nature Restoration Law aims to restore degraded ecosystems across all Member States, thereby contributing to the achievement of the EU’s climate and biodiversity objectives while enhancing food security.

To meet the established targets, EU countries are required to restore at least 30% of habitats covered by the new law - from forests, grasslands, and wetlands to rivers, lakes, and coral beds - from poor to good condition by 2030. This percentage is set to increase to 60% by 2040 and 90% by 2050.

Additionally, until 2030, priority should be given to Natura 2000 areas - a network of protected areas covering Europe's most valuable and threatened species and habitats, both on land and at sea. Once these areas are restored to good condition, Member States must ensure their ongoing preservation. To ensure all of this, Member States are required to submit national restoration plans, which must be regularly updated.

The Nature Restoration Law is now slated for adoption by the Council before its publication in the EU Official Journal, after which it will enter into force 20 days later. IUCN reaffirms its strong support for the adoption of this Law, emphasizing its benefits for people, nature, and the EU economy.