|Persina Island - Bulgaria © WWF-Bulgaria
What is THE Nature Restoration LAW?
We are losing nature at an unprecedented rate. Globally, one million species are threatened with extinction and the health of the ecosystems on which we depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever. Europe is no exception, with 81% of protected habitats and 63% of species in the EU having a poor or bad conservation status.
To bend the curve of nature loss, protecting remaining natural places will not be sufficient – we need to invest in large-scale restoration as well.
In June 2022, the European Commission published a proposal for legally binding EU nature restoration targets to restore biodiversity and degraded ecosystems, in particular those with the most potential to capture and store carbon and to prevent and reduce the impact of natural disasters.
WWF welcomes this proposal as a key tool to contribute to halting and restoring biodiversity loss and for climate change mitigation and adaptation. We will be working with the European Parliament and Council to improve the proposal in their co-decision process.
"The restoration law is a huge opportunity to bring nature back before the climate and biodiversity crises spiral completely out of control. Restoration of ecosystems like peatlands, forests and seagrass meadows can help reduce emissions and sequester millions of tonnes of carbon each year." says Sabien Leemans, Senior Biodiversity Policy Officer, WWF-EPO.
207 civil society organisations call upon all EU Member States, Members of the European Parliament and the European Commission to urgently adopt a strong Nature Restoration Law that is fit for purpose to tackle the twin biodiversity and climate crises. Read the whole #RestoreNature joint statement
Furthermore, 39 companies have already signed the Business Statement in support of the Nature Restoration Law and the list is growing.
Why do we need it?
Ecosystem restoration is not just about saving wildlife. A growing body of evidence shows that nature contributes to our overall health and wellbeing and provides significant socio-economic benefits, including sustainable jobs and ecotourism opportunities. Protecting and restoring nature and well-functioning ecosystems is also fundamental to tackling the twin crisis of biodiversity loss and climate change.
From helping to reduce the risk of certain diseases to boosting our mental health, investing in nature restoration offers countless benefits to people's health and wellbeing.
From strengthening local economies to restoring the social fabric of post-industrial regions, investing in nature restoration carries socio-economic benefits that far outweigh the initial costs.
Restoring ecosystems to a natural state will enable them to absorb and store more CO2 and will increase our resilience to the impacts of climate change.
What is nature restoration? Does it exclude economic activity? What benefits restoring nature can bring? There are many questions and myths about restoring nature, especially regarding economic activities or food security. Click here to find answers to some of these questions with links to further readings.
EUROPE LEADING THE WAY - THE EUROPEAN GREEN DEAL
Climate change and environmental degradation are an existential threat to Europe and the world. To overcome these challenges, the European Green Deal will transform the EU into a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy, ensuring:
- no net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050
- economic growth decoupled from resource use
- no person and no place left behind
Find out more here.
|© EU Commission
|© EU Commission
RELATED LINKS AND BRIEFING PAPERS:
- The EU nature restoration law - the missing pieces in the EU climate action puzzle
- EU COMMISSION
- THE LIVING DANUBE PARTNERSHIP as a successful example of WWF-CEE nature restoration
- Letter on afforestation of peatlands
- Legal policy brief on Nature Restoration Law
Thumbnail image: Kamp river in Lower Austria © S. Vogel; illustrations © canva