EU's proposed Nature Restoration Law can be a gamechanger for nature, biodiversity and people

The EU Commission’s proposal is to restore 20% of the EU land and sea area by 2030, as well as time-bound restoration obligations for natural habitats, covering terrestrial, coastal, freshwater and marine ecosystems.

The targets set have a potential to improve the state of nature at large scale. With a million species at risk of extinction due to human activities such as habitat destruction, overfishing, pollution and climate change, it is no longer enough to protect nature, but we must actively restore it as well.  

  • 23rd of May: AGRI committee vote on opinion 
  • 24th of May: PECH committee vote on opinion  
  • 15th of June: ENVI committee vote – leading committee 
  • 12-14th of July: Plenary vote 

On the 23rd of May, the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development and on Wednesday 24 May, the European Parliament Fisheries (PECH) Committee will adopt their opinions on the EU Nature Restoration Law. Since shadow rapporteur Cesar Luena published his draft report back in January, the agricultural lobbies started to push back heavily. In the beginning of May, the European People's Party (EPP) went as far as to completely reject the Nature Restoration Law and Sustainable Use of Pesticides Regulation (SUR) proposals. 

Disinformation campaign by EPP  

Vested interests are running intense disinformation campaigns to make sure this law never sees the light of day with recurrent lies that the Nature Restoration Law will be too costly, too bureaucratic, and too damaging for farmers, food security, and businesses. These claims are not underpinned by any science and are counterproductive as they undermine public support for the law and delay urgent action.  

To address these concerns and provide the scientific-based truth about the Nature Restoration Law, a group of environmental NGOS including BirdLife Europe, ClientEarth, the EEB and WWF have prepared a FAQ document that answers the most common questions and misconceptions as well as a briefing on how Nature Restoration Law can ensure long term food security. The documents are based on the latest scientific evidence and stakeholder feedback.  

The #RestoreNature coalition, consisting of the abovementioned NGOs, states: “While we hear a lot of complaints and false arguments coming from the opponents of the law in the AGRI Committee, they do not offer any other solution to the nature and climate crises that are affecting all of us, but most importantly the farmers. Clearly, continuing business as usual isn’t an option. The reality is that we need nature if we want to continue producing food in the long- term. The Nature Restoration Law is a win-win solution for nature and people and should not be derailed by disinformation and anti-nature lobbies.” 

What do we want to see? 

The European Parliament now faces a pivotal moment: it must follow science, and heed the voices of both citizens and businesses calling for strong legislation to protect and restore nature to ultimately deliver a resilient future for all people in Europe.

We are counting on the European Parliament to support the European Commission’s proposal for a legally-binding regulation on nature restoration and to strengthen the proposal where needed to ensure that it can fulfill its potential. 

Thumbnail image: © James Morgan / WWF