Is this possible under the new law?

The new “Nature Restoration Act” in the EU raises challenges and hopes for biodiversity. Will he achieve his ambitious goals?

The recent “Nature Restoration Law” (NRL) in the European Union is an ambitious project that aims to implement restoration measures in at least 20% of land and marine areas by 2030 and in all ecosystems in need of restoration by 2050, with specific objectives such as rewetting peatlands and increasing pollinator populations. The NRL, already approved by the European Parliament’s Environment Committee, avoids several pitfalls that often hinder the implementation of European directives and regulations and shows that lessons have been learned from previous experiences.

According to Prof. Dr. Daniel Hering from the University of Duisburg-Essen, lead author of the study, sets ambitious goals and deadlines with clear implementation steps and does not require implementation into national law. However, national rollout will be crucial to the NRL’s success. Although the goals are clearly defined and binding, the steps to achieve them must be decided by individual European countries and are largely voluntary.

Collaborating on nature restoration with land users, particularly agriculture, will be critical to implementation. Intensive agriculture remains a major cause of biodiversity loss in Europe, but goals for agriculture and nature restoration could be coordinated, providing opportunities for both. Agriculture benefits directly from healthy soils, pollinator populations and increased water storage capacity in the landscape, all of which are goals of the NRL.

The authors conclude that the resources provided by the EU Common Agricultural Policy should be used to achieve the objectives of the NRL. While they express a positive outlook for the NRL, they warn that ambitious national implementation and collaboration with economic sectors such as agriculture will ultimately determine the success of nature restoration in Europe.

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Ensuring the success of the EU Nature Restoration Act, article published in the journal Science.

Photo: Intensive Agriculture. André Künzelmann/UFZ

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