New legislation to restore nature in the EU

Several months late, the European Commission has today published its draft law on nature restoration in Europe. Setting legally binding targets for Member States is a major step forward. An opportunity not to be missed for nature and climate.

The first Earth Summit took place in 1972 in Stockholm (Sweden), where the participants adopted a number of principles for ecologically rational management of the environment, including the Stockholm Declaration, the Action Plan and several resolutions.
The Stockholm Declaration put environmental issues on the international agenda and marked the beginning of a dialogue between industrialized and developing countries on the link between economic growth, pollution of the global common areas (air, water, oceans) and human welfare around the world. It contains 26 principles.
The action plan contains three main categories: a) Global environmental assessment program (vigil plan); b) Environmental management activities; (c) International measures in support of national and international assessment and management activities. In addition, these categories are divided into 109 issued recommendations.
We should add that one of the most important decisions at this conference was the creation of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).

Today, the European Commission adopted groundbreaking proposals to restore damaged ecosystems and regenerate nature throughout Europe; from agricultural land to gardens, forests and urban environments. The Commission’s bill, announced for the first time in the European Green Agreement in 2020, contains particularly strong elements such as the overall target of restoration measures of 20% of EU land and sea area by 2030, as well as time-limited commitments to restore natural habitats that covers terrestrial, coastal, freshwater and marine ecosystems.

The Commission also proposes to reduce the use and risks of chemical pesticides by 50% by 2030. The new rules on chemical pesticides will allow the use of pesticides to be halved, which will help build sustainable food systems while ensuring sustainable food. . food safety and the protection of our health.

These are the flagship legislative proposals stemming from the biodiversity strategy and the ground-to-table strategy of the European Green Agreement, which will help ensure resilience and food security in the EU and worldwide.

Objectives focusing on the restoration of agricultural and forest ecosystems are also of great importance. They will oblige Member States to make progress in restoring vulnerable species and their habitats in landscapes that are currently overexploited by intensive practices. The countries of the European Union must therefore draw up national recovery plans and submit them to the Commission.

Although the Commission’s proposals are not perfect, BirdLife International – as the LPO’s official representative in France – calls for their rapid adoption and implementation, as they constitute a real attempt to combat the collapse of biodiversity and climate change with a real potential to improve the state of nature in large scale.

First major European legislation on biodiversity since the Habitats Directive in 1992

It would represent a major step forward in this area because no other law in the world to date has established a legally binding nature at such a level. The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union must fully support its positive elements and strengthen existing weaknesses without delay.

For WWF, the new law on nature restoration emphasizes the need for a large-scale effort to restore the various nature areas and restore their functions. Nature in a good state of conservation is crucial for, among other things, storing CO2, ensuring pollination of crops or better resisting episodes of severe flooding or drought.

For Ariel Brunner, Vice President of BirdLife Europe & Central Asia: ” most human activities have a negative impact on our nature and our climate. Many birds that used to be abundant are becoming less common due to the continued degradation of their natural habitats. Together with strict enforcement, this law can help restore the richness of biodiversity that Europe once possessed. »

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