Nature Restoration Law: European Council Gives Final Green Light
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Nature Restoration Law: European Council Gives Final Green Light

The Council of the EU has formally adopted the – first of its kind – regulation on nature restoration. This law aims to put measures in place to restore at least 20% of the EU’s land and sea areas by 2030, and all ecosystems in need of restoration by 2050.

It sets specific, legally binding targets and obligations for nature restoration in each of the listed ecosystems – from terrestrial to marine, freshwater and urban ecosystems.

The regulation aims to mitigate climate change and the effects of natural disasters. It will help the EU to fulfil its international environmental commitments, and to restore European nature.

Excerpts from the Nature Restoration Law document:

The communication of the Commission of 24 February 2021 entitled ‘Forging a climate-resilient Europe – the new EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change’ emphasises the need to promote nature-based solutions and recognises that cost-effective adaptation to climate change can be achieved by protecting and restoring wetlands and peatlands as well as coastal and marine ecosystems, by developing urban green spaces and installing green roofs and walls and by promoting and sustainably managing forests and farmland. Having a greater number of biodiverse ecosystems leads to higher resilience to climate change and provides more effective forms of disaster reduction and prevention.

Actions to ensure that the coverage of urban green spaces, in particular trees, will no longer be at risk of being reduced need to be strongly enhanced. In order to ensure that urban green spaces continue to provide the necessary ecosystem services, their loss should be stopped and they should be restored and increased, inter alia by integrating green infrastructure and nature-based solutions, such as green roofs and green walls, in the design of buildings. Such integration can contribute to maintaining and increasing not only the area of urban green space but also, if trees are included, the area of urban tree canopy cover.

Increase urban green spaces with ecological features, such as parks, trees and woodland patches, green roofs, wildflower grasslands, gardens, city horticulture, tree-lined streets, urban meadows and hedges, ponds and watercourses, taking into consideration, inter alia, species diversity, native species, local conditions and resilience to climate change.

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