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Environment

Nature Restoration Law

The Commission has proposed a new regulation to restore ecosystems for people, the climate and the planet.

Objectives

The proposal aims to restore ecosystems, habitats and species across the EU’s land and sea areas in order to

  • enable the long-term and sustained recovery of biodiverse and resilient nature
  • contribute to achieving the EU’s climate mitigation and climate adaptation objectives
  • meet international commitments

In the EU

81%
of habitats are in poor status
Every 1 euro
invested into nature restoration adds €4 to €38 in benefits
One in three
bee and butterfly species are in decline

Targets

The proposal combines an overarching restoration objective for the long-term recovery of nature in the EU’s land and sea areas with binding restoration targets for specific habitats and species. These measures should cover at least 20% of the EU’s land and sea areas by 2030, and ultimately all ecosystems in need of restoration by 2050.

The proposal contains the following specific targets:

  • targets based on existing legislation (for wetlands, forests​, grasslands, river and lakes, heath & scrub​, rocky habitats and dunes) - improving and re-establishing biodiverse habitats on a large scale, and bringing back species populations by improving and enlarging their habitats
  • pollinating insects – reversing the decline of pollinator populations by 2030, and achieving an increasing trend for pollinator populations, with a methodology for regular monitoring of pollinators
  • forest ecosystems – achieving an increasing trend for standing and lying deadwood, uneven aged forests, forest connectivity, abundance of common forest birds and stock of organic carbon
  • urban ecosystems – no net loss of green urban space by 2030, and an increase in the total area covered by green urban space by 2040 and 2050
  • agricultural ecosystems – increasing grassland butterflies and farmland birds, the stock of organic carbon in cropland mineral soils, and the share of agricultural land with high-diversity landscape features; restoring drained peatlands under agricultural use
  • marine ecosystems – restoring marine habitats such as seagrass beds or sediment bottoms that deliver significant benefits, including for climate change mitigation, and restoring the habitats of iconic marine species such as dolphins and porpoises, sharks and seabirds.
  • river connectivity – identifying and removing barriers that prevent the connectivity of surface waters, so that at least 25 000 km of rivers are restored to a free-flowing state by 2030

Implementation

EU countries are expected to submit National Restoration Plans to the Commission within two years of the Regulation coming into force, showing how they will deliver on the targets. They will also be required to monitor and report on their progress. The European Environment Agency will draw up regular technical reports on progress towards the targets. The Commission, in turn, will report to the European Parliament and to the Council on the implementation of the Nature Restoration Law.

Success stories

Discover examples of successful nature restoration projects throughout Europe

Abstract cover image in pale green, olive green, blue and cream tones.

Nature restoration success stories

Timeline

Previous and upcoming actions

  1. 22 June 2022
    Commission adopts proposal for a Nature Restoration Law
  2. December 2020 - September 2021
    Five stakeholder workshops took place

    These workshops discussed policy options and collect views from a broad range of stakeholders on:

    • the options for restoration targets, how these targets should be implemented, and the potential social, economic and wider environmental impacts that need to be considered
    • the preliminary findings of the impact assessment support study.
  3. 11 January - 5 April 2021
    Online public consultation open for feedback

    This public consultation collected stakeholder views, in particular on the main elements and approach to devising the Commission's proposal for binding restoration targets. 

  4. 4 November - 2 December 2020
    Public feedback on the Inception Impact Assessment

    This Inception Impact Assessment collected feedback from stakeholders and the public on the main elements of the initiative.

  5. 20 May 2020
    Publication of the EU biodiversity strategy for 2030