The European Commission has proposed a new nature restoration law, with binding targets on pollinators, wetlands, rivers, forests, marine ecosystems, urban areas and peatlands. The new law aims to bring nature back across the continent for the benefit of biodiversity, climate and people.

The proposal would add a new level of legal strength to conservation and restoration efforts across Europe. Previous attempts to increase restoration have failed, both in the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 and the global strategic plan for biodiversity to 2020. The law will also have implications beyond the EU.

The overarching objective of the law is to achieve continuous, long term and sustained recovery of biodiverse land and sea areas and increase climate mitigation and adaptation through restoration.

The Commission set an overarching target to restore 20% of EU’s land and sea area by 2030 and all ecosystems in need of restoration by 2050. Within that, 25,000 km of free-flowing rivers are to be restored and a target to reverse the decline of pollinator populations, both by 2030.  The agricultural ecosystem restoration targets include increasing the share of high-diversity landscape features in agricultural land and soil organic carbon, as well as targets to increase the populations of grassland butterflies and farmland birds.

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