#RestoreNature Joint Statement

Tuesday 14th March 2023

On International Day of Action for Rivers, 207 organisations, including Buglife, are calling upon all EU Member States, Members of the European Parliament and the European Commission to #RestoreNature and commit to ambitious EU restoration targets.

We can’t risk the well-being of our ecosystems and of our communities! But we can instead enjoy the many benefits of implementing a strong and timely Nature Restoration Law

Read our joint statement here & below:

We, the undersigned 207 civil society organisations, call upon all EU Member States, Members of the European Parliament and the European Commission to urgently adopt a strong Nature Restoration Law that is fit for purpose to tackle the twin biodiversity and climate crises.

We are heading towards a mass biodiversity extinction and climate breakdown, threatening the very basis of life as we know it. The science is very clear on this. Efforts so far have been largely inadequate to address these crises and to restore our relationship with nature. Unsurprisingly, increasingly frequent droughts, floods and forest fires are making the effects of the crises ever-more obvious all across Europe.

The EU Nature Restoration Regulation is the unique opportunity of this decade to change the pathway from continuous deterioration to regeneration, where we steer towards a safe and resilient future of living in harmony with nature. Restoring nature means restoring our greatest ally in tackling the climate crisis and its severe impact, restoring our own health and wellbeing, and restoring our livelihoods and economies. Nature restoration is one of the best investments our society can make. Yet, time is running out.

We therefore call upon national governments, Members of the European Parliament and the European Commission to:

  • Adopt the Nature Restoration Regulation by the end of 2023.
  • Ensure that by 2030, nature restoration is happening on EU land and seas on a large scale. We therefore support the proposal of the rapporteur of the European Parliament to ensure that by 2030, at least 30% of the EU’s land and at least 30% of the EU’s sea area are covered by effective area-based restoration measures, with fair and proportionate contributions by all Member States.
  • Ensure strong nature restoration targets for all ecosystems covered by the legal proposal (terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine natural habitats, urban ecosystems, rivers, pollinator habitats, agricultural ecosystems, peatlands and forest ecosystems). The targets need to match the extent and urgency of the biodiversity and climate crises.
  • Ensure that all targets are fully met by 2040 at the latest. Delaying action until 2050 undermines the EU’s climate neutrality obligations and risks crossing irreversible tipping points.
  • Adopt fully implementable targets, with clear safeguards to ensure that the Common Fisheries Policy does not block the implementation of marine restoration.
  • Ensure the long-term non-deterioration of restored ecosystems. Allowing habitats to degrade right after restoring them not only fails to address the crises in the long-term, but is also inherently inefficient and a waste of public funding.
  • Support a strong accountability framework to ensure all Member States contribute fairly to the law and can be held accountable.
  • Call for dedicated nature restoration funding as part of the next EU budget.
  • Withstand and counter vested interests, who are continuously trying to undermine the Nature Restoration Law.

Delaying action, watering down the ambition or limiting the scope of the law will only make it more difficult, more costly and more time-consuming to deal with the consequences. It would put our life and that of all other beings at stake. So let’s make it work now.

For more information, visit restorenature.eu