European Union passes law to restore natural resources

European Union Environmental Ministers have approved the conservation law that seeks to restore habitats to their natural condition.

The “Nature Restoration Law” aims to regrow forests, re-wet moors and return rivers to their natural, free-flowing states.

The law has proven controversial, due to concern over the heavy restrictions that could be placed on farmers. It was passed by the European Parliament earlier in the year.

Environment ministers of EU member states backed the policy at a meeting in Luxembourg, meaning it can now pass into law.

Environment Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius said on X, “We are still on track to reverse the biodiversity loss, let’s now start work together and show that EU is still leading the way.

The law sets a target for the EU 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 aims to reverse the decline of Europe’s natural habitats, of which 81% are determined to be in poor health.

The legislation also sets specific targets such as peatlands that can soak up CO2 emissions and help curb climate change. Other ecosystems explicitly covered by the law include forests, grasslands, and wetlands, as well as rivers, lakes, and coral beds.

Member states must restore at least 30% of habitats specifically covered by the new law from a poor to a good condition by 2030. That target would increase to 60% by 2040, and 90% by 2050.


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