Historic victory for nature in Europe

Nature and environmental organisations relieved: member states must get to work on nature restoration

Today, the European Environment Council approved the Nature Restoration Law, marking an important step in protecting nature and climate in Europe. This is much needed, because Europe’s nature and climate are not doing well. This outcome therefore marks a crucial victory for the future of our environment. The law was passed with the support of a majority of 20 member states. Austria changed its earlier position at the last minute, allowing the law to finally be secured.

Header photo: Red fox in grassland in Poland © Michael Saidov via Unsplash

Jelle de Jong, executive director WWF-NL, on behalf of the joint green organisations, said: ‘Today’s vote is a long-awaited victory for European nature and for the citizens who have been calling for action for so long to stop the deterioration of the state of nature. With the adoption of the Nature Restoration Law, member states pledge to start restoring degraded natural areas. We count on member states to implement this legislation effectively, in close cooperation with all stakeholders. Nature restoration benefits climate, biodiversity and people.’

Coenraad Krijger, director of IUCN NL, also welcomed the adoption of the law: “This is an important milestone towards a healthy and sustainable Europe.

Turbulent trajectory

The Nature Restoration Law has had a turbulent trajectory. The law was at risk of stalling in the European Parliament and was again jeopardised by an unexpected change of course by the Netherlands and Hungary last March. Today, however, the required majority was restored.

Massive public support

This victory was made possible by massive public support. More than a million signatures and messages from citizens have been collected over the past few years, and more than 6,000 scientists, 100 companies, youth organisations and civil society organisations have spoken out in favour of the law and defended the integrity of the European Green Deal. We would like to thank everyone who contributed to this result.

Nature-positive future

The European Nature Restoration Law is an essential part of the Green Deal and should contribute to nature restoration, climate adaptation and a healthy environment. Now the responsibility lies with the member states to effectively implement this law and work together to restore our valuable ecosystems.

*Joint Dutch nature and environmental organisations: Greenpeace NL, IUCN NL, LandschappenNL, Natuur & Milieu, Natuur en Milieufederaties, Natuurmonumenten, SoortenNL, Stichting De Noordzee, Vogelbescherming Nederland, Waddenvereniging and Wereld Natuur Fonds.