Consultation launched on development of legally-binding EU nature restoration targets

The European Commission has launched an online public consultation on the development of legally-binding EU nature restoration targets.

The commission will put forward a proposal for these targets by the end of 2021.

As an element of the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 and the European Green Deal, “restoring Europe’s damaged ecosystems will help to increase biodiversity, mitigate and adapt to climate change, and prevent and reduce the impacts of natural disasters”.

‘Restoring natural ecosystems is a triple win’

Speaking about the consultation, Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius said:

“Human activities have significantly altered three quarters of the Earth’s lands and two thirds of oceans in recent decades, destabilising our climate and our natural life support systems.

Restoring natural ecosystems is a triple win for nature, climate and people. It will help solve the biodiversity crisis, tackle climate change and reduce the risks of future pandemics.

“It can also stimulate recovery in a post-pandemic world, creating jobs and sustainable growth.”

The European Commission is preparing an impact assessment to support the development of EU nature restoration targets, and to assess their “potential environmental, social and economic impacts”.

Public and stakeholder views and insights will contribute to the impact assessment. The consultation will remain open for feedback until April 2.

The commission is also consulting on two other biodiversity policy initiatives: the evaluation of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 (2011 to 2020); and the review of the application of the EU regulation on invasive alien species.

‘Conservation of agricultural biodiversity’

Yesterday (Monday, January 11), the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee of the European Parliament held its first meeting of the new year, with biodiversity and conservation in agriculture the main talking point.

The public hearing on ‘Conservation of agricultural biodiversity’ was held remotely, due to Covid-19.

According to a statement from the committee, the hearing was intended to “assess and discuss the impact on the agricultural sector” from the European Commission’s Biodiversity Strategy.