It is time to stand up for nature

You may have heard or read about it, but just in case you missed it: On June 17, 2024, the European Union Environmental Council (EUEC) gave the final green light for the Nature Restoration Law. A day that will go down in history as a turning point for nature and society. The first law of its kind in the EU to protect and restore Europe’s forests, land, coastlines, lakes, oceans, and overall biodiversity is not only a massive win for nature but also for people. Let’s break down what it is all about.

The making of the Nature Restoration Law

It all started back in June 2022 when the European Commission proposed a law under the biodiversity strategy. After four years of divisive political debate, absurd disinformation campaigns aimed at destroying the proposed law, and mass public mobilizations across numerous sectors defending the integrity of the EU Green Deal, the lengthy process finally concluded with a joyful outcome. The EUEC’s final approval marked the last step for this long-awaited proposal to become law.

Years of twists and turns led to a nail-biting outcome until the very end. Delayed by persistent resistance and lacking a majority vote, it risked being jeopardized after lengthy negotiations. One woman in particular saved the day, as it all came down to a single vote. Leonore Gewessler, Austria’s environment minister, selflessly went against her conservative coalition partners by pledging to back the policy as a last-minute act to achieve a majority vote. Member states followed through with their commitments, and with a majority of 20 countries representing 66.07% of the population, the law was officially endorsed.

I know I will face opposition in Austria, but I am convinced that this is the time to adopt this law.
Leonore Gewessler, Austrian Minister for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology

So what’s next?

Now that the law is in place, we need all hands on deck. The next step for member states is to allocate the necessary budgets and resources to implement the law’s legally binding restoration targets for the long-term recovery of nature. Additionally, they will outline comprehensive Nature Restoration Plans to meet these obligations, taking their national contexts into account. These plans will be subject to monitoring and reporting before being reviewed by the European Commission.

What does it mean for nature?

Today, over 80% of European habitats are in poor shape—a staggering number that should make us question why past efforts to reverse this worrying trend have been unsuccessful. With this new law, Europe is now poised to lead the way in tackling the climate and biodiversity crises by rehabilitating at least 20% of its land and sea areas by 2030 and all degraded ecosystems by 2050. The EU Nature Restoration Law also includes obligations to:

  • Improve urban green spaces
  • Increase pollinator numbers
  • Enable free-flowing rivers by removing artificial barriers
  • Plant 3 billion additional trees throughout the EU

It is clear that this law is not only about preserving nature but also about ensuring a sustainable future where people and nature thrive together. We cannot fight the climate crisis without addressing the health of our natural environments. Preserving and restoring our unique ecosystems and species is crucial to overcoming the greatest challenges of our time. The question that therefore arises is: what can we do to make a difference?

Do you know about Habitats?

As an impact-driven organization, we’re always looking for ways to maximize our direct and indirect impact. After thorough research on CO2 neutrality, we decided to invest our financial and human resources in what truly matters: our biodiversity. Partnering with other organizations, we launched Habitats, a non-profit network on a mission to start, fund, and scale biodiversity conservation and restoration projects, the number one strategy to mitigate climate change.

The scale and urgency of current global challenges call for effective systemic change. We specialize in identifying and addressing key biodiversity challenges by partnering with a dynamic ecosystem of local organizations and communities. Whether you want to donate as an individual or contribute as a business, we can create or find a tailor-made project based on your needs, geographical scope, and strategy. Reach out if you want to hear more about it!

Ready to stand up for nature?

It is time to reduce your negative impact, and most importantly make a positive change. We are here to help you on that journey.

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