On June 22, 2022, the European Commission presented a proposal for a nature restoration regulation to implement the Green Deal.
This regulation will not only provide a definition of “nature restoration,” but will also enshrine a general goal of nature restoration for all damaged ecosystems by 2050.
To achieve this, the European Commission proposes a series of obligations for the States, with detailed numerical targets in national restoration plans.
It should be emphasized that this is a proposal for a regulation: it enters into force twenty days after its publication, and does not require transposition measures unlike the directives.
A definition of restoration: “‘restoration’ means the process of actively or passively assisting the recovery of an ecosystem towards or to good condition, of a habitat type to the highest level of condition attainable and to its favourable reference area, of a habitat of a species to a sufficient quality and quantity, or of species populations to satisfactory levels, as a means of conserving or enhancing biodiversity and ecosystem resilience.
This definition shows an active or passive process, aiming at the relative objective of “good condition” of damaged ecosystems.
An overall goal of restoring nature to all damaged ecosystems by 2050 :
This objective would consist of the obligation for the Member States to restore nature to 30% of the European territory by 2030, and to 50% by 2050.
A series of quantified obligations incumbent on the Member States :
-the obligation to restore the good state of terrestrial ecosystems to 30% of their surface by 2030, 60% by 2040 and 90% by 2050
-the same objectives apply to the restoration of marine ecosystems
-Requirement to ensure no net loss of urban green space by 2030, and a 5% increase by 2050
-Requirement to restore 25,000 km of rivers by 2030
-Requirement to halt the decline of pollinator populations by 2030
-A requirement to restore agricultural and forest ecosystems
A requirement to develop national plans
These national plans must be developed with the involvement of the public, and be filed within two years of the regulation coming into force.
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