Nature restoration targets under EU biodiversity strategy

EESC opinion: Nature restoration targets under EU biodiversity strategy

Key points


  • agrees with the Commission and the European Parliament that the measures taken so far in favour of biodiversity are not effective and welcomes the overall objective of the proposed Regulation to put Europe's biodiversity on the path to recovery. Member States will thus be subject to legally binding obligations.
  • has a number of comments and concerns. The most serious shortcoming is that the economic impact of the necessary measures on land users is not taken into account.
  • recommends dropping the term "restoration" in favour of "rehabilitation"[1].
  • recalls the principle of proportionality of measures (fair distribution of burdens and costs, but also of benefits) between the various stakeholders.
  • recommends strengthening the targets by encouraging, in particular through extensive agricultural activities, the restoration of all aquatic environments, including the rewetting of peatlands.
  • stresses that water must return to nature or be retained there.
  • encourages the creation of green spaces in cities and the unsealing of cities.
  • supports establishing a safeguard mechanism under the common fisheries policy for marine restoration targets.
  • highlights the potential of approaches based on voluntary action and economic incentives.
  • recommends that EU support be put in place for the emergence and development of forestry activities carried out both before the trees are planted and after they are cut down.
  • warns about the risk of negative repercussions on generational renewal in the agricultural sector, and reiterates its recommendation that rural areas be made more attractive by securing the possibilities for the continuation of economically viable livelihoods based on the sustainable use of natural resources.


[1]                Rehabilitation means focusing on restoring certain ecological functions.