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The European Commission presented a legislative proposal for a Nature Restoration Law on 22 June 2022. The proposal sets comprehensive targets and obligations to reverse the trend of biodiversity loss and ensure long-term conservation of nature in Europe. In doing so, the regulation establishes a framework for immediate effective and area-based restoration actions that together will cover at least 20% of the Union’s terrestrial and marine areas by 2030 and all ecosystems in need of restoration by 2050. This includes areas used for agriculture, fisheries, and forestry, as well as marine, aquatic, and urban habitats.
The agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors are not only the addressees of the regulation to achieve the objectives pursued, but are also key players in implementing the necessary restoration measures. However, this poses considerable challenges for the agricultural and forestry sectors in view of the numerous requirements on climate protection and climate change, environmental protection and resource conservation, but also on a secure food production.
In this area of tension, many questions arise: What are the target outcomes for ecosystems, habitats and species? How can these outcomes be achieved? What legal implications will this place on agriculture, forestry, and fisheries? Will there be restrictions on management authority? How can agriculture, forestry and fisheries actively contribute to the implementation of these objectives? What restoration measures are envisaged and how will the measures be financed?
With the presented proposal of the European Commission, reliable and practicable answers to these questions are needed. The implementation of substantial nature conservation goals can only be achieved in trusting cooperation with agriculture, forestry and fisheries.
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