Nature Restoration Law: a defining moment for nature conservation in Europe

Nature Restoration Law

This morning, environment ministers from 11 European Union countries sent an open letter to countries that have so far not expressed support for the adoption of the Nature Restoration Law Ordinance, including Poland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Italy and Hungary. In the letter, the ministers call for a vote in favor of the regulation at the upcoming meeting of the Council on Foreign Relations. The meeting will be held on June 17 by the European Union Environment Council. The adoption of the Nature Restoration Law is crucial to the implementation of international environmental commitments, and can strengthen Poland’s position as a leader in this field.

Non-governmental organizations also joined the appeal, highlighting in a statement: If we want to ensure the security of Poland and Europe, defense investment alone is not enough. We need a law that will rebuild nature and provide protection from the effects of climate change, such as droughts and floods. Nature Saves People, but we must enable her to do so by restoring damaged ecosystems. Poland has the decisive say in the matter.

Meaning of Nature Restoration Law

The EC sees the Nature Restoration Law Regulation as a strategic response to the growing challenges posed by environmental degradation directly caused by anthropogenic activities and climate change. Drought, flooding and erosion of biodiversity are just a few of a number of problems to which the Nature Restoration Law is intended to respond in the form of comprehensive remediation and re-naturalization efforts in areas of degraded habitat. These issues are becoming increasingly problematic across Europe. The project involves not only restoring ecosystems, but also ensuring long-term environmental protection, which is key to the continent’s social and economic sustainability.

The importance of international obligations

Environment ministers from 11 European Union countries have sent an official position to the Polish government, among others, expressing deep concern over the lack of the necessary qualified majority to ratify the negotiated agreement on the Nature Restoration Law. As noted, this situation poses serious risks not only to environmental, social and economic issues, but also to the stability of democratic institutions and policy formulation processes within the EU, especially in the context of the upcoming European Parliament elections.

In the open letter, the ministers also refer to their international obligations under the so-called “international obligations”. The Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), which was adopted by 196 countries, including all EU member states, in December 2022. They emphasize that effective implementation of the Nature Restoration Law is key to meeting these commitments. In the context of these activities, Poland’s role is presented as decisive, and our voice in this matter will be heard not only by every EU country, but the whole world.

Environmental and economic benefits

Nature Restoration Law is presented as the key to ensuring environmental security in Europe. According to a report by the World Economic Forum(WEF)) of 2024, nearly $44 trillion in economic value generated globally each year – accounting for more than half of global GDP – depends directly on ecosystem services. Alarming data show that as much as 81 percent of protected natural habitats and 63 percent of species are in an inadequate or critical state. What’s more, Europe is warming twice as fast as other regions of the world – last year was the warmest on record, and March 2024 was the warmest March in the history of meteorological measurements.

The WEF report also draws attention to the loss of biodiversity, ranking it as the third greatest global risk. In response to these threats, the proposed Nature Restoration Law aims to restore natural resources. Under this regulation, Union member states are required to carry out effective nature restoration activities, covering at least 20 percent of the marine and land areas by 2030. In addition, the regulation calls for the revitalization of at least 25,000. river kilometers, restoring their natural water flow within the same timeframe. Such a step is aimed at both preventing floods and droughts, which are becoming a growing problem in Poland, causing annual losses in agriculture estimated at around 6.5 billion zlotys.

Health and well-being of societies

Nature Restoration Law also has a direct impact on public health. Climate change and related weather events are increasing the risk of negative human health effects, including heat waves that are particularly deadly in Europe. Contact with nature and restoration efforts also have a positive impact on the public’s mental and physical health, which is especially important in the context of the growing problems associated with diseases of civilization.

Poland may have a decisive voice

Poland’s role in this matter could be decisive. Currently, 70 percent. Member states support the Nature Restoration Law, but are just over 1 percent short. EU population to achieve the required majority. Poland, facing a decision, can significantly influence Europe’s environmental future. It is worth noting that the Nature Restoration Law does not introduce new obligations for farmers, but puts the onus on member states to create incentive systems to help citizens benefit from restored nature.

Appeal to Poland

The adoption of the Nature Restoration Law is an opportunity to strengthen Poland’s position as an environmental leader on the international stage. Poland has an opportunity, through its support of the Nature Restoration Law, to contribute to global environmental goals and strengthen its commitment to protecting natural resources. This is not only an obligation, but also a huge opportunity for the country to redefine its priorities in the context of global environmental challenges.

Source of information and photos. main: press release First aid communication team

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