Congratulations to the Nature Restoration Law adopted by the EU!

  • News

EU adopts historical nature law

After months of political discussion, the Council of Ministers of the EU finally gave the green light to the long anticipated Nature Restoration Lawn which is an important step forward in the fight for better nature and more biodiversity in Europe. Now, it requires concrete implementation.

The regulation aims to restore at least 20% of the EU’s land and sea areas by 2030 and all ecosystems in need of restoration by 2050. 

EFTTA has lobbied in support of the piece of legislation for a long time, alone and together with other businesses and NGOs. Finally, this has become a reality! This agreement is a historic milestone in many ways: it sets specific, legally binding targets and obligations to reverse the alarming and rapid loss of species and habitat types – forcing EU countries to start designing tailored restoration measures.

Today's worrying balance of nature

Over 80% of European habitats are in poor shape. Past efforts to protect and preserve nature have not been able to reverse this worrying trend. The most recent assessment by the European Environment Agency paints an alarming picture of the EU’s nature, in particular habitats which are home to all kinds of animals and plants. =>Only 15% of habitats are in good condition.

This is why, for the first time ever, the regulation sets out to adopt measures to not only preserve but to restore nature. The regulation covers a range of terrestrial, coastal and freshwater, forest, agricultural and urban ecosystems, including wetlands, grasslands, forests, rivers and lakes, as well as marine ecosystems, including seagrass and sponge and coral beds.

Among others, EU member states will put in place measures:

  • to remove man-made barriers to the connectivity of surface waters to turn at least 25 000 km of rivers into free-flowing rivers by 2030. 

  • to restore peatlands 

  • to help planting at least three billion additional trees, also along rivers to preserve the river ecosystem

National restoration plans

Under the new rules, member states must plan ahead and submit national restoration plans to the Commission, showing how they will deliver on the targets. They must also monitor and report on their progress, based on EU-wide biodiversity indicators.

The regulation will now be published in the EU’s Official Journal and enter into force. It will become directly applicable in all member states.

By 2033, the Commission will review the application of the regulation and its impacts on the agricultural, fisheries and forestry sectors, as well as its wider socio-economic effects. 


Cyrille Viellard, EFTTA Board member: "When nature is under pressure, the Recreational Angling Industry also suffers from the negative impact. Our sector highly depends on healthy ecosystems, whether it be marine, freshwater or terrestrial. It all links together. The EU's natural habitats are in a state of decline that is seriously threatening our businesses and economy. The Nature Restoration Law is an essential prerequisite to safeguard recreational angling for the future".

Jan Kappel, EFTTA lobbyist at the EU Commission, emphasizes the importance of the target to provide at least 25,000 km of free-flowing rivers by 2030: ..."May it be much more than that! There are more than a million man-made obstacles in our rivers making it impossible for many freshwater fishes to complete their lifecycle. A report published recently (May 2024) tells that between 1970 to 2020 populations of European migratory freshwater fishes declined by a staggering 75%! Also, EFTTA would like to see many of the three billion new trees to be planted along rivers to provide shade that helps keeping the water temperature down and oxygen rich. Climate change is making this increasingly urgent in many places. EFTTA will continue to closely follow the implementation of this law while working together with the EU Commission to see if the regulation is implemented properly and timely by the various EU countries".

Torben Kaas, chairman of the Danish Sports Fishermen's Association"With this new law in hand, we will do everything we can to ensure that Denmark now speed up the restoration of our nature - including our streams, lakes and coasts... Changing governments have for decades failed our nature and environment, and the tragedy is unfolding right before our eyes - i.a. with a (Baltic) sea on the brink of collapse. This can and must be changed now, and here the EU's Nature Restoration Regulation will be an important tool".


Formal Press Release EU Commission: