There has been an alarming loss of natural habitats. Together with climate change, this puts human livelihoods and the foundations for our economic activities at risk. To bend the curve of biodiversity decline, protecting remaining natural places will not be sufficient - we need to invest in large-scale restoration as well. For that reason, the European Commission has presented a proposal for a regulation on nature restoration, which is currently being decided on in the European Parliament and Council.
Large-scale restoration of habitats, their species and the multiple ecosystem services from which we all benefit, will ultimately help tackle the climate crisis, ensure our long-term food and water security, as well as protect and create new employment opportunities. It will help us sustain jobs, the foundations of economic activities and the sectors that rely on healthy ecosystems. By mitigating climate change and increasing our resilience against its impacts, nature restoration can also be a powerful ally for businesses that are directly affected by biodiversity loss and climate risks through supply chain disruption or reduced access to essential ecosystem services. The European Commission's impact assessment for its proposed EU Nature Restoration Law found that for every €1 invested in nature restoration, €8 to €38 is gained thanks to climate change mitigation, prevention and reduction of natural disasters, improved water quality, cleaner air, healthier soils and boosting people's overall wellbeing.
Healthier soils, reliable water retention, abundant fish populations and an array of pollinator species are essential to both food production and human wellbeing.
In our seas, restored areas have seen fish species on the brink of collapse come back in such bountiful numbers that seafood catches increased in nearby waters, creating additional jobs and revenue in EU blue economy sectors. For inland waters, restored free-flowing rivers help regulate the temperature of the land and sea, transport nutrients and minerals, and keep nature and people healthy and safe by dissolving pollutants and ensuring sediment transport.
The EU Nature Restoration law is a generation's opportunity to take concrete and effective action to reverse the biodiversity and climate crises by restoring EU land and sea areas at large scale. We are calling for the urgent adoption of an ambitious and legally-binding EU Nature Restoration Law to bring nature back to Europe. The EU Nature Restoration Law will be a key tool to tackle our climate and biodiversity crises and to guarantee the long-term sustainability and viability of our society and economy.