To address biodiversity loss, protect nature and restore ecosystems urgently, since our health and wellbeing depends on the status of the environment.
To adapt the main targets of restoring at least a 20% of the Union's land and sea areas by 2030, in line with the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework
To ensure the involvement of EU local and regional authorities in the drafting, implementation and monitoring of the National Restoration Plans, as well as in the identification of restoration areas, since they know best the local conditions and the socio-economic context of the areas.
To take into account the different circumstances and starting points in countries and cities, especially on urban ecosystems, and to adjust the proposal to include specific considerations in terms of quantity and quality of green areas, regional, urban and agglomeration structure, administrative structure and land ownership.
To emphasize that the success of ecosystem restoration will largely depend on the correct implementation and the quality of measures applied at local and regional level, so cities and regions should be supported by proper technical assistance, adequate financing resources and specific funding.
The general approach adopted at Council on 20 June 2023 added the possibility for member states to take into account in their national restoration plans the diversity of situations in various regions related to social, economic and cultural requirements, regional and local characteristics and population density. Where appropriate, the specific situation of the Union’s outermost regions, such as their remoteness, insularity, small size, difficult topography and climate, as well as their rich biodiversity and the associated costs for protecting and restoring their ecosystems, should be taken into account.
The European Commission, in the 106th Follow-up report from noted the point on (c) control of invasive alien species in urban green space, also favouring the biodiversity and amount of insects, which improves the well-functioning ecosystems in these spaces, as well as inclusion of peri-urban areas in the urban restoration targets.
The European Commission also notes the call for a comprehensive technical support and capacity building system for local and regional administrations to implement the EU Nature Restoration Law
The European Parliament position adopted on 12 July 2023 included a point reflecting the CoR's main request "Member States may, when preparing the national restoration plans, take into account, the diversity of situations in various regions related to social, economic and cultural requirements, regional and local characteristics and population density. Where appropriate, the specific situation of the Union’s outermost regions, such as their remoteness, insularity, small size, difficult topography and climate, as well as their rich biodiversity and the associated costs for protecting and restoring their ecosystems, should be taken into account." Similarly, the text supported the fact that "Local and regional authorities, as well as relevant management authorities, shall be properly involved in the preparation of the plan", referring to National Restoration Plans.
The final text, also includes the definition proposed by the CoR on urban areas, including urban clusters, urban centers and peri-urban areas, and takes into account information available on tree canopy cover provided by Member States, as the CoR requested, as well as some criteria for the quality of urban tree canopy cover.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- recognises that the proposed EU Nature Restoration Law (NRL) is a game changer in the fight against biodiversity loss and the impacts of climate change, and appreciates its approach to legally binding, time-bound, sequenced targets to safeguard the protection and restoration of all ecosystems in Member States, with the aim of urgently addressing its degradation; sees this proposal, with the necessary modifications, as a crucial step forward that will steer the implementation of an ambitious post-2020 global biodiversity framework, and the synchronization of the climate and biodiversity agendas;
- stresses that the proposal must be adapted to take account of the widely differing current situations in the various Member States, regions and municipalities in terms of the quantity and quality of different ecosystems, regional, urban, municipal and agglomeration structure, administrative structure and land ownership;
- highlights the key role of local and regional authorities (LRAs) in co-drafting National Restoration Plans (NRPs), identifying restoration areas and determining indicators based on local priorities and community needs, public and private co-finance, stakeholder and public engagement, and executing local, integrated, place-based restoration actions; emphasizes the key role of LRAs in monitoring and reporting on progress towards the targets for urban and other ecosystems that fall within the boundaries of LAUs;
- urges Member States to ensure that NRPs take into account the specific socio-economic, geographic and environmental conditions and characteristics of the local area in question, the local community and regional context, as well as the relevant restoration needs;
- reiterates the importance of integrating the NRL with existing local, regional and other sub national policies and strategies, and highlights the need for adequate instruments and mechanisms to strengthen the mandatory character and qualitative impact of the law at local and sub-national level;
- draws attention to the substantial financial resources required for the measures provided for in the proposal for a Regulation; stresses that adequate financial resources should be earmarked for restoration; and calls for a comprehensive technical support system.