How can EU Member States implement a successful nature restoration policy?

On 22 June 2022, the European Commission announced a proposal for a European Nature Restoration Law aiming at “restoring ecosystems for people, the climate and the planet”. This is a draft Regulation, which will effectively make legally binding the nature restoration targets set by the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 as part of the European Green Deal. Member States will be required to draw national nature restoration plans, which will include measures covering 20% of Europe’s land and sea area by 2030 as well as all ecosystems to be restored by 2050.

Nature restoration has important benefits for nature, people and the economy and is critical to the ability of ecosystems to provide long-term food security for Europe, and enhance its resilience to natural disasters, while contributing to the achievement of EU’s climate targets.

Seeking to contribute to the adoption of an ambitious and robust new law, members of the Think Sustainable Europe network, including The Green Tank, have developed a policy paper entitled “Restoring EU ecosystems: recommendations for the successful implementation of the proposed EU nature restoration law”.

Among Think Sustainable Europe’s key recommendations to Member States and EU institutions are the following:

– establishment of governance structures to ensure accountability, monitoring of compliance with the targets at Member State level, and promotion of cross-sectoral synergies

– establishment of a robust implementation monitoring framework under a common methodology, and development of a framework for assessing the status of habitats not covered by the Habitats Directive

– providing technical and scientific support to Member States and guidelines for the national nature restoration plans

– ensuring adequate funding, capacity building opportunities and technical support for Member States and bodies of implementation, and also developing/facilitating the use of innovative funding mechanisms for nature restoration

The new European law on nature restoration opens a new chapter in nature policy in our country as well. Despite the difficulties in the implementation of the existing legislation on nature protection, the status of nature in Greece is overall comparatively better than that of the European Union. Thus, having a relative advantage in achieving the new objectives, in the upcoming negotiations the Greek side needs to support an ambitious new law and at the same time claim sufficient resources and technical support. After all, the benefits of nature restoration for our country are plenty, especially considering how vulnerable it is to the impacts of climate change”, noted Ioli Christopoulou, Policy Director of The Green Tank and member of the expert group that drafted the policy paper.


  1. The recommendations presented in the policy paper were formulated by experts related to the Think Sustainable Europe network and were finalized during the Think2030 conference in June 2022. They are co-signed by the think tanks: IEEP, The Green Tank, IDDRI, BC3, AMO και Ecologic Institute
  2. The policy paper is available here (in English).
  3. Read also the policy paper “Socio-economic benefits of Nature Restoration in Greece” and its summary in Greek and English presented at a relevant workshop co-organized by Green Tank and IEEP on the implications of the new law in Greece and the ecological, social and economic benefits of nature restoration.