New nature targets: International initiatives and the national legislation

The international mobilization for nature protection and restoration has been reflected in a series of proposals, international agreements and national initiatives that are progressively setting legally binding targets for countries across the world. Contributing with the editorial titled “New nature targets” to the monthly newspaper on ecology OIKO-ENIMEROSI, Ioli Christopoulou first records the basic predictions of the international Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (December 2022), which is now a reference point for national policy-making, as well as the European Union’s Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 that preceded it (May 2020).

Along the same lines, these initiatives set as a priority the extension of protection to 30% of the world’s – and respectively the EU’s – land and sea areas, based on the creation of a new governance framework.

The need for an integrated planning for nature protection is also reflected in the European Commission’s proposal for a new Nature Restoration Law (June 2022) currently under consideration by the Environment Committee of the European Parliament and the Council.

In this context, in March 2023, under the Law no. 5037, Greece became the first Member State to adopt by law the new global and European biodiversity targets. As Ioli Christopoulou notes in her article, this ambitious initiative “is accompanied by the challenge of implementation, which is the great weakness of our country’s environmental policy”. To this end, she stresses the need for cross-sectoral cooperation as well as ensuring adequate resources and technical assistance. It also sets as a priority the creation of a new National Biodiversity Action Plan, the preparation of which has been pending since 2020.

The article was published in the May-June 2023 issue, and you can read it here in Greek.