The importance of the adoption of the Nature Restoration Law

Ioli Christopoulou spoke to Popaganda and journalist Louisa Solomon-Panta about the political roller coaster that the Nature Restoration Law went through until its final adoption by the EU member states a few days after the European Elections of June 2024, as well as its main goals.

The Nature Restoration Law went through four stages:

  1. The initial excitement, with the adoption of the EU Biodiversity Strategy in 2020 and then, in June 2022, the proposal to restore 20% of land and sea by 2030.
  2. The controversy phase, especially in the European Parliament, with reactions, notably from the European People’s Party, which risked leading to a request to withdraw the law, and ultimately to the adoption of amendments that weakened the original text.
  3. The last-minute U-turn by Hungary, which backed out just before the European Council adopted the final agreement.
  4. The equally unexpected change of position by Austria towards a positive stance, which finally led to the adoption of the law on 17 June 2024.

The Nature Restoration Law is the world’s first piece of legislation to set legally binding targets not just for nature conservation, but for restoring degraded areas of land and sea. In addition to protected areas, the provisions concern different ecosystems (forest, agricultural, urban, etc.)

“The adoption of the new law shows the EU’s commitment to the green transformation of the economy and society, but also to its international leadership role in the transition to a sustainable future”, commented Ioli Christopoulou.

Concluding by listing some of its key provisions, she explained how this law makes nature itself an ally in mitigating the climate crisis and adapting to its effects.

A typical example is the restoration of the Posidonia seagrass meadows – a key objective of the Artemis project in which Green Tank is a partner.

“If the Posidonia seagrass meadows are restored, then the ability to absorb and store carbon dioxide is increased, while biodiversity is enhanced as new breeding sites for fish and other marine organisms are created, and the protection of the coasts against corrosion is strengthened”, Ioli Christopoulou explained.

You can read the Popaganda article in Greek here.