Adoption of the European regulation on nature restoration


The proposal for a regulation on nature restoration is in line with the Green Pact for Europe and the European Union's Biodiversity Strategy 2030. In particular, it has been designed to be consistent with the "Adjustment to target 55" package. 

In July 2023, the European Parliament adopted a position in favour of the European regulation on nature restoration, and began negotiations with the Council during the trialogues to reach an agreed text in November 2023. 

Although MEPs adopted the regulation on 27 February, discussions were blocked the following month by a handful of Member States, including Hungary, which decided not to support the text, thus depriving it of a qualified majority.

A text adopted narrowly 

On 17 June 2024, the Council of Environment Ministers, meeting in Luxembourg, definitively adopted the regulation on nature restoration, thanks in particular to the last-minute support of the Austrian Environment Minister for the text. Sweden, Finland, Poland, the Netherlands, Italy and Hungary were opposed, while Belgium abstained.

At the Council meeting, France reiterated that a rejection of the text would have sent a "very negative signal" concerning the European Union's leadership, just a few months before the 16th Conference of the Parties to the CBD.

Article 1 of the Regulation "establishes rules to contribute to :

a. restoring biodiversity and the resilience of ecosystems in all terrestrial and marine areas of the Member States in a long-term and sustainable manner by restoring degraded ecosystems ;

b. to achieve the European Union's overall objectives in terms of climate change mitigation, adaptation and land degradation neutrality;

c. strengthening food security;

d. respect the EU's international commitments. 

The regulation requires Member States to establish and implement area-based restoration measures with a view to restoring at least 20% of the Union's terrestrial and marine areas by 2030, and all ecosystems in need of restoration by 2050.  

The regulation covers a wide range of ecosystems and sets specific requirements for different types of ecosystem, including farmland, forests and urban ecosystems. It also provides for the restoration of pollinator populations. The text gives priority to Natura 2000 areas when implementing restoration measures.

The regulation in a few figures:       

key figures

A text that contributes to the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity 

The European Union and its Member States are Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). As such, they are committed to respecting the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework adopted in December 2022 at COP15. 

The adoption of this European regulation contributes to the fulfilment of the EU's commitments within the CBD, in particular to achieving the following targets of the Global Framework: 

  • Target 1: Ensure that all areas are subject to participatory, integrated and biodiversity-friendly spatial planning and/or are effectively managed through land and sea-use change processes, in order to reduce the loss of areas of high biodiversity value, including ecosystems of high ecological integrity, to close to zero by 2030, while respecting the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities.
  • Target 2: Ensure that by 2030 at least 30% of areas of degraded terrestrial, inland water, marine and coastal ecosystems are effectively restored to enhance biodiversity, ecosystem functions and services, and ecological integrity and connectivity.
  • Target 11: Restore, maintain and enhance the contributions of nature to people, including ecosystem functions and services, such as air, water and climate regulation, soil health, pollination and disease risk reduction, and protection against natural hazards and disasters, through nature-based solutions and/or ecosystem approaches for the benefit of all people and nature.

To read the full text, click here

Frelon européen (Vespa crabro). Grégoire Dubois
European Union