Climate Change Negotiations – UNFCCC, COP, Other Conventions and Protocols

EU Environmental Council adopts nature restoration law in historic win for continent’s environment


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Nature Restoration Law (NRL)

Mains level: About the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030

Why in the news?

On June 17, 2024, the EU Environmental Council approved the Nature Restoration Law (NRL), marking a significant victory for environmental conservation across the continent.

Nature Restoration Law (NRL):

  • Objective and Scope: The NRL aims to restore and preserve biodiversity and ecosystem health across Europe. It targets a wide range of habitats including terrestrial, coastal, freshwater, forest, agricultural, and urban areas. Specific ecosystems such as wetlands, grasslands, forests, rivers, lakes, and marine environments like seagrass beds and coral reefs are covered.
  • Targets and Timelines: Member states are required to restore at least 20% of the EU’s land and sea areas by 2030. This includes all ecosystems identified as in need of restoration. The law sets a longer-term goal for the complete restoration of all degraded ecosystems in Europe by 2050.

About the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030


  • The EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 aims to halt biodiversity loss and restore ecosystems across Europe. It sets ambitious targets to ensure that biodiversity is conserved, valued, and restored for its intrinsic value and for the benefits it provides to people and the planet.

Targets and Actions:

  • The strategy includes specific targets for 2030, such as protecting at least 30% of EU land and sea areas, with 10% under strict protection, restoring degraded ecosystems, and integrating biodiversity considerations into agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and urban planning.
  • It emphasizes the importance of promoting green infrastructure, sustainable land use, and enhancing ecosystem services to support biodiversity.

Policy Instruments and Implementation:

  • The strategy integrates biodiversity considerations into key EU policies and sectors, including agriculture, fisheries, forestry, climate action, and regional development.
  • It encourages the use of innovative financing mechanisms, partnerships with stakeholders, and international cooperation to achieve its goals.

Monitoring and Review:

  • The EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 includes a robust monitoring framework to track progress towards its targets and assess the effectiveness of actions taken.
  • Regular reviews and updates are planned to ensure that the strategy remains relevant and adaptive to new challenges and scientific knowledge..

Challenges in Nature Restoration Law (NRL)

  • Implementation Complexity: One of the primary challenges is the complexity of implementing the NRL across diverse ecosystems and landscapes within EU member states. Each country may have varying capacities, resources, and existing environmental conditions, making uniform implementation challenging.
  • Cost and Funding Requirements: Restoring 20% of the EU’s land and sea areas by 2030 requires significant financial resources. The NRL involves costs related to restoration projects, monitoring, enforcement, and stakeholder engagement. Securing adequate funding and ensuring sustained financial support over the long term is crucial but challenging.

Conclusion: Create dedicated funding mechanisms or expand existing EU funds specifically for biodiversity restoration under the NRL. This could include grants, subsidies, and low-interest loans tailored to support restoration projects across member states.

Mains PYQ:

Q Environmental Impact Assessment studies are increasingly undertaken before a project is cleared by the Government. Discuss the environmental impacts of coal-fired thermal plants located at coal pitheads. (UPSC IAS/2014)

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