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European Parliament approves landmark nature restoration law

Over 80% of European habitats are in poor shape. To address this issue, on 22 June 2022, the Commission proposed a nature restoration law aimed at facilitating the long-term recovery of damaged nature across the EU’s land and sea areas. The Commission estimates that the new law would yield significant economic benefits, with every euro invested resulting in at least 8 euros in benefits.

What is included in the law?

The EU nature restoration law, agreed with member states, will restore degraded ecosystems across the EU member states, help achieve the EU’s climate and biodiversity objectives and enhance food security. To meet the overall EU targets, member states must restore at least 30% of habitats covered by the new law (including forests, grasslands, wetlands, rivers, lakes, and coral beds) from a poor to a good condition by 2030, increasing to 60% by 2040, and 90% by 2050. In line with Parliament’s position, EU countries should prioritize Natura 2000 areas until 2030. Once habitats are in good condition, member states must ensure they do not significantly deteriorate. Additionally, member states will need to adopt national restoration plans outlining their strategies for achieving these targets.

How the parliament voted and next steps

In a groundbreaking move towards ecological restoration and biodiversity conservation, the European Union (EU) has approved the Nature Restoration Law, despite weeks of farmers’ protests across Europe. Lawmakers passed the law with 329 votes in favor, 275 against, and 24 abstentions.

The policy requires final approval from EU member states (the Council) before being published in the EU Official Journal and entering into force 20 days later. While such approval would typically be a formality, it is not guaranteed, and some recent EU policies have faced blockages and delays due to domestic pushback.

SETIN’s work

SETIN has extensive experience in biodiversity conservation and protected areas management/planning in Europe, with a focus on protected areas, Natura 2000 Sites, Ramsar Sites, rural development, nature-based tourism, and the involvement of communities and relevant stakeholders in natural resources management. Our work is instrumental in contributing to the preservation and conservation of ecological conditions within Natura 2000 sites.

Recent projects include the preparation and submission of the Med Green Belt Project Proposal, under the EU Euro-Med Interreg Programme, focusing on transboundary Natura 2000 sites in the Mediterranean region. Additionally, SETIN has conducted the Strategic Environmental Assessments and Appropriate Assessments for various EU financing programs, such as the Italy-Malta Interreg Nexus Programme and the Italy-Tunisia Interreg Nexus Programme Furthermore, SETIN prepared the Prioritized Action Framework for Sardinia Region for Nature 2000 Network and implemented conservation measures in several Natura 2000 sites, including developing conservation finance tools for marine-coastal sites in Oristano Province.


European Parliament, 2024, Nature restoration: Parliament adopts law to restore 20% of EU’s land and sea,, accessed on 29/02/2024

Deutsche Welle – DW, 2024, European Parliament passes landmark nature restoration law,, accessed on 29/02/2024