Europe’s ‘man on the moon moment’ for ecological restoration

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An Cliquet

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Ecological restoration has been firmly grounded in policy and legislation from the European Union (EU). With the new EU Biodiversity Strategy and the EU Green Deal ecological restoration is seen as a cornerstone of EU policy for the next decade. Previous commitments on restoration have not been met and there is a lack of concrete legally binding targets and quality standards in EU legislation. The new EU biodiversity strategy puts forward the development of restoration legislation. This creates unique possibilities for imposing binding targets and obligations for high quality restoration on EU member states. The new law, if well drafted and enforced could be a game changer for both biodiversity protection in the EU, as well as contributing to adaptation and mitigation of climate change in the EU through an upscaling of ecological restoration. This paper discusses the preferable contents of such a new restoration law, its relationship with existing EU legislation (including the Birds and Habitats Directives and the Water Framework Directive), the role of standards in the new law and policy and the possible need for additional sectoral and habitat specific guidelines and standards for restoration. This paper will look at other EU environmental legislation that includes references to standards or best available techniques, as a source of inspiration to include standards in the new EU restoration law and policy.

Resource Type:
Conference Presentation, SER2021

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