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The EU-wide nature restoration regulation was adopted by the Council

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Among other things, it requires Member States to implement measures to jointly restore at least 20% of EU land and sea areas by 2030.

The EU Environment Council in Luxembourg gave its final approval for the nature restoration regulation on Monday morning with a qualified majority, having gathered positive votes from 20 member states. The new regulation establishes measures to restore at least 20% of the EU's land and sea areas by 2030 and all ecosystems in need of restoration by 2050.

As the CYPE is informed, they voted against the legislation the Ministers responsible for environment issues from Italy, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Finland and Sweden, while Belgium (which holds the EU Council presidency) abstained. The legislation thus brought together the qualified majority, i.e. the majority of the member states that simultaneously represent more than 65% of the EU population.

Legislation for the restoration of nature was in the news in Brussels when the leadership of the European People's Party tried to vote against the Commission's proposal in the European Parliament last July.

Adoption of the regulation had faced several other hurdles in recent months, with Hungary withdrawing its support ahead of the originally scheduled vote in March. As reported by EU media, the decision initially by Slovakia, and only on Sunday by Austria, to vote in favor of the legislation, paved the way for its approval.

The new regulation sets legally binding targets and separate obligations. for the restoration of nature in terrestrial and marine ecosystems, wetlands and urban areas.

“Today, the Council of the EU chooses to restore nature in Europe, thus protecting biodiversity and the living environment of European citizens,” said Brussels Region Climate Transition Minister Alain Maron on behalf of the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU.

Among other things, the new regulation requires Member States to adopt and implement measures to jointly restore at least 20% of the EU's terrestrial and marine areas by 2030. The rules cover a wide range of terrestrial, coastal and freshwater, forest , agricultural and urban ecosystems, including wetlands, grasslands, forests, rivers and lakes, and marine ecosystems, including marine ecosystems, as well as sponge and coral reefs.

By 2030, it notes, states members will prioritize Natura 2000 areas when implementing restoration measures.

Also, specific restoration targets are set for the coming decades specifically for habitats considered to be in poor condition according to the regulation.

Furthermore, the regulations contain specific measures to protect pollinators, i.e. wild insects that contribute to the reproduction of plants.

Specific requirements are also defined for various types of ecosystems, including agricultural land, forests and urban ecosystems.

Member States should develop concrete national restoration plans and report on their progress, based on EU biodiversity indicators.

Source: politis.com.cy

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