This first stakeholder workshop happened in parallel to the currently public consultation on Ecological restoration Targets open up to April 5th 2021. SERE was represented in this first workshop by Jordi Cortina (Chair) and Kris Decleer (Board member). Future stakeholder meetings will be dedicated to definitions, engagement, financing and implementation of directives, with no fixed calendar yet. SERE will be participating in these events as well, and  opens to members the possibility to represent us. Contact us at info<at> if interested.
The context of the workshop was stated in program of DG Environment assisted by a consulting team lead by Trinomics:
Subject to an impact assessment, the Commission will put forward a proposal for legally binding EU nature restoration targets in 2021 to restore degraded ecosystems, in particular those with the most potential to capture and store carbon and to prevent and reduce the impact of natural disasters. This will identify the conditions in which the targets must be met, as well as the most effective measures to reach them.
An important issue at stake is that legally binding targets should contribute to the headline ambition of the BDS 2030 of attaining the good condition of ecosystems by 2050. At the same time, reflecting the urgency to act, the initiative needs to lead to measurable results by 2030.
The objective of the workshop was to gather stakeholder views on possible ecosystem-specific restoration targets, with emphasis on specific targets (e.g. focusing on specific ecosystems, habitats or species) and in particular those that could be deployable in the short term. Work groups were set for the following ecosystem types: Freshwater; Urban and other targets; Forestrs; Soils; Agrosystems; Marine.
SERE participated at the thematic groups on forests and soils and, overall, acknowledges DG Environment for organising the discussion and sees this first workshop more as a brainstorming than as a concrete session to set positions and recommendations. Also for SERE the identification of short term results (an indicators) towards 2030 is necessary, but Ecosystem Restoration must be regarded as a long-term process.
Key questions proposed to tackle the workshop objective were:
    • What targets could be established for this ecosystem?
    • Do you have evidence underpinning an assessment of (cost/benefit) impacts of these targets?
    • What would be key data and other prerequisites for restoration planning, implementation, reporting/monitoring for the various targets discussed?
    • Are data available and usable now, or if not, what data gaps exist?
Workshop participants were asked to provide further comments until March 5th and SERE welcomes any suggestions until then.
The workshop is framed in the process of providing the Impact Assessment of the Restoration Targets legislative proposal, which should produce the first draft in May and present the final report in June 2021.