Today’s (Volume 601 Issue 7892, 13 January 2022) issue of Nature published a correspondence by SER Europe representatives Kris Decleer, Jordi Cortina-Segarra and Aveliina Helm to bring attention to SERE Declaration. The letter states that EU Nature Restoration Law needs ambitious and binding targets:
EU Nature Restoration Law needs binding and ambitious targets
Initiatives by the European Commission to restore the continent’s degraded areas (J. Cortina-Segarra et al. Nature 535, 231; 2016 http://rdcu.be/jhEq) have proved disappointing. As the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration gathers momentum, the Commission is preparing a law that has legally binding targets. To underscore the urgency some 1,400 European scientists and 30 expert networks and institutions have signed a declaration by the Society for Ecological Restoration Europe (https://chapter.ser.org/europe/declaration-on-eu-restoration-law/).
The declaration supports setting a legal principle to maximize recovery of ecosystems (A. Cliquet et al. Restor. Ecol. 2021: https://doi.org/10.1111/rec.13560). Priorities include restoration of areas important for biodiversity and for mitigating climate change. Ambitious targets are needed for urban, agricultural and forestry landscapes. Planning and implementation must comply with Ecological principles (G. D. Gann et al. Rest.Ecol. 27, S1–S46; 2019: https://doi.org/10.1111/rec.13035).
To align with the 30% protected-area target of the EU Biodiversity Strategy, the law must complement existing legal directives, including those for water, birds, and habitats, by fixing deadlines, defining area targets, securing habitat connectivity, allocating ample resources.
Research Institute for Nature and Forest, Brussels, Belgium.
University of Alicante, Alicante, Spain.
University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia.