Last week, Parliament and Council negotiators reached a temporary political agreement on the EU’s so-called Nature Restoration Act. Nature Restoration Act (NRL). What was agreed upon?
- EU countries must recover at least 30%. Habitat areas in poor condition by 2030, 60 percent by 2040 and 90 percent by 2050
- The emergency brake has been activated so that the rules of the agroecosystem can be temporarily suspended in exceptional circumstances.
In July this year, we reported that the Regulation on Nature Restoration had been passed in the European Parliament. It now appears that Parliament and the Council have reached a provisional agreement on this issue. This controversial project is nearing completion. As former Deputy Minister of Agriculture Krzysztof Ciecióra wrote on the X platform: (..) a sick and harmful law that would mean for Polish agriculture: – a loss of PLN 700,000. hectares of agricultural land liquidation of about 62 thousand farms, an income loss of 2.4 billion PLN and a loss of about 30,000 PLN. Careers.”
According to the European Commission, the new law sets a target for the European Union to recover at least 20 percent. EU terrestrial and marine areas by 2030 and all ecosystems that need to be restored by 2050. To achieve these goals, EU countries must restore at least 30% of the habitat types covered by the new law, which would be in poor to good condition. By 2030, it will increase to 60%. By 2040 and 90 percent by 2050
– Member states will have to adopt national recovery plans through an open, transparent and inclusive process, detailing how they intend to achieve these goals. According to the Parliament’s position, EU countries should prioritize Natura 2000 areas by 2030. The European Commission said it also agreed that once an area achieves a good status, EU countries should strive to ensure that its condition does not deteriorate significantly. press release.
Agriculture is on the agenda
As we learn more, to restore nature to lands used in the agricultural sector, EU countries will have to implement measures aimed at achieving a positive trend in two of the following three indicators by the end of 2030 and every six years thereafter:
- Grassland butterfly index
- Share of farmland with a great variety of landscape features
- Organic carbon resources in mineral soils of agricultural fields.
– EU countries must implement measures to renormalize the soil (editor’s note: it is the process of returning the environment to its natural state) of organic soil used in agriculture, which forms drained peat bogs, by at least 30%. These areas are by 2030 (at least a quarter will be re-irrigated), 40 percent by 2040 (at least a third will be re-irrigated) and 50 percent by 2050 (at least a third will be re-irrigated), with re-irrigation remaining voluntary For farmers and private landowners. EU countries must also reverse the decline in pollinator numbers by 2030 at the latest and then achieve an upward trend measured at least every six years, he added.
Finance and emergency brakes
Within 12 months of the entry into force of this regulation, the Commission will have to assess any gaps between the financial needs for reconstruction and available EU funding and seek solutions to bridge the gap if found.
Negotiators also agreed an emergency brake, at Parliament’s request, so that agroecosystem targets can be suspended in exceptional circumstances if they lead to serious consequences across the EU for the availability of land needed to ensure agricultural production sufficient for food consumption in the EU.
The agreement still needs the approval of Parliament and the Council. The decisive vote is scheduled to take place in the European Parliament’s Environmental Protection Committee in December this year.
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