The proposed EU Nature Restoration Law sets an overall target of restoring 20% of the EU’s land and sea area by 2030 and all ecosystems in need of restoration by 2050. This is an ambitious and appropriate target, essential for the EU’s wildlife which is suffering from a decline in the quality of its habitats.
Indeed, rich and undisturbed habitats are key for the well-being of wild animals. In a world where all animals and species, including humans, are interdependent and rely on healthy ecosystems, nature restoration and conservation is a priority.
Eurogroup for Animals therefore calls for the EU Nature Restoration Law to fulfil three objectives:
It must effectively protect and restore all natural habitats to safeguard the well being of millions of wild animals and humans;
It must recognise and take into account the interdependence of living beings in line with the One Health and One Welfare approaches;
It must fully integrate the welfare of wild animals as an indicator and objective of conservation and restoration activities.
In this context, the well-being of wild animals must be addressed in the definitions of “sufficient quality of habitat” and “sufficient quantity of habitat”. Similarly, the legislation should ensure that a “favourable reference area” for the given habitats is defined as more than the minimum required, so that wild animals can thrive rather than simply survive. The proposal should also ensure connectivity between habitats so that wild animals do not encounter obstacles to their movement on land or water. The ethological requirements of species must also be adequately taken into account in restoration activities.
If you agree with these statements, tell your decision-makers to keep high ambitions and fully integrate animal welfare considerations in the EU Nature Restoration law to protect the habitats and ecosystems on which humans and wildlife depend.