Forest habitats are in a terrible condition in Europe. According to the latest State of Nature in the EU report, only 14% of protected forests are in favorable condition. Forest biodiversity status outside protected areas is even worse.

The proposed EU Nature Restoration Law includes legally binding nature restoration targets and could help reverse crashing biodiversity. The NGO briefing on forests describes a vision for forests in Europe under the law. This new vision is built on the EU’s global biodiversity commitment, which aims for restoring at least 30% of degraded terrestrial ecosystems in order to halt biodiversity loss and strengthen ecosystem functions. The NGO recommendations, if implemented, would help the EU Member States to fulfil their promise through restoring biodiversity and carbon rich forest habitats under the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030.

Key points:

  • Strictly protecting our remaining old-growth and primary forests through non-intervention (wilderness) management
  • Enlarging the area of strictly protected forests areas to 15% through restoration measures
  • Establishing connectivity corridors between strictly protected forests
  • Improving biodiversity in production forests by decreasing harvesting pressure

The Forest Defenders principles signed by 30 civil society organisations further describes what’s required to improve forest resilience in the face of the intertwined biodiversity and climate crises. The EU Nature Restoration Law is a perfect opportunity to demonstrate the EU’s environmental leadership.

The Nature Restoration Law is essential for the future of forests (and the planet)

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