On 22 June 2022, the European Commission adopted pioneering proposals to restore damaged ecosystems and bring nature back across Europe. The Commission also proposes to reduce the use and risk of chemical pesticides by 50% by 2030. Restoring European Union (EU) wetlands, rivers, forests, grasslands, marine ecosystems, urban environments and the species they host is highlighted as a crucial and cost-effective investment into our food security, climate resilience, health, and well-being. 
The Proposal for a Nature Restoration Law aims to repair the 80% of European habitats that are in poor condition and to bring back nature to all ecosystems. Legally binding targets for nature restoration in different ecosystems will apply to every European Union Member State, complementing existing laws. The objective is to cover at least 20% of the EU's land and sea areas by 2030 with nature restoration measures, and eventually extend these to all ecosystems in need of restoration by 2050. Ecosystems with the greatest potential for removing and storing carbon and preventing or reducing the impact of natural disasters such as floods will be the top priorities. The proposed targets related to the ocean and rivers include:
- Restoring marine habitats such as seagrasses or sediment bottoms, and restoring the habitats of iconic marine species such as dolphins and porpoises, sharks and seabirds;
- Removing river barriers so that at least 25,000 km of rivers would be turned into free-flowing rivers by 2030.
Did you know that there is a map layer on marine bird observations in the European Atlas of the Seas? The data provider, EurOBIS, the European node of the international Ocean Biodiversity Information System (OBIS), publishes distribution data on marine species, collected within European marine waters or collected by European researchers outside European marine waters.
Wish to know more about nature restoration and biodiversity?
- Read the European Commission’s questions and answers on nature restoration;
- Learn about the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration;
- Read the Map of the Week dedicated to marine Natura 2000 sites published last month;
- Explore the linkages between the ocean and biodiversity with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Secretariat;
- Find out about the United Nations Ocean Conference next week.
The data in this map are provided by EurOBIS.