Environmental Pillar welcomes passing of the Nature Restoration Law in EU Parliament

But now the real work begins for Ireland and Europe to implement the measures necessary to protect nature and biodiversity

Fintan Kelly, Agriculture and Land Use Policy and Advocacy Officer with the Environmental Pillar, said: “The passing of the Nature Restoration Law by the European Parliament in Strasbourg today is a historic day for Europe. The Nature Restoration Law is a framework of targets designed to drive the recovery of nature across Europe, both inside and outside of protected areas, across land and sea and into the heart of our cities. The NRL recognises the interconnected nature of biodiversity loss and climate change and the threat that both pose to food security and economic stability. We now have the opportunity to reflect on our interdependence with nature and start to build a legacy for future generations.”

Oonagh Duggan, Environmental Pillar spokesperson and Head of Advocacy with BirdWatch Ireland, said that the Nature Restoration Law is a compromise rather than a victory for any particular side.

“A day after protests in Brussels saw violent clashes between farmers and police it is important to note that the passing of the NRL is not a victory over farmers but a victory for farmers. Farmers are on the front line of the biodiversity and climate crisis. We have seen that in Ireland in recent years, with the impact that flooding, droughts and fodder crisis have had on farmers. Farming needs a stable climate and healthy and resilient environment and many of our most threatened habitats and species are also dependent on sustainable farming practices. We must now work together to chart a new course forward where society can empower farmers, fishers and communities to lead in the restoration of nature.”

Though imperfect, the law will help us begin the process of restoring nature for current and future generations, said Dr. Elaine McGoff, Environmental Pillar spokesperson and Head of Advocacy with An Taisce.

Dr McGoff said: “The real work must begin now. We look forward to working with all stakeholders and government to design a Nature Restoration Plan that can deliver for our environment as well as supporting livelihoods in rural Ireland. Essential to the success of the plan will be the establishment of a new Nature Restoration Fund, designing new agri-environmental schemes and ensuring that the State leads from the front by restoring habitats across public lands managed by Coillte and Bord Na Móna.
Oisín Coghlan, Environmental Pillar spokesperson and Director of Friends of the Earth Ireland said the Parliament’s decision reflected the demands by European citizens and experts for a Nature Restoration Law and was a rejection of scaremongering tactics.

“European citizens, more than 200 civil society organisations, scientists and industry have been demanding that the EU restore our seas, agricultural lands, peatlands and forests with a robust Nature Restoration Law. It is heartening and welcome to see that European legislators have seen through the spin, misinformation and nonsense being peddled by some to try to thwart a modest measure to address the nature and climate crisis,” he said.