22/06/2022: Time-bound targets and restoration actions outside Natura2000
The EU Nature Restoration Law presented by the commission builds on the birds and habitats directives by adding time-bound targets and requiring restoration actions across the territory of the Member States, including outside Natura 2000. Ecosystems are the “lungs” and backbone of our rural territories and the landowners are custodians of this rich environment. This responsibility requires us to plead for a robust EU policy and support system. However, we deplore the lack of an effective inclusive action plan and an unfortunate continuity in a top-down approach that proved in the past to be counterproductive. Read more here.

May 2020: ELO's first considerations on the new EU Biodiversity strategy
ELO welcomes with great interest the new strategy of the European Commission. We recognise the intention of inclusiveness with all stakeholders and, when working alongside the institutions to halt the loss of biodiversity, we believe that no sustainable solution leading to reintroducing biodiversity could be achieved without landowners and efficient land management. Please read the full statement here.

More about Biodiversity:
Following the adoption of the EU Green Deal, 2020 marked the publication of many related strategies such as the 2030 Biodiversity Strategy. It is the responsibility of ELO to be at the forefront of the discussions related to its implementation.

 Please read the full statement here: ELO position paper- EU 2030 Biodiversity strategy, May 2020


 Time bound targets and restoration actions outside Natura2000


Following the adoption of the EU Green Deal, 2020 marked the publication of many related strategies such as the 2030 Biodiversity Strategy. It is the responsibility of ELO to be at the forefront of the discussions related to its implementation.


Right after Its publication in May 2020, ELO produced its official position paper which was reviewed by the ELO Policy Group and then sent to relevant decision-makers (MEPs, EC officials, Members States representatives etc…) We recognized that the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030 is the right path to move ahead. However, ELO felt it important to note that the EU nature conservation measures, and especially the EU Birds and Habitats Directives’ obligations, still pose a challenge in implementation for many private land managers. The three pillars of sustainability: economic viability, environmental protection, and social equity, remain essential elements for a successful implementation of EU nature legislation. Considering that almost 95% of Europe’s land is in private hands, landowners should be considered prime partners in ensuring the success of any biodiversity targets. Based on a voluntary commitment, The Wildlife Estates Label shows the importance of private land managers actions towards biodiversity preservation (see the article on Wildlife Estates Label) The strict 10% protection target is one of the first bottlenecks of the strategy. ELO is worried that this strict protection will prevent the adoption of any genuine protection measure and therefore would mean the cessation of all human activities. In fact, for numerous sites, the species and habitats and their ecosystems may be entirely dependent on the continuation of such activities for their longterm survival. Furthermore, without sustainable management, forests and ecosystems are more likely to be at risk with regards to climate change effects. It is our view that a blank restriction of uses in the designated areas will be counterproductive and reinforce the lack of understanding between decision-makers and land users. The examination of the new binding target for restoration has also started with the European Commission. ELO is in favour of a robust and efficient action plan instead of a binding target. We consider that by developing payments for ecosystem services in line with market practice; nature conservation could become a thriving part of our economy. ELO, therefore, strongly welcomes that this new binding target will be evaluated against an impact assessment. It will require the full involvement of land managers with a clear signal to put in place the necessary financial mechanisms to support their actions. The ELO proposes to focus on improving the use of existing funds but also making sure they are made available by public authorities in due time and without complex binding rules. The potential of market-based solutions such as tax credits and incentives must be part of the solution.

ELO, with the support of the Life programme under the project “Land Is For Ever”, reviewed existing and innovative mechanisms, to present to the European Commission a list of tools that can be supported from the individual landowners’ perspective.

Forest issues through the protection of old-growth forests are also at the core of the strategy. The EC proposes to define, map, monitor and strictly protect all of the EU’s remaining primary and oldgrowth forests. European Commission will also develop guidelines on closer-to-nature-forestry practices and biodiversity-friendly afforestation and reforestation. The Commission has set a goal to plant at least 3 billion additional trees in the EU by 2030. This will be carried out in parallel with the new EU Forest Strategy. ELO has recently published a joint paper on that issue with WWF. See article page on forestry.


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