Last week, WaterLANDS Coordinator Craig Bullock and Co-Coordinator Shane Mc Guinness participated in an EU policy-science event to provide scientific input to the proposal for the EU Nature Restoration Law.

The event was organised by the projects funded under the Cluster Green Deal Call 7.1: Restoring Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. The other Cluster projects are MERLINREST-COAST and SUPERB which are, respectively, focused on rivers, the river coastal interface, and forests. All four projects are directed at the upscaling of restoration and have an emphasis, but varying focus, on stakeholder engagement, governance and finance.

In-person attendees included representatives from EU Directorate Generals (DGs) including for Agriculture (DG AGRI), Environment (DG ENV), Research and Innovation (DG RTD), and Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE).

The Cluster project coordinators were asked to comment on the draft Nature Restoration Law. First, the coordinators outlined some general comments, article-specific comments and "low-hanging fruits" in a joint presentation. Then, the Coordinators presented individually on how the different projects will contribute to the basis and the implementation of the Law.

Some of the key recommendations from the day were:

  • Freshwater system restoration should be better represented in the law and included alongside “terrestrial and marine ecosystems”.
  • Involve urban blue spaces by replacing “urban green spaces” with “urban green and blue spaces” throughout the text.
  • Increase the role of Nature-based Solutions (NbS) and embed them more consequently in the law.

WaterLANDS partners recently published a policy briefing entitled: Higher Ambitions for Peatlands in the EU Nature Restoration Law which is available to download at the link below.