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No more delay in EU restoration law

Peatlands along river Peene (Photo: Stephan Busse)

EU Nature Restoration Law must come now
9/6/2022 Nature-based climate protection through the restoration of ecosystems, for example peatlands, offers an outstanding opportunity to combat the unabatedly progressing climate and biodiversity crisis - and an opportunity that must not be squandered. However, the EU Commission has repeatedly postponed the binding EU Nature Restoration Law, which was actually planned for the end of 2021 - first to March 2022. Now it is to be published on 22nd June 2022. In an open letter to the Commission, a network of more than 60 organisations from environmental protection, nature conservation, science and agriculture, coordinated by the International Mire Conservation Group (IMCG), is therefore calling for a "law now". In the EU, however, more than 50% of peatlands are in poor condition, they release large amounts of greenhouse gases as well as nitrates due to drainage, and more and more peatland animals and plants are being lost due to habitat destruction. Rewetting peatlands just offers massive improvement - and in many cases these areas can still be used for agriculture and forestry! With paludiculture, i.e. "wet agriculture and forestry", which has recently also become part of European agricultural policy, value creation, bioeconomy and circular economy can be developed in peatland-rich rural areas. In order to draw attention to the great importance of peatlands and to emphasise the need for ambitious rewetting and restoration of peatlands in the new EU Nature Restoration Law - and not to remove them from it, as is feared - a broad network of more than 60 organisations from environmental protection, nature conservation, science and agriculture has today addressed an urgent appeal to the EU Commission. They demand to defend the success of the EU Green Deal in the EU Nature Restoration Act and to push for an ambitious policy for the rewetting of drained peatlands in Europe. To achieve the climate change targets of the Paris Agreement and the EU Climate Change Act, a transformation pathway for all peatlands in the EU should lead to net CO2 emissions by 2050. The EU should take the lead in the UN Decade for Ecosystem Restoration and achieve ambitious biodiversity targets at the upcoming Biodiversity Convention conference in Kunming, China.

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