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Unión de Selvicultores del Sur de Europa


Editorial USSE. Nature Restoration Act

18 / 10 / 2023

Nature Restoration Act and the European Parliament's vote in July, an opportunity to improve the European Commission's fragile original proposal

Although lawmakers in the European Parliament flatly rejected the option to completely rework and rethink the Commission's approach to the proposed Nature Restoration Act, the votes on the amendments allowed the chamber to address some of the main concerns raised by european forest owners. This provided an opportunity to improve the fragile original European Commission proposal.

The changes approved by the chamber can be said to take into account the reality on the ground for forest owners.  Among other issues, the prioritization of restoration measures in existing Natura 2000 sites, based on known ecosystem conditions, would allow to focus on the areas most in need. It is necessary to appreciate that the forest owners will be the ones who will have to implement and maintain the restoration actions.

Therefore, we consider as a very positive result the call to take into account their prior and informed consent in the elaboration of nature restoration plans. However, a number of issues related to practical implementation remain to be clarified in the next steps of the process.

With the support of the European Parliament for significant parts of the general approach put forward by the European Council and the work of the European Commission as a neutral intermediary, the trilogue negotiations will take place in the coming months with the Spanish presidency leading the European Council.

As forest owners, we hope that the changes approved by the Parliament will contribute to the elaboration of a viable final text that takes into account the opinions of those who are responsible for its implementation on the ground.

Union of South European Foresters (USSE)

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