Publications & tools

Letters and Statements

Call for urgent adoption of Nature Restoration Law

11 June 2024 09:50

Europe’s cities, regions, environmental authorities, and partners of the Urban Agenda Partnership on Greening Cities, including ICLEI, have united to urge EU policymakers to adopt the EU Nature Restoration Law.


Cities host an array of plant and animal species. 26 of the 28 European (EU 27 + UK) capitals have one or more Natura 2000 sites on their territory with a total of 2,842 Natura 2000 sites (10%) located at least partly within city boundaries7. Between 2012 and 2018, the net land take in European cities and commuting zones was 450km2 annually8. In the context of scarce urban land, cities try to solve space conflicts in intelligent ways, for example by strengthening urban green spaces and biodiversity while still enabling other competing land use priorities. Currently, land-use change is the largest driver of biodiversity loss – and may already have caused a global biodiversity decline of between 2-11% – but recent research suggests that climate change is set to become the primary cause of biodiversity loss by 2050 unless action is taken. By investing in restoration, societies can build more resilient and
sustainable environments that are better equipped to face the challenges of climate change and environmental degradation. The Nature Restoration Law would establish a legal framework and objectives that backs approaches by cities to protect and develop urban green space and support collaboration between all levels of government and a myriad of stakeholders for the mental and
physical health of citizens. Indeed, nature knows no boundaries. Cities, regions, and local environmental authorities will need financial and human resources to support them in the implementation of the proposed restoration targets, but they are equally aware that without the Law, the cost of inaction would be unbearable. Therefore, we come together in this letter to repeat our
strong support for the final approval of the Law without any further delay.