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Europe Takes Bold Steps in Environmental Protection

In a significant effort towards environmental protection, the European Union is taking action to preserve marine and terrestrial ecosystems, setting ambitious targets to protect biodiversity and adapt to climate change.

EU’s efforts to save Nature Restoration Law

Being in line with the global targets for protecting biodiversity, EU members are participating in a long negotiation process to make a big step towards nature restoration through the proposal for a harmonized EU restoration Law. In the wake of the recent opposition of certain EU countries to approve the Proposal as it is, 11 EU member states, in a joint letter, are encouraging other states to save the ambitious policy objectives of the EU’s Restoration Law. 

Led by Ireland, environment ministers from countries including Germany, France and Spain are urging for the law’s approval. Despite political opposition, the law’s proponents argue that ratification is crucial for maintaining the EU’s global leadership in biodiversity conservation. The next opportunity for the vote is on June 17th, in Luxemburg, where environmental Ministers meet again. 

The Restoration Law obliges members to restore at least 20% of land and sea habitat by 2030, increasing to 60% by 2040 and 90% by 2050. Three billion trees should also be planted and action should be taken in order to ensure that the green space in Europe does not lessen.


Serving this same vision, Greece is pioneering towards marine environment protection by banning bottom trawling practice

Greece has taken an innovative step in marine conservation, by becoming the first European country to ban bottom trawling in its national marine parks and protected areas. Bottom trawling is a hugely damaging fishing technique that drags heavy nets across the seabed, destroying habitats and releasing carbon into the sea and the atmosphere. 

Announced at the Our Ocean Conference in Athens, the ban will be enforced in national parks by 2026 and all marine protected areas (such as the Ionian and South Aegean Region) by 2030. 

Moreover, two new marine national parks will be inaugurated. The Ionian marine national park alone will cover over 11% of Greek territorial waters, and the one in the South Aegean Sea will cover over 6%. This initiative aims to safeguard Greece’s diverse marine ecosystems with protected species like striped dolphins, Caretta caretta and the vulnerable Mediterranean monk seal, and is part of the € 780 million investment aimed to protect Greece’s diverse and unique marine ecosystems.  

See all Greece’s commitments at ‘Our Ocean’ here.


Both initiatives underline the growing recognition of the overlapping crises of climate change and biodiversity loss. Greece’s proactive position may inspire other EU members to adopt similar methods, while the EU’s Restoration Law represents a critical step towards sustainable environmental governance. The success of these efforts is essential not only for European ecosystems but for global biodiversity also, strengthening the EU’s commitment to international environmental agreements.