Current state of the world’s ecosystems

Nature and biodiversity are facing a major decline, with the UN claiming that up to 80% of the world’s ecosystems are in a poor state of conservation, with peatlands, grasslands and dunes being the most affected ecosystems. The climate change crisis, the loss of biodiversity and pollution are major elementsare affecting the environment today. Some key figures that allow us to understand the urgency of the situation:

70% of soils are in an unhealthy condition

71% of fish populations are in decline

60% of amphibians show signs of poor conservation

1 in 3 bees and butterflies are affected by the degradation process

What is the Nature Restoration Law and why is it so important?

On 22 June 2022, the European Commission launched the proposal for the Nature Restoration Law, a legal instrument that will allow European countries to invest in environmental conservation initiatives with the aim of restoring the continent’s most affected ecosystems and recovering levels of biodiversity capable of coping with the climate crisis and other factors limiting the quality of natural areas.

Within the framework of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, this policy initiative aims to regulate as well as provide an additional budget for the different European funds to promote restoration activities by member states. Among the objectives proposed by the NRL, the following stand out:

Current negotiation process

In May 2023, the Commission’s proposal received a negative vote in the European Parliament, through the PECH and AGRI Committees, which rejected the new law on the grounds that it could have a negative impact on food security, the economy and the European farmers sector. The proposal will be voted on 15 June 2023, where the ENVI committee will decide on the approval of the law, for final adoption in the plenary later in June (postponed to 27th). For its part, the environmental NGO sector in Europe has started a strong mobilisation process under the slogan #RestoreNature, which aims to mobilise the political system to adopt a law that if not passed will jeopardise the activities of the environmental sector for the next 5-10 years.

“This is important because what we really have now is this window of opportunity — this decade — both for tackling nature loss and for tackling climate change. We need to do the bulk of the restoration actions by 2030 and not postpone too much to 2040 or 2050”

Sabien Leemans, senior biodiversity policy officer at WWF EU

What role for the Outdoor Sports sector ?

Regardless of whether the NRL is approved or not, from ENOS we want to reinforce the objective of improving the quality of the ecosystems and natural spaces of which we consider ourselves ambassadors, and where we develop our outdoor recreation activities. This commitment was already underlined with the publication in 2022 of the Green Deal position paper, which stated the following:

“Therefore sustainability itself is untenable and the principle of restoration must be included with sustainability”

ENOS Position Paper on the Green Deal, 2022

To this end, the Sustainability working group created within ENOS aims to encourage responsible behavior towards natural areas and invite collective responsibility for the conservation and restoration of ecosystems to the extent of available resources and at the appropriate scale to bring about positive change.

For this reason, ENOS wants to hear the voice of our members and partner organisations regarding the restoration initiatives that are being carried out or are planned to be developed in the short/medium term. The objective is on the one hand to value and disseminate the already existing initiatives to show the efforts of the network, as well as to study new ideas and proposals, in order to develop a joint strategy that could lead to a project financed by European funds, where we will carry out certain proposals as representatives of the outoor sports sector in Europe.

Please, either if you already have experience in the field or if you would like to get started and develop useful ideas, we invite you to fill in the following form: