Nature-based solutions have been gaining attention as effective solutions to address important global challenges. As the world battles with the COVID-19 crisis, increased awareness on its link to the exploitation of nature is generating momentum towards improving our relationship with nature. This shift is urgently needed as a range of recent reports draw attention to a continued, unprecedented decline in biodiversity, both globally and in Europe.
That is why protecting and restoring nature is key to tackling climate change. Solutions that harness the power of nature can create opportunities that help achieve both biodiversity and climate objectives, while delivering important socioeconomic benefits.
Nevertheless, further work remains to design and implement solutions, which effectively capitalize on the synergies and shared goals between the climate and biodiversity agendas, while ensuring no harm is done to biodiversity. This paper by IEEP and Ecologic Institute discusses how EU policies and investments have spurred the uptake of nature-based solutions to support biodiversity and ecosystem health, and outlines remaining gaps and opportunities on how best to scale up efforts to meet the current EU policy framework’s 2030 objectives. Furthermore, the paper offers ideas for how the new EU Restoration Plan could be operationalized through concrete tools, measures and strategies to allow Member States to scale up their efforts, while complementing existing policies and contributing to the broader European Green Deal agenda.