New EU nature law will not succeed without farmers

The EU's Nature Recovery Act will only come into force if it is passed in cooperation with farmers, a group of leading scientists say, after months of protests brought the proposals to the brink of collapse.

In a open letter, leading biodiversity researchers from around the world said that efforts to restore nature are needed to ensure food supplies, but that for these efforts to be successful, farmers must be able to contribute to making agriculture more environmentally friendly. atmosphere.

The letter signed by scientists from the University of Oxford, ETH Zurich and Wageningen University said: "Never in history have farmers been under such pressure. They are responsible for feeding the growing population. And now we want to save us all from the global climate and biodiversity crisis as market forces continue to complicate the financial situation.

“We desperately need land to support sustainable agriculture. We need our policies to help farmers become the heroes we want them to be. But to do this, we will also have to save space for nature.

The EU Nature Recovery Act, which has been two years in the making and aims to reverse the catastrophic degradation of the EU's natural environment, appears to be on the brink of collapse after months of protests by farmers across Europe against Some proposals.

Several member states withdrew their support for the Nature Recovery Act.

The EU is a leading voice in the EU's biodiversity talks. 15 Cop to be held in December 2022, where governments agree to protect 30% of the planet, spend billions on environmentally harmful subsidies and reduce pesticide use.

However, the bloc has failed to turn many of its targets into law, leading to a warning from Virginijus Sinkevicius, the European Environment Commissioner, that the EU will arrive at the COP16 biodiversity meeting in Colombia later this year. year without a conclusion.

Governments around the world have failed to meet any of their biodiversity conservation goals, a trend that is expected to be reversed with agreements signed this decade.

"Policies like the EU Recovery Act can be vital as we strive to protect nature and ensure agricultural productivity across Europe," the open letter said. But these policies will only work if they are developed with farmers. "If governments provide the right incentives, they can help farmers create a world where people and nature can thrive together."