The 2030 Challenge: stop the rot, protect the best and restore the rest

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The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration starts on World Environment Day on 5 June. ‘About time too’ many will cry, because nature is in crisis.

Recent reports from both within and outside the European Union, have shown that nature continues to decline at an alarming rate across our continent. For example, globally, one in eight bird species are at risk of extinction; and within the European Union, 42% of species continue to decline, 11% are at risk of extinction, and just 15% of habitats are in favourable condition. This erosion of our natural environment is driven by unsustainable land use (such as agriculture and forestry), overexploitation of species (from fishing to hunting) and the introduction of non-native species (which is particularly damaging in wetlands or on islands where native animals are vulnerable to non-native introduced predators such as rats and mice).The climate crisis is compounding these threats, and it is set to get a lot worse.

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