Survey Shows Huge Support for Nature Restoration Law in Blocking Member States

Common snipe (Gallinago gallinago). Breeding habitats are marshes, bogs, tundra and wet meadows throughout the Palearctic. Photo credit:   CreativeNature_nl via  istock

EU Member States not supporting the Nature Restoration Law are doing so against the wishes of their own citizens. That’s according to a new survey of over 6000 people in a poll conducted in the Netherlands, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Poland, and Sweden, all of which are blocking the Nature Restoration Law.

The survey  shows that three out of four citizens are in favour of the legislation, as pressure mounts on Member States to adopt the long-awaited law.

Read/Download the Citizens Survey Nature Biodiversity NRL EU

Quotas were set to make the sample nationally representative by age, gender and region in each country. Data were weighted evenly between each country. A broad general question was asked: 

“The EU is currently discussing a law which would make it mandatory for member states to restore some of the nature we have lost. To what extent do you agree or disagree that this law should be adopted”.  

A set of statements were also provided, which respondents were asked about. These related to impacts of nature and biodiversity decline’s effects on people farming and the economy; on the importance of halting decline, and the costs associated with implementation.

Again, this showed significant support for the Nature restoration law, as can be seen in the graphic below.

However the survey conducted by Savanta with 6190 respondents across the six Member States reveals that the majority of people in countries not supporting the law believe that nature and biodiversity decline will have negative long-term effects on people, farming and the economy and that it must be tackled urgently by restoring ecosystems. 

The Nature Restoration Law sees strong support in Italy in particular with 85% of citizens backing it. Hungary, which dropped its support for the proposed law recently, sees support at  a high 83%. Poland, which saw a change of government in recent months, has 72% support.

Only 6% of all surveyed disagreed that the law should be adopted.

The Restore Nature Coalition (Birdlife Europe, Client Earth, EEB and WWF)  pointed out that this is not the first time the public has expressed large scale support for the Nature Restoration Law. 

“A few months before, similar surveys were conducted in Austria and Belgium, two countries abstaining from previous votes on the Nature Restoration Law. In Austria, 77% of the population wants nature to be consistently protected and restored, with almost three-quarters of those surveyed specifically calling for “binding goals” to restore nature. In Belgium, 82% of people are strongly in favour of more nature restoration and over 84% believe that Belgian governments should make more efforts to restore at least 30% of nature on land and at sea in poor condition by 2030. “

The Nature Restoration Law has been frozen at the last hurdle since March when it lost the necessary qualified majority from Member States, after Hungary changed its position. This week the Irish Environment Minister Eamon Ryan led on a letter from 11 member states to encourage those abstaining or blocking to change their position before the next Council meeting on 17 June.

Signing member states were Ireland Germany, France, Spain, Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Estonia, Denmark, Slovenia and Cyprus.

However change before the election appears unlikely, according to sources. See below for our recent coverage of the Nature Restoration Law. 


Eleven Member States make last bid to save EU’s nature restoration law – but will it bear fruit?

EU’s Nature Restoration Law at Critical Juncture after Pushback by Member States

Nature Restoration Law Passes Final Hurdle in Parliament, Now Set to Become Law