Position of the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) on the Commission proposal for a Nature Restoration Law (COM (2022) 304 final)

30 March 2023

The European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) fully support the aims of halting and reversing the loss of biodiversity and habitats in Europe through restoration efforts on the European level, as addressed in the Commission proposal for a Nature Restoration Law (COM (2022) 304 final). Due to their location close to natural and urban areas, ports are on the frontlines of climate change. Europe’s ports are working with nature to increase the resilience of ports and the areas surrounding the port, and are developing and adapting to the impacts brought about by a changing climate.

In this position paper, ESPO calls for alignment between the Nature Restoration proposal and existing legislation, taking socio-economic activities into consideration. The proposal needs to complement and help improve implementation of EU legislation, rather than creating confusion and a heavier regulatory burden. The objectives of the Regulations and the proposed restoration targets must balance the necessary defence of natural ecosystems and the needed development of port activities, which are essential for Europe’s growth and cohesion, whilst contributing to a green transition towards Europe’s sustainable future. 

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