Cultivating the next generation of conservationists and restorers

Following the ‘green wave’ of the European elections in 2019 and the release of the political guidelines of today’s EC president Ursula von der Leyen on 17 July 2019, marked a new period for nature conservation policy in the EU. Halting biodiversity loss became, alongside combating climate change, a political priority for the EU within the EU Green Deal, which was presented in December 2019. This meant that after years of defensive advocacy work, trying to safeguard the environmental acquis, an opportunity was created to start advocating for new legislation.

With the release of the 2030 EU Biodiversity Strategy, the political support of the European Commission to restore EU’s nature for biodiversity and climate has become obvious. The EU’s 2030 Biodiversity Strategy includes a commitment from the European Commission to put forward a proposal for legally binding EU nature restoration targets in 2021 to restore degraded ecosystems, in particular those with the most potential to capture and store carbon and to prevent and reduce the impact of natural disasters. The legally binding restoration targets will require a new legal instrument and present a major opportunity for turning the tide against biodiversity loss while also contributing to climate mitigation and adaptation.

Now it is the time to translate this ambition into a new EU law and to not lose precious time.

Youth can play a special role in protecting and restoring nature. Young people should be ready to take leadership roles in climate action and nature restoration efforts and ensure changes are made towards achieving the Sustainable development Goals. Therefore there is a necessity to create awareness and cultivate the next generation of conservationists and restorers.

Guest speakers

This is a webinar organized by WWF EPO and YEE in the context of EU Nature Restoration Project.

We are delighted to have two guest speakers on our expert panel, who can provide us two different perspectives regarding the EU Nature Restoration Law, giving us more insights into the scientific as well as the legal aspects.

Kris Decleer is a board member of Society of Ecological Restoration. Decleer is a lecturer at University of Antwerp since 12 years, teaching habitat conservation and restoration in Flanders region, as well as researcher and policy adviser in the field of ecosystem restoration at research institute for nature and forest.

Laura Hildt is a Policy Officer for Biodiversity and EU affairs at European Environmental Bureau, focuses on the follow-up and implementation of the EU’s Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, ecological restoration and the implementation of the Nature Directives, as well as Liaison Officer of Environmental Law at YEE.

Through this webinar we aim to increase understanding of EU nature restoration law discussions among youth and to build capacity of youth networks.  Empowering active young people in youth organizations we want to create a springboard effect to motivate more youth to join the movement of preserving and restoring ecosystems.

Practical information

When? Thursday 25th November, 17.30 to 19.00 CEST

Where? Online, from your home via Zoom – the link will be communicated upon registration.

How? Register your interest by 23rd November 2021.

For any questions:

Workshop agenda

17:30 – 17:40
Welcome remarks by moderators

17:40 – 17:55
Panel Speaker: Kris Decleer
“Science perspective: Why is large scale nature restoration needed? What is ecological restoration?”

17:55 – 18:10
Panel speaker: Laura Hildt
“General Policy Context and Legal Elements”

18:10 – 18:30
Youth interventions

18:30 – 18:55
Panel’s response
Q&A from the chat and discussion

18:55 – 19:00
Summary, closing Remarks