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The Nature Restoration Regulation within the European Union is facing significant challenges in its final stages of the legislative process. Environment Minister Kai Mykkänen expressed his dissatisfaction with the current situation, where surprises are arising despite a political agreement being reached on the regulation content in November. Finland had previously voted against the proposal last summer, but abstained from voting when the council approved the negotiation result in November due to added flexibilities.

The regulation aims to implement binding obligations to improve the state of nature in various habitats, covering at least 20 percent of the EU’s land and sea areas by 2030 and all ecosystems in need of restoration by 2050. This includes habitats such as marshes, wetlands, meadows, waterways, forests, agricultural environments, and urban areas. However, Hungary has changed its position on the regulation and Belgium has been unable to take it to its final vote due to lack of majority support.

Finland’s concerns with the restoration regulation include the interpretation of the impairment ban and the level of obligations related to restoring habitat types. Mykkänen emphasized the need for trust in EU decision-making processes once agreements are reached and expressed disappointment in the unexpected turn of events hindering the regulation’s progress. The situation remains uncertain as efforts continue to gather support for the regulation to move forward in the legislative session.

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