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The European Parliaments Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development has voted to reject the Nature Restoration Law proposal by 30 votes to 16. The Fisheries Committee also voted to reject in Brussels this week.

The Parliaments environment committee will vote on the proposal in June before it goes to the full plenary in the European Parliament in July.  Since this was first proposed, the ICOS position has been that we acknowledge the fact that we must protect nature and halt biodiversity loss.  Nobody knows this more than farmers who work in nature and with nature.  However, we must also prioritise food security.  The Russian invasion of Ukraine is an example of how precarious food security and food supply is not only in the developing world but in the developed world also.

ICOS feels that there needs to be more balance in the discussion.  We must strive to find a solution that protects both nature but also guarantees food security and land availability to grow food.  There are many factors which are putting pressure on land availability and the Nature Restoration Law as it is currently proposed would place even more pressure on land availability for farmers.

Following the vote of the ComAgri committee, COPA-COGECA, of which ICOS is a member, said in a statement: “the European Commission would be better placed to go back go to the drawing board, and finally be realistic and rational.”