Europe For Nature

About the initiative

Why experts share their stories and urge Europeans to prioritise nature and sustainability in the decisions they take

Our environment, our house, is in a very bad shape

Decades of research by tens of thousands of scientists leave no doubt. Nature is in strong decline. Our climate is rapidly changing. Our water, air and soil are polluted with poisonous substances. More and more, this environmental decline is affecting our economy, our food system and our well-being. If no significant actions are taken, the environmental degradation and the impact on the well-being of current and next generations will be unimaginably large.  It is also becoming clear that time is running out to prevent significant environmental impacts on our societies.

European Green Deal under threat

The European Green Deal was intended to overcome many of these environmental challenges. The Green Deal aimed to transform the EU into a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy, ensuring:

  • Climate neutrality by 2050.
  • Economic growth decoupled from resource use.
  • No person and no place left behind (a “just transition”).

However, The Green Deal is eroding under the influence of protests from the industrial part of the agricultural sector. Recent actions by European Union decision-makers indicate a significant backtrack on crucial policy initiatives outlined in the Green Deal. These include in chronological order:

  • The shelving of the Sustainable Food System Law (October 2023)
  • A backtracking on proposals for the comprehensive overhaul of animal welfare legislation (no ban on the export of live animals to non-EU countries; no ban on the sale and production of fur; no phasing out of the use of cage systems for hens, rabbits and ducks) (7 December 2023).
  • The withdrawal of the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Regulation proposal (6 February 2024).
  • The exclusion of agriculture from the 2040 climate targets (6 February 2024).
  • A proposed weakening of environmental conditionalities in the Common Agricultural Policy (15 March 2024).
  • The shelving of the Nature Restoration Law (22 March 2024).
  • The weakening of the Soil Monitoring Law (10 April 2024)
  • The weakening of the Industrial Emissions Directive (only largest livestock farms have been included) (12 April 2024)

Concern in society, including experts

Millions of people from all over Europe, including many from the agricultural sector, worry about the environmental problems and its personal and societal consequences. They worry about the recent policy developments that will strengthen environmental degradation with all its impacts. These policy developments not only contradict international agreements but also disregard the insights and recommendations emerging from scientific research.

One of the less visible but extremely worried groups concerns members of the scientific community. These members have expressed their profound concern regarding the recent erosion of climate and environmental policies through different outlets, but to no avail.”

Idea and aim of Europe For Nature

At a collective meeting of the Wageningen Biodiversity Initiative at the end of March 2024, a group of 50 scientists shared concerns with regard to recent nature and sustainability policies by the European parliament. At this meeting the idea for ‘Europe For Nature’ originated in order to share our concerns as scientists wider in society. A core team of scientists worked out the initiative.

We aim to illustrate citizens in Europe the importance of prioritizing nature and sustainability, and aim to empower them to use their voice by:

  • Harnessing the collective expertise, insights and visions for a sustainable future of scientists across Europe.
  • Demonstrating widespread public support for sustainable European policies through proactive engagement and advocacy efforts.

Coordinating team

The coordinating team consists of the following persons. 

Dr. Arnold van Vliet
Dr. Judith Westerink
Dr. Jeroen Candel
Dr. Ignas Heitkonig



— Deeply concerned

We are deeply concerned by the decline of nature in Europe and worldwide, and its impact on current and future generations.


— Green Deal

We call on European leaders to prioritise biodiversity and climate and to turn the Green Deal into action.


— Prioritise

We urge all fellow Europeans to prioritise nature and sustainability in the decisions they take.