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“Let’s make Wicklow wilder” says Matthews as Biodiversity Action Plan is launched

Green TD for Wicklow Steven Matthews has welcomed the launch of the National Biodiversity Action Plan, the first biodiversity plan to be backed by legislation and backed by a record €3.15 billion climate fund. This plan will set the national biodiversity agenda between now and 2027 and aims to deliver transformative changes that are necessary to protect and restore nature.

Implementing it will be a huge national effort that touches every corner of the country, every sector and every community and will involve several measures to engage citizens, community groups and farmers.

Speaking after the launch with Minister Malcolm Noonan, Deputy Matthews said, “For too long, nature has been neglected. Research shows that more than half of Ireland’s bee species has declined substantially since 1980 with 30% threatened with extinction. This is not just bad news for the bees, it’s bad news for us. Bees pollinate up to 75% of our crops and without them we would be plunged into a food crisis. Quite simply, it is impossible to separate nature from us, we depend on biodiversity,  the intricate system of interaction between all living things, to survive.

“Given the dangerous decline in nature, it is a relief to note that this Biodiversity Action Plan is backed by legislation. It also has a much stronger focus on implementation. It includes measures to address biodiversity loss and encourage growth with a number of different measures including:

·        Parks and Nature reserves will be expanded and enhanced.

·        Action on wildlife crime will be strengthened with the NPWS and through collaboration with the Gardai. The Wildlife Act will be reviewed.

·        A new Nature restoration Plan will be developed. Significant work will be done in the area of protecting species and habitats, bog restoration, tackling invasive species.

·        Key collaborative schemes will be expanded eg the Farm Plan Scheme

·        It’s also responding to the Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity Loss, including by exploring the ways in which the rights of nature could be formally recognised, including the potential for constitutional change

·        Ensuring resourcing is in place with the first ever €3.15bm Climate and Nature Fund

·        Exploring a new Nature Conservation Volunteering initiative through collaboration with National Parks Wildlife Service

·        Establishing a dedicated Children and Young People’s Biodiversity Forum covering science, policy and conservation, a key recommendation from the Children and Young People’s Assembly on Biodiversity Loss

·        Empowering communities to take action through a range of dedicated grant schemes for Community Biodiversity Action Plans, small biodiversity recording projects, peatland restoration and more



“Separately I am working with colleagues to include the Biodiversity Plan in the upcoming Planning Bill to ensure consistency with our aims to protect and restore nature.






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