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Wicklow County Council needs a Biodiversity Officer

Date: 21 October 2021

Green Party TD for Wicklow Steven Matthews has made the call for a full-time biodiversity officer for Wicklow County Council.

‘We are in a biodiversity crisis, a water quality crisis and a climate crisis and our local authorities have a vital role in addressing these issues but need the resources to take real action. We have no time to waste, this is urgent, and every county needs this resource to guide and advise on all aspects of development, environmental management and council projects.’

‘I was a member of Wicklow County Council when we declared a Climate Emergency and I led the negotiations to establish the Climate and Biodiversity Strategic Policy Committee making us the leading local authority on this issue. In the Programme for Government the Green Party secured a commitment that local authorities shall have a sufficient number of Biodiversity and Heritage officers and I am working closely with Minister Malcolm Noonan and with Wicklow County Council on this objective’.

‘There is so much work required to reverse decades of ecological decline and this will in part be done through the National Pollinator Plan, the National Biodiversity Action Plan, investment in waste water treatment, management plans for areas of ecological importance and through supports for local community and biodiversity action groups. We also need urgent action on protection for urban trees and roadside hedgerows, tree planting and for all those green spaces throughout our towns and villages that can support biodiversity if managed and cared for properly’.

‘In order to address this crisis with the urgency it requires, our local authority need the right resources and expertise. I am confident that our beautiful, wild and biodiversity rich county will benefit from the appointment of a full-time expert biodiversity officer and I look forward to continuing support for our local councils with national level objectives and funding to ensure they get what they need to do the job’, concluded Deputy Matthews

Note for Editors:

The Programme for Government section on Biodiversity commits to:

Progress the establishment of a Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity.

Promote biodiversity initiatives across primary, post-primary and third-level sectors

Review the remit, status and funding of the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS),

Ensure that all local authorities have a sufficient number of biodiversity and heritage officers

Publish a new National Pollinator Plan and encourage public bodies to promote and protect biodiversity

Introduce policies on supports for urban biodiversity and tree planting.

Continue to implement the third National Biodiversity Action Plan

Appoint Education Liaison Officers in each of our National Parks to work with schools across the country, to promote the importance of biodiversity

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