Green Minister of State for Heritage, Malcolm Noonan TD, has brought National Parks and Wildlife Service funding and allocated staffing back up to pre-financial crisis levels, with a Budget 2022 allocation of over €47m – an increase of 64% since he became Minister in 2020.
Minister Noonan stated;
“Today’s announcement shows that the Government recognises the value of nature and the importance of addressing the biodiversity emergency. This is reflected in the 2022 Budget allocation. I worked closely with my colleagues across the coalition to bring NPWS funding and allocated staffing back up to pre-financial crisis levels, and I’m proud today to be able to announce it.
“Protecting, enhancing and restoring nature in Ireland is my key priority as Minister for Heritage, and we can see that this position is supported by our Government partners. Nature has been a refuge for many people over the past 18 months and more of us than ever now understand that we need to take better care of it. This budget shows that there is a collective commitment at the highest levels to doing just that.”
This investment will:
- Strengthen capacity to restore and protect our most precious habitats and vulnerable species, including peatlands.
- Greatly assist in the investigation of wildlife crime.
- Enhance the management of our National Parks and Nature Reserves.
- Facilitate the establishment of an expanded habitats conservation programme, which will improve and enhance Ireland’s work under the EU Nature Directives and deliver support to more than 400 Special Area of Conservation sites across the country.
The NPWS funding announcement comes as part of an overall €133.5m Heritage package, an increase of 87% since Minister Noonan took up his post in 2020. This comprises €24m for built and archaeological heritage, including funding for the popular Community Monuments Scheme and Built Heritage Investment Scheme.
Minister Noonan added;
“This funding also recognises the value that our built and archaeological heritage plays in Irish life. The investment will enhance its protection, creating many thousands of days’ employment for skilled conservation specialists and tradespeople across hundreds of projects nationwide, as well as supporting conservation, health and safety, and visitor infrastructure projects across our 87,000-hectare network of National Parks and Reserves.
“Heritage funding reaches into every corner of the country delivering benefits for our most precious habitats and most vulnerable species, for rural economies, and for society as a whole.”
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