Press release

Greens continue serious action for nature with launch of strongest ever National Biodiversity Action Plan

25th January 2024
Malcolm Noonan

For the first time ever, the National Biodiversity Action Plan (NBAP) will be backed by both legislation and funding. This fourth NBAP is the first to be bolstered by the Wildlife Amendment Act, putting it on a statutory footing, requiring public bodies to embed biodiversity in their plans and be held accountable. It is also backed by the €3.15bn Climate & Nature Fund secured by the Greens to ensure serious action for nature will be implemented.

The plan aims to protect and restore nature across the country by expanding National Parks, tackling invasive species and clamping down on wildlife crime. The plan was influenced by the Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity Loss and contains several measures to engage citizens, community groups and farmers.

Minister for Nature, Malcolm Noonan TD, said;

“Nature is under attack, but we are leading the fight back. As Minister, I have seen projects the length and breadth of the country where extraordinary people are protecting and restoring nature in their local communities. What we need to do is to empower these people to keep up their vital work. We have the science on how to stop nature loss. Thanks to the Climate and Nature Fund we have the resources, and now we have a plan to make it happen.”

The ‘Actions For Nature’ plan sets out the measures Ireland will take until 2030 to reverse the decline in biodiversity. The plan contains 194 actions to fulfil obligations to conserve our most precious habitats and species. Increasing collaboration on nature-friendly farming is a key component.

Minister for Land Use and Biodiversity, Senator Pippa Hackett, said;

"The vast majority of land in Ireland is farmland, so it is essential that we work with farmers and support them in their efforts to improve biodiversity. Alongside the NBAP, my Department will continue to work with farmers on a host of initiatives to support biodiversity - above and below ground. We will continue to support organic farming, multi-species swards, forestry, ACRES and more which will help unlock the system change needed to deliver for nature, wildlife and our land.”

In Ireland, almost a third of our EU-protected species and 85% of EU-protected habitats are in unfavourable status, and over half of native Irish plant species have declined in the last 20 years. Biodiversity is fundamental to the wellbeing of our society and our economy cannot function without a healthy environment.

Green Spokesperson for Planning and Local Government, Steven Matthews TD, said;

“Our planning system must take account of the crisis facing nature. It is critically important to our wellbeing that we develop housing, transport and energy projects in a manner that does not further damage our climate and nature. The NBAP is now legislated for, it is a statutory document and I will be seeking its inclusion in the new Planning Bill.”

The NBAP contains a particularly important role for local government and local communities. Biodiversity Officers in all local authorities will support the adoption of Local Biodiversity Action Plans by 2026. A new Biodiversity Citizen Science Strategy and dedicated community grant schemes are also included to promote public engagement with nature and develop awareness, ensuring people are at the heart of this national effort to restore nature.

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