The Green Party wants to see Ireland’s environment blossom
The Green Party aims to incorporate nature into the mainstream political arena. Recent governments have given little if any consideration to the state of the environment despite the enormous contribution the natural environment provides to society, to farming, to tourism, and to quality of life.
We recognise that the health and wellbeing of the biosphere is integral to, and deeply interwoven with, human health and wellbeing. We wish to see Ireland’s soils, water and air supporting a much richer bird, animal, plant and insect life and to reverse the negative impact we have had on our environment.
Restoring our environment
- Implement a nationwide scheme of native and deciduous tree planting.
- Increase funding for habitat protection and development.
- Minimise flood damage in the Shannon Basin and other areas through habitat restoration.
We want to reverse declines in habitat richness by focusing on restorative policies. Misuse of the environment has led to an increase in periodic flooding. Focused habitat restoration has been demonstrated to reduce flooding risks. A nationwide tree planting scheme would provide enormous benefits from increased biodiversity, carbon sequestration, and air quality improvement. Urgent legislation is also required to protect our remaining peatlands, which act as a carbon sink, and support a unique ecosystem.
Protecting nature from harm
- Work closely with the agriculture sector to improve biodiversity and environmental protection.
- Ban the use of pesticides which include hormone altering substances.
- Ban the use of single use plastics which do so much damage to our natural environment. .
- Identify, significantly increase and manage marine protection areas while ending overfishing.
Human activity can take a serious toll on wildlife in Ireland. We would restrict uplands burning and hedge cutting to the appropriate seasons, to allow the populations of endangered birds, such as the curlew and yellowhammer, recover. We believe sensible environmental protection is in the interest both of nature and landowners, as we all rely on nature to support our lives.
Reforming environmental policy
- Centralise environmental policy in the Department of the Environment.
- Increase funding for the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
- Reform the Environmental Protection Agency.
There must be a convergence of development and conservation, to ensure that our environment does not suffer as Ireland continues to grow. At present Ireland’s conservation agencies are underfunded, and responsibility for the environment is spread across multiple government departments. We believe that by changing this, Ireland can ensure that we continue to grow in harmony with nature, allowing us all to bequeath a prosperous country with a thriving environment to future generations.