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22nd February 2019 | Environment, Press Releases

Protecting Ireland’s biodiversity needs more than lip service, it needs serious investment: Greens

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The Green Party are calling on the government to invest €50m in the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

As Ireland’s first National Biodiversity Conference finishes today, the Green Party want the positive momentum of the event to lead to a concrete investment in protecting nature.

Ireland’s National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is chronically underfunded and needs a total step change in the volume of funding to help their excellent and committed staff to effectively protect and manage our nature reserves.

President Michael D Higgins told the conference today that our timeframe to transform the world and make space for nature is ‘perilously short’. Globally biodiversity is being lost at a rate unprecedented in human history and in Ireland 14% of species are endangered.

The Green Party believe we need to heed the warnings of the President and our scientific community and take robust action now. While we call for increased investment that alone will not halt biodiversity loss and it needs to be supported by a raft of other measures to save Ireland’s natural environment.

Senator Grace O’Sullivan, Ireland South MEP Candidate and Green Party Spokesperson for Environmental Protection said:

“We need to invest in the important work of the NPWS if we are serious about saving our natural environment. Right now there are a huge number of scientists, academics and world leaders warning of the collapse of the natural systems we all depend on. We need to protect the nature we have and bring in policies to restore what we had before.

“Our proposal is to invest and additional €50m annually in the NPWS. This will provide jobs in rural areas around Ireland. It will mean landowners get a clearer and more reactive service from the NPWS when issues arise. It will help us fulfil our obligation to manage our Natura 2000 European sites effectively and it will help protect the incredible wealth of nature we possess for the next generation.

“Let me be clear though this investment alone will not stop biodiversity loss we need a raft of changes to tackle this crisis but it would be strong first step.

“What stuck with me from President Higgins’s speech was his appeal for people to find their inherent wisdom to solve this crisis. We all know, in ourselves, the right thing to do and we need to get in touch with this kind of thinking. ”