If the government is serious about stopping the rot, it must publish this report immediately
The government is sitting on a scathing report which details chronic underinvestment in the National Parks and Wildlife Service, according to Social Democrats Climate Spokesperson Jennifer Whitmore.
Deputy Whitmore was commenting after Taoiseach Micheál Martin refused to indicate, in the Dáil today, when the report will be published.
“Parts of this report were leaked to the media this week and it is scathing about the detrimental impact of chronic underinvestment in the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS). The damning report states that “Ireland’s record of accomplishment in nature protection has been dismal”.
“When I asked the Taoiseach in the Dáil today when the report would be published, he failed to directly answer the question. He gave no indication of when the report would be published and instead said its contents were under review. This is not good enough.
“The full report must now be published and the government must be open and transparent about the extent of the challenges facing the NPWS.
“We are grappling with a severe biodiversity crisis in this country. In 2019, 85pc of protected habitats in Ireland were in an unfavourable condition while 43pc of protected species were deemed unfavourable. This report will be crucial in explaining the decline of our protected habitats – and will provide clear insight about where funding needs to be targeted.
“It is critical that the government publishes this report, warts and all, so that informed decisions can be made about the future of the NPWS and how it can best protect our wildlife and natural habitats.
“The NPWS has been underfunded and under-resourced for far too long, with dire consequences for our environment. If the government is serious about stopping the rot, it must publish this report immediately and work with all stakeholders to protect our environment and biodiversity.”
14 December, 2021