Social Democrats TD for Wicklow, Jennifer Whitmore, has welcomed reports that Ireland will today join the High-Ambition Coalition for Nature and People (HAC), which is seeking to protect 30% of the world in the fight against species extinction.

HAC is an intergovernmental ‘coalition of the willing’ for ambitious global conservation, founded by France and Costa Rica. It is aiming to combat species extinction and put nature on a path to recovery by 2030. Ireland will join other countries such as Germany in signing up to HAC at the One Planet Virtual Summit today.

Deputy Whitmore, who is the party’s spokesperson for Climate Action and Biodiversity, said:

“Ireland will today send out a strong message of intent by joining HAC, which is aiming to prevent the collapse of the natural systems that provide our food, clean water, clean air and stable climate.

“We have been a laggard when it comes to environmental protection. For example, even our six national parks are not currently managed for positive biodiversity outcomes and none has management plans in place.

“We need more than just ‘paper parks’. Any land or marine that is set aside for protection must be actively managed for biodiversity benefits.

“For too long we have called ourselves green and spun the image of an environmentally positive country, when the opposite is actually true.

“Our protected areas must be more than just lines on a map. They need active management for biodiversity purposes that is matched by enforcement to ensure protection measures are adhered to.”

January 11, 2021

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