The fourth National Biodiversity Plan, which was published today, has been described as a missed opportunity by Social Democrats TD Jennifer Whitmore.
Deputy Whitmore, who is the party’s spokesperson on climate and biodiversity, said:
“A biodiversity crisis was declared in 2019, yet the actionable targets in this latest plan are few and far between.
“It is important to bear in mind that the State is one of the largest landowners in the country. It is therefore disappointing that structural changes, such as the remit of Coillte and Bord na Móna, are not included in the plan.
“It is also unfortunate that the recommendations of the Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity Loss and the Oireachtas Committee on Environment and Climate Action have largely been ignored.
“The timeline for implementation of this plan is also problematic, with a 2030 target date for a significant number of measures.
“Shockingly, 85 per cent of EU protected habitats in Ireland are reported as being in unfavourable status, with 46 per cent showing ongoing declines.
“This means we do not have the luxury of time when it comes to protecting our natural habitats, native plant species and marine environment from further destruction.
“A review of the last plan four years ago warned that our land, ocean, atmosphere and biosphere are being altered to an unparalleled degree.
“It begs the question: what exactly has the Government being doing since then?”
January 25, 2024