Ireland’s new National Biodiversity Action Plan has been launched by Minister of State and Carlow Kilkenny Green TD Malcolm Noonan.
It warns more than 50% of native Irish plant species have declined in the last 20 years, and 30% of our semi-natural grasslands have been lost in the past decade.
And it sets out 194 actions aimed to protect and restore nature across the country and is the first such plan to be underpinned by legislation and backed by the €3.15billion Climate and Nature Fund.
The initiative’s being praised as a ‘proposal with real bite’ with it including suggestions to expand National Parks, tackling invasive species, and strengthening efforts on wildlife crime.
Director General of the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Niall O’Donnchu says they finally have the right plans in place to achieve their goals.
Speaking at the launch at the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin, Minister Noonan said; “In my many years as a councillor in Kilkenny I worked alongside communities, individuals, schools and other organisations who were getting behind the effort to protect and restore nature. And in my three and a half years as Minister, travelling the length and breadth of this country, I’ve seen first-hand that passion for nature reflected in communities right across Ireland.
“With the right support, accountability, and resourcing, I believe we can harness that people power and turn the tide on nature loss. The challenge is enormous, but the imperative to act couldn’t be more urgent. That’s why I was determined that this National Biodiversity Action Plan would be an impact plan, and last year, through the Wildlife Amendment Act, I put the NBAP on a Statutory footing. I also put a legal obligation on all public bodies to integrate biodiversity into their plans and policies.
“Combined with the €3.15bn Climate and Nature Fund, that makes this the first NBAP with real power behind it and implementing it over the next seven years will truly be a national effort that touches every corner of the country, every sector and every community. Across 194 actions we will set out to protect and restore biodiversity, working hand-in-hand with communities, collaborating on nature-friendly farming, expanding and enhancing our national parks, targeting invasive species, and fighting wildlife crime. We’re even going to explore ways to formally recognise the rights of nature, as recommended by the Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity Loss.
“I’ve seen the people power and now I’ve delivered the plan, I’m calling on everyone to get behind it. Let’s make Ireland wilder!”
Let’s make Ireland wilder! Today we launch #ActionsforNature, Ireland’s fourth National Biodiversity Action Plan. Containing 194 actions, it’s the first #NBAP to be underpinned by both legislation AND serious funding. 🌿🦉👇
🔗 https://t.co/k0eld7SVJ1 pic.twitter.com/EeYvtshLxh
— Malcolm Noonan T.D. (@noonan_malcolm) January 25, 2024