IFI CEO Francis O’Donnell has welcomed the Joint Committee recommendations of the report on biodiversity loss
Inland Fisheries Ireland welcomes publication of Oireachtas committee report on biodiversity loss
Inland Fisheries Ireland has welcomed the publication of the Joint Committee on Environment and Climate Action’s Report on the examination of recommendations of the Citizens’ Assembly report on biodiversity loss.
The key recommendations made by the Committee are:
- The Government begin the preparatory steps to consider a referendum or referenda to protect our biodiversity through the incorporation of the rights of nature and/or the right to a healthy environment into the Constitution within the lifetime of the current Dáil, which includes the establishment of an expert group with resources to design and draft the potential question or questions.
- The calls to action as set out in the Children and Young People’s Assembly on Biodiversity Loss should be examined and considered for implementation by the relevant government departments.
- As a complement to the National Biodiversity Action Plan (NBAP), the Government, led by the Department of An Taoiseach, sets out and oversees, communicates and implements a strategic vision for the well-being of the people of Ireland, and the future of rural communities, farmer livelihood, and rural development.
- The Department of Further and Higher Education, Research Innovation and Science develops a strategy to support the national and EU ambition on biodiversity, soil, forestry and water, involving all agencies, higher education institutes and other organisations.
- A fundamental change in approach to environmental governance across government departments and that implementation and enforcement of existing environmental law be given priority.
- Action be taken to strengthen enforcement in relation to biodiversity and environmental issues across State bodies; and a review of enforcement resources and practises be undertaken to identify possible collaboration opportunities between relevant state agencies
- Legislation governing Coillte and Bord na Mona is urgently reviewed and amended to align with national and EU laws and biodiversity objectives.
- The delivery of the National Biodiversity Action Plan should be aligned with the Climate Action Plan and overseen in the same way from the Taoiseach’s office.
- A review of current and future taxation and levies with respect to their impact on biodiversity act to amend taxation and levies which result in perverse incentives to damage nature.
- All appropriate steps be taken to significantly improve water quality in line with the EU Water Framework Directive
Speaking after the publication of the committee’s report at Dáil Éireann, Inland Fisheries Ireland(IFI) CEO Francis O’Donnell said: “Inland Fisheries Ireland, as a key State environmental agency, is a major stakeholder in protecting and restoring biodiversity in Ireland’s freshwater and coastal waters.
“I welcome the report and its recommendations and was pleased to provide oral testimony to the committee.
“IFI’s objectives are reflected closely in the committee’s own recommendations. We want additional powers and resourcing for enforcement officers. And we seek enhanced cross-collaboration between relevant State agencies to better respond to both wildlife and fisheries crime, and pollution incidents.
“Our call for a review of sanctions and penalties associated with breaking environmental laws is also echoed in this report.
“Separately, with the support of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, and the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications, Inland Fisheries Ireland has developed a National Barriers Mitigation programme.
“This initiative will remove, where possible, and mitigate the environmental impact of river barriers for fish species.
“IFI is committed to expanding our efforts to restore and protect our environment and enforce legislation where necessary, particularly where it can support the restoration of aquatic biodiversity.”
Source: Press Release