Sinn Féin spokesperson on Climate Action and the Environment, Darren O’Rourke TD, has welcomed the launch of the fourth National Biodiversity Action Plan (NBAP) but has called on the government to ensure that this plan is turned into action and that adequate measures are taken to address the biodiversity crisis that confronts us today.
Commenting on the NBAP which was launched by Minister of State for Nature and Heritage Malcom Noonan at the National Botanic Gardens today, the Meath-East TD said:
“I welcome the publication of the National Biodiversity Action Plan today. It represents an important step in Ireland’s efforts to protect and to restore nature.
“Its publication comes at a time when biodiversity loss is accelerating not just in Ireland, but all over the globe. Almost a third of EU-protected species and 85% of EU-protected habitats are in a vulnerable situation.
“At home here in Ireland, more than half of native Irish plant species have declined in the last 20 years. A fifth of breeding and 52 percent of key wintering bird species are declining. 48 species in Ireland’s marine environment are threatened with extinction, including fish, crustaceans, crustaceans and invertebrates.
“These figures are stark and compel us to take action. It has never been a question of ‘if’ we do this, but rather ‘how’.
“Particularly welcome is the government’s decision to adopt Sinn Féin’s proposals to expand and restore National Parks, which were contained in our alternative budget for 2024.
“Moreover, I also welcome the adoption of a ‘whole of government’ style approach.
“As welcome as it is, it is essential that we remember that it is just a plan. The real test is in how it is implemented. We know that the government’s efforts to date have been wholly inadequate, as was confirmed by last year’s Citizens Assembly on Biodiversity.
“Therefore I am calling on government to ensure that they follow through on the actions outlined today, and that adequate supports are provided to those who are tasked to lead on them as part of a just transition.”