Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) president Francie Gorman has claimed that there is still great uncertainty on how definitions in the EU Nature Restoration Law will be implemented at national level.

Gorman was speaking on Monday after a meeting of EU environment ministers saw the law get its final seal of approval.

The IFA had sought from the European Commission an approach to restoring nature which focused on voluntary agri-environmental schemes, rather than legally-binding targets for member states.

“The approach by the Commission to bring in a law in this area rather than a properly funded EU-wide voluntary scheme is totally wrong,” its president said.

“The reality is that there is a huge amount of uncertainty about how this law is going to be interpreted at member state level.

“A huge of amount of work is now needed on how this law will be implemented in Ireland. I want to make it clear that [the] IFA will not stand for farmers’ property rights or their right to farm their land being undermined.”


The State is to complete a “comprehensive assessment of funding needs” over the next two years as part of the process, which will develop a national restoration plan laying on how the law’s targets are to be met.

“No national impact assessment has been carried out and we have no idea how it will impact on food production and ultimately on food security,” Gorman said.

“The Irish Government was wrong to support the introduction of this law without the completion of an impact assessment and a dedicated budget to support its implementation."

Playing politics

Gorman criticised the move from some member states to support the law at Monday’s vote having previously indicated that they would vote to reject it.

This change in position delayed the passing of the law until after the European elections.

“It was always likely that the law pass once the EU elections were over. Farmers will see the post-trilogue stalling of this law by member states as a piece of pre-election political theatre,” he added.