Nature restoration will not work without new funding for farmers, An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has warned.
The Taoiseach said that such funding must come from outside the CAP and that it will be one of his priorities in the midterm review of the EU budget, set to be negotiated shortly.
He said that EU funding could be complemented by national funding under such a proposal.
“I’m very strongly of the view that if we do agree the EU nature restoration law, and we haven’t yet, but if we do, it’s going to be really important that we have a financial mechanism to reward land owners and farmers that take part in nature restoration,” he said.
Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal, an Taoiseach stressed that, in his view, nature restoration targets won’t be reached unless farmers are rewarded financially.
“That’s something I’ll be making the case for as part of the midterm review of the EU budget. We had expected that to happen in October, but it looks like that will be pushed back.
“But certainly, in terms of Ireland entering those negotiations for that midterm review, one of the things we’ll be prioritising is the creation of an EU nature restoration fund to reward farmers and land owners who engage in nature restoration.
“I think that makes sense, not just them, but makes sense for the wider bigger objective, which is to reverse the terrible biodiversity loss that we’ve experienced over the last 10 years,” he said.