Agriculture has a significant role to play in halting the continued negative trends in biodiversity highlighted by a recent UN report, Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has stated.
The increased attention drawn to the issue by National Biodiversity Week has been welcomed by the Minister, who said his Department regarded the state of the country’s biodiversity with utmost importance.
The significant investment by the Department in schemes and measures to assist farmers in supporting increased biodiversity was reflective of this, he said.
Approximately 50,000 farmers participate in GLAS, which contains biodiversity measures such as farmland bird, low input permanent pasture, traditional hay meadow actions and commonage management plans.
Some €59m has also been awarded to 23 locally-led agri-environmental projects, which support a bottom-up approach led by farming communities in tackling environmental issues in specific areas.
Minister Creed also outlined how the Department had taken a proactive approach in supporting biodiversity conservation projects.
It has provided annual funding of €15,000 to the all-Ireland pollinator plan, €15,000 to the butterfly atlas run by the National Biodiversity Data Centre and €10,000 to BirdWatch Ireland’s project lapwing.
Seeds for nature
The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has also designed a seeds for nature charter, which the Department of Agriculture is contributing to through:Co-financing with National Parks and Wildlife Service the development of resources for the farming for nature project.Intensifying the promotion and implementation of the Native Woodland Conservation Scheme and increasing its uptake five-fold.Having 100% of the Irish trawling fleet participating in the clean oceans initiative to collect marine waste and debris at sea and bring it ashore for appropriate disposal.
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