Since the Pandemic began, and human activity reduced, wildlife has started to flourish again in many parts of Ireland. Yet there are plenty of issues that wildlife still faces. As nesting season started, hedgerows and other sanctuaries have been burning all over the country. While devastating for our struggling wildlife, it leaves us vulnerable to a worse problem.
Last year we saw illegal burning destroy a huge part of Killarney National Park. We lost hundreds of acres of our last remaining native oak forest and thousands of wild animals.
Fires like these have devastated areas like Australia and California, we are not immune to them.
We need to ensure as our climate changes, we are ready for the increased demands on our water supply. Drought hit farmers in 2018 and currently we have had minimal rainfall over the past two months.
Ireland was one of the first countries in the world to recognise the climate and biodiversity crisis, however we need action - not words. We have already started to create local, community-led, projects to encourage biodiversity. However, too often, grass and hedgerows are cut short just as they are starting to improve things for our wildlife and pollinators.
Today I asked the Minister to outline what resources are needed by local authorities to ensure that the continued destruction of our hedgerows will cease and that our local, community-focused rewilding efforts will be sufficiently monitored, maintained and protected?
I also asked him to outline what measures are being taken to reduce the risk of drought in Ireland and ensure there will be no water shortages for our homes and farms in the coming months.