New EU Nature Law ‘a worrying move’ for West

THE adoption of the Nature Restoration Law by the Council of the EU – just days after counting ended in the European Elections – has been described as ‘a significant and troubling development’ by a West of Ireland rural TD.

Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice of Independent Ireland said that the far-reaching implications of this law – passed on Monday morning by a vote of the EU’s environment ministers – could put the entire economic and social ecosystem of rural Ireland in jeopardy.

“The real problem will emerge post-2030, especially for smaller farmers  on peaty soil across this country. Twelve to fifteen years ago, I cautioned about the Habitats Directive and its consequences.

“Unfortunately, the people of Lough Funshinagh [houses hit by flooding in Roscommon] have found out the hard way that a turlough takes priority over their homes and livelihoods – this is bad law,” said Deputy Fitzmaurice.

He said that this week he was warning about the impact of the Nature Restoration Law adding that farmers and the public must understand that they are gradually being shut down.

“The West, the Midlands, the North West, and the South West will experience severe consequences down the road. The European Elections aren’t over a wet week and it’s plough-on from Europe.

“With this law now ratified, the focus shifts to its implementation and the potential repercussions for the agricultural sector. The call to action is clear – stakeholders must remain vigilant and proactive in addressing the challenges posed by this new regulation.

“Voluntary is the buzzword, but if you look for CAP next year and you are from peaty soil you will have to undertake not to shore, drain, or plough your lands once your application is in.

“So, if that’s voluntary I’d hate to see compulsory legislation because farmers cannot survive without their CAP payment,” said Deputy Fitzmaurice.

Pictured: Michael Fitzmaurice: A real threat to farming in the West.     

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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