Tuesday, 26 June 2018
Ceisteanna - Questions
National Risk Assessment
Words such as "biodiversity" confuse people because they are technical. We are talking about the birds, bees, trees and fish that sustain the ecosystem on which we depend for our survival. That ecosystem is under threat. It is an economic threat in the sense that the depletion of biodiversity means that, among other things, we potentially face huge fines. A diverse environment acts as a carbon sink. Monoculture forestry, for example, is not a good carbon sink compared to forestry made up of native broadleaf species. Deforestation has been a feature of reports over the past five or six years. Despite targets to increase afforestation, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, there is significant evidence of deforestation.
Kelp is an example of where a commitment to biodiversity is not matched by action. BioAtlantis will start cutting down 1,900 hectares of trees of the sea in Bantry Bay, which will destroy biodiversity there. Another example is the fact that the Heritage Bill will extend the cutting season so that hedgerows can be cut down, which will deplete biodiversity as well. The Government is allowing that to happen. All the commitments to deal with climate change are not followed through. In reality, the Government is implementing measures which significantly degrade biodiversity.