Wednesday, 6 November 2019
Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2016: Report Stage (Resumed) and Final Stage
I thank Senator Daly for his amendment. In budget 2020, €5 million has been allocated to the carbon fund and €7 million has been allocated to an accelerated programme of peatlands restoration within the raised bog designated sites network. The injection of this funding is intended to restore more than 1,800 ha of protected raised bog in 2020. This programme will also contribute to employment in the midlands region.
In accordance with the Standing Orders of the Dáil and the Seanad, the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht is obliged to report within 12 months of the enactment of a Bill to review the functioning of the Act. This report is relayed to the Oireachtas Library and Research Service. The provision of the report will provide an opportunity for the Minister to set out the restoration measures which will have been undertaken on raised bog NHAs. I understand the issues raised by Senators will also be comprehensively covered in some length and detail in the upcoming climate Bill. It would not be good practice for the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to either pre-empt that legislation or to legislate for the same issue twice. Such matters fall in the first instance to the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, who has functional and statutory responsibility for the issues converging here. I, therefore, do not propose to accept the amendment.