Wednesday, 6 November 2019
Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2016: Report Stage (Resumed) and Final Stage
Senator Higgins has raised this point in previous discussions. I do not foresee that SACs would be used as comparators to justify the de-designation of NHAs. Any proposal to de-designate or to designate has to be done in a manner that ensures the contribution of the NHA network to national conservation status for bog habitats is achieved. In the 2014 NHA review, the SACs were included in the assessment of Ireland's raised bog resource. The SAC sites were not used as comparators to justify the proposed de-designation of NHAs and I do not envisage that they will be used for this purpose in the future. I am prepared to examine the matter further in light of the concerns that have been expressed by Senators. I am, therefore, prepared to accept the amendment on the understanding that an amendment on the matter in the name of the Minister may need to be moved in the Dáil.