Written answers

Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government

Invasive Species Policy

Photo of Catherine ConnollyCatherine Connolly (Galway West, Independent)
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258. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government further to Parliamentary Question No. 289 of 24 February 2021, if there is a plan in place at national level to control and eradicate Japanese knotweed; if so, the details of the plan; if not, the reason therefor; the analysis undertaken to establish the area of land and or the number of households affected; the body coordinating this effort; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32080/22]

Photo of Malcolm NoonanMalcolm Noonan (Carlow-Kilkenny, Green Party)
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The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) of my Department is responsible for the implementation of the Wildlife Acts and the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011 (S.I. No. 477/2011), both of which prohibit the spreading of invasive species.

There  is a legislative framework in place for dealing with invasive alien species, including Japanese Knotweed. Public bodies, departments and agencies throughout the country work within this framework, in the context of species listed both nationally and on the list of invasive alien species of Union concern (the Union list), to manage, control and, where practicable, eradicate these species.

Under this legislative framework, responsibility for dealing with invasive alien species rests with the landowner. Much of the work in tackling Japanese Knotweed happens at local level and is carried out by local authorities in their areas through their own biodiversity action plans.

A National Invasive Alien Species Management Plan is included in the Programme for Government. This Plan is in the early stages of development. It will operate on a national scale but the involvement and cooperation of key stakeholders at local level will be crucial to its successful implementation. 

My Department does not gather information concerning the number of households where Japanese knotweed occurs. 

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