In a remarkable level of honesty, the draft Biodiversity Action Plan for Fingal states that there are 100 urgent actions needed to stop biodiveristy loss but they only have funding to achieve 30.
Fingal County Council’s Biodiversity Officer Hans Visser, has made clear that either new funding or a reallocation of council resources are needed to deal with the biodiversity crisis.
In relation to implemenation the plan clearly states:
The funding needed to implement all the actions in the Biodiversity Plan is estimated at 4 million euros annually and would require about 6 full time staff to coordinate the actions for the period 2022-2030. Neither the funding or the extra staff resources can be made available by the Council due to demands from other competing priorities such as the provision of housing, roads, sports and community facilities. Accordingly, the Council will not be in a position to halt the loss of biodiversity in Fingal by 2030 as envisaged by the EU. Instead the Council will focus its efforts on priority issues, sites and species. Out of the 100 actions, 32 actions have been selected as priority actions for implementation in the 2022-2030 period. The selection of these priority actions was determined by existing project commitments, most of which require significant staff inputs over many years.
Commenting on this, Cllr Ian Carey said:
“Habitats and species in Fingal have been reducing. We cannot tolerate this. I commend the biodiversity officer for his honesty here. Not often do we get such a clear admission that we will not achieve what we are aiming for.
“Whatever we do, we cannot aim to fail. The natural environment is far too important. We must do everything we can to protect wildlife for future generations. I will be working with colleagues both locally and nationally to deliver the resources we need to halt biodiversity loss.
“As a council we will need to look at this in the context of our budget and meet this need.
“I want to call on the public too, to respond to the public consultation and make clear that stopping the loss of nature should be a top priority of the council and to allocate the resources needed.”
The public consultation on the draft Biodiversity Action Plan is running until July 5th. You can view the document and find out how to make a submission here.
Two live online information events are planned to provide more information on the draft Biodiversity Action Plan. These one hour sessions will include a presentation on the draft plan by Fingal’s Biodiversity Officer and give you an oportunity to ask questions.
Register for one of these sessions by clicking on a date of your choice below.