The EU’s proposed Nature Restoration Law will be “good” for Irish farmers, Eamon Ryan has said.
Earlier this week, the European Parliament voted to endorse the law by a narrow margin of 300 votes to 336.
The final details of the law will now need to be agreed with member states and if passed would mean binding targets for the restoration of damaged ecosystems across the bloc.
Critics say the law ‘puts a gun to farmers’ heads’ and they would be “expected to deliver this without any funding.”
Speaking to The Hard Shoulder, Environment Minister Eamon Ryan said farmers should welcome the legislation.
“I think there’s a lot of disinformation on that law that it would be bad for farming,” he said.
“I think the exact opposite and I think that it’s going to be good.
“I thank God that it was approved - it was close yesterday."
Minister Ryan said people should be “proud” that Irish MEPs voted in favour of the legislation because our ecosystem is in deep trouble.
“I met Inland Fisheries Ireland yesterday,” he said.
“I was getting an update on some local issues in the Liffey and so on.
“They told me that the number of salmon returning from the Greenland areas where they feed this year is almost 40-50% down on last year.
“That’s truly frightening that we are on the brink - or if we don’t do everything to try and stop and change it - of losing the wild salmon population that inspired people in this country for generations.”
Earlier this year, the Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity Loss urged the Government to “take prompt, decisive, and urgent action to address biodiversity loss and restoration”.
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Main image: Eamon Ryan