Houses of the Oireachtas

All parliamentary debates are now being published on our new website. The publication of debates on this website will cease in December 2018.

Go to

Written Answers. - Protection of Wildlife Habitats.

Wednesday, 8 May 1996

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 465 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 187 Next Page Last Page


 36. Mr. Barry Information on Peter Barry Zoom on Peter Barry  asked the Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht Information on Michael D. Higgins Zoom on Michael D. Higgins  the measures, if any, he is taking to protect wildlife habitats which are being destroyed by the drainage of wetlands, removal of hedgerows and burning of undergrowth; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3216/96]

Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht (Mr. Carey): Information on Donal Carey Zoom on Donal Carey There is strict protection for wildlife habitats in areas owned or under the control of my Department e.g. national parks, nature reserves and refuges for fauna. In relation to private lands, section 18 of the Wildlife Act, 1976, provides the facility to draw up management agreements with land owners. This ensures that the land will be managed so as not to harm wildlife. Under section 39 of the Act it is an offence to burn vegetation growing within one mile of a wood which is not the property of such persons, or of a nature reserve or refuge for fauna. Under section 40 of the Act it is an offence to destroy, by burning or otherwise, between 15 April and 31 August vegetation growing on any land not being cultivated for agriculture or forestry.

Special protection areas — SPAs — designated under the Birds Directive provide for the protection of the habitats of bird species and for the prevention of excessive disturbance of the species in these areas. It is Government and EU policy to grant-aid only developments as are compatible with protecting the environment. The National Parks and Wildlife Service — NPWS — advises grant-aiding bodies as to whether or not particular developments are compatible with protecting the environment.

Under the rural environment protection scheme, implemented by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, farmers are paid to farm their land in an environmentally friendly way. They receive a top up on the basic payment if they have land in a proposed Natural Heritage Area and if they manage it according to NPWS prescriptions. Planning authorities have been asked to inform the NPWS of any development which requires planning permission likely to have a significant negative [78] impact on proposed NHAs and to provide the NPWS with an opportunity to make submissions or submit reports on such developments.

To further protect important natural habitats a Bill to amend the Wildlife Act, 1976, is being prepared and the EU Habitats Directive will be transposed into Irish law in the coming months. In accordance with the directive natural habitat types of European Community interest, including certain types of wetlands, will be proposed for designation as special areas of conservation.

Last Updated: 14/05/2015 08:36:35 First Page Previous Page Page of 187 Next Page Last Page