Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice has said new designation types under the EU’s Biodiversity Strategy, such as Strictly Protected Areas, could decimate rural Ireland in the next ten years.
Deputy Fitzmaurice was reacting to reports that Ireland is set to join an international effort to designate a third of the Earth as a protected area by 2030.
“The amount of designation in the west and north of this country is more than enough. If stricter designations are introduced and rolled out under the cover of biodiversity, it will basically lead to rural abandonment.
“Levels of human activity in a Strictly Protected Area would be reduced to practically zero. Planning permission for homes or farm developments would almost be impossible to secure. Improvements to roads or other infrastructure would be delayed and difficult to deliver.
“We cannot allow the west and north of the country to be targeted for further designations in the coming years which would decimate rural communities.
“Where are all the Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael TDs who are supposed to be in Government? They are letting the Greens do what they want – even if it is detrimental to rural Ireland.
“They need to stand up to the Green agenda, otherwise large swathes of rural Ireland could be turned it nothing more than a theme park,” he concluded.