The health and wellbeing of the biosphere is integral to, and deeply interwoven with, human health and wellbeing.
We have less than 30% of the peatlands we hand in 1900 and less than 1% of the active raised bogs. 31% of habitats are considered to be declining since 2007. The EPA estimates that 1,300 deaths occur annually in Ireland because of the poor quality of the air that we breathe. We lose hedgerows every year and are failing to meet our legal obligations to protect and improve the status of our species and habitats on even the most basic level.
The Green Party aims to reverse this trend. We envisage a natural environment that is protected and enhanced for the common good of our and future generations.
The health and wellbeing of the biosphere is integral to, and deeply interwoven with, human health and wellbeing. We wish to see Ireland blossom as a country with healthy soils, water and air, supporting a much richer bird, animal, plant and insect life.
We can prosper but only in harmony with nature, including the natural environment in all our decision-making.
Currently, responsibility for nature is scattered across several government departments. We will assign responsibility to the Department of Environment.
We will integrate the work of the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), enhancing funding for this organisation and expanding the number of national parks. The NPWS would have far greater staffing with a Chief Executive Officer appointed to lead the organisation.
Engage in consultation with a view to establishing and office of an Ombudsman for the Rights of Nature and Future Generations.
Publish a new National Action Plan for the Environment which will devise actions to eliminate activities that harm the natural environment and to restore habitats and species.
We will develop a proposal to protect the rights of nature and the environment within the Irish Constitution.