New public sector duty to promote biodiversity

New public sector duty to promote biodiversity

Newly-commenced legislation requires all public service bodies, including government departments, agencies and local authorities, to integrate biodiversity into their plans, policies and programmes.

The Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2023 places a statutory duty on these public bodies to comply with the government’s national biodiversity action plan (NBAP), the next of which is due to be published in early 2024.

Ireland is a signatory to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, a global treaty with 196 members, including EU member states and the European Union. The treaty is implemented through national strategies and action plans around the world.

Malcolm Noonan, the minister for nature, heritage and electoral reform, said: “The rich diversity of species, habitats and ecosystems that we have in Ireland is our most precious resource and it is in crisis. I am starting this work with real intent by enshrining our national response to this crisis in legislation.

“This new development will empower all of us in the public sector to lead by example. I look forward to announcing the detail of our fourth national biodiversity action plan early in the new year.”

Ireland’s fourth NBAP will build on the achievements of previous plans, but aims to go even further in progressing conservation, restoration and sustainable use of biodiversity in Ireland, the government said.

The interdepartmental Biodiversity Working Group, led by the National Parks and Wildlife Service, has worked for the past two years on the preparation of the new plan in collaboration with stakeholders across government.

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