Flawed restoration law must now be scrapped says INHFA

The Irish Natura & Hill Farmers Association have called on Governments and MEP’s to scrap the Nature Restoration Law following a series of inconclusive votes (on it) by the Environment Committee of the EU Parliament.

Speaking on this National President Vincent Roddy stressed how “this poorly conceived law will undermine farming activity and food production, destroy our rural communities and fail its objectives to deliver on improved biodiversity and address concerns around climate change.”

Since the initial draft by the EU Commission, we have, he continued, outlined the obvious flaws in the law that he stated “was developed by ideologues who didn’t take into account the potential impact on farmers and rural communities.”

The flaws of which there were many were, he added “best summed up by the suggestion in Recital 55, that on rewetted peatlands, championed the farming of water buffalo as a viable alternative to cattle and sheep.”

In discussions around this law, we were, he stated “continually informed of the urgent need to take action on climate change with the rewetting of drained peatlands trumped as a key solution through the capture of carbon. However, science conducted here in Ireland is painting a different picture, especially when it comes to the release of methane from these rewetted soils.”

This was he stressed “clearly evidenced in an EPA Research Report drafted by Florence Renou-Wilson and David Wilson. Results from this report confirmed that under certain scenarios any benefit obtained through reducing carbon emissions was off-set by the release of methane that would continue for centuries after the rewetting process.”

On assessing the current impasse following yesterday’s vote and where we go from here the INHFA Leader detailed how all three parties (EU Commission, Parliament and Governments) need to recognise any shortcomings, including their inability to be objective with regard to the science. On this basis it is he maintained “vital that they recognise how the current proposal is fatally damaged and must be scrapped.”

In concluding, the INHFA leader stressed how a reset such as this can also provide the opportunity to look again at other aspects of EU regulation relating to biodiversity loss and climate change. On this he stated “how the nature directives as applied through the Natura 2000 network of land designations has also failed and needs a full review, taking on board the concerns and suggestions of the key stakeholders – namely the landowners and farmers.”