The Irish Natura & Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) is seeking clarity from Green Party leader Eamon Ryan in relation to a suggestion he has made on the need to ‘rewild large parts of our country’. The suggestion was made in conjunction with a number of other suggestions around the need for new land use plan to go with Climate Plan 2019.
National President Colm O’Donnell stated “how Deputy Ryan needs to clarify where this rewilding should take place in terms of land type and if this should be just confined to public lands.”
Rewilding is a concept that has gained traction in some Scandinavian countries and most recently Scotland and involves the cessation of farming and all other managed activities. While the concept may seem good for many environmentalists O’Donnell stated “how it could undermine biodiversity and increase our carbon emissions.”
Rewilding as envisaged by many will he continued “dramatically increase the possibility of large uncontrolled wildfires that as well as destroying the habitats and wildlife will also through these fires release tons of carbon and increase our carbon emissions. While it may not pose the same problems in Scandinavia due to much reduced growth rates, for Ireland it will be counter-productive.”
He concluded by stating “how we need to recognise that we have a managed landscape and the best way of ensuring it can deliver for the public and environmental good is through ongoing farming activity that is sustainable and appropriate to the land type.”