INHFA Denounces False Propaganda Regarding Nature Restoration Law

The Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) has challenged the dissemination of false propaganda suggesting that the Nature Restoration Law affords voluntary measures for farmers. Speaking on this INHFA President Vincent Roddy has urged politicians and stakeholders to acquaint themselves with the factual basis of the law and refrain from accepting misinformation as truth.

When we assess Article 4 (2) of the proposed law, There is, Roddy stated “a clear legal obligation on Member States including Ireland, to enact concrete actions towards habitat restoration.” This, he added, is evidenced in the article that states “Member States shall put in place the restoration measures that are necessary to re-establish the habitat types listed in Annex I.”

With peat soils being a dominant feature in Annex 1 habitats Roddy expressed major concern around the possible impact on our hills This he maintained “arises from a 2019 National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) report (that was sent to the EU) taking a view that 85% of these habitats are in un-favourable condition.”

While this is a view Roddy explained “that we would challenge on the basis that these are farmed ecosystems which hasn’t been accounted for in this reporting. However, it will under Article 4 (2) compel the State to enact restoration measures that will impact CAP payments and damage the reputational value of food produced from these lands.”

“The combination of such biased negative reports combined with a mandatory requirement within the Nature Restoration Law (if passed) to put in place restoration measures, places these farmers in an impossible position,” added the farm leader.

The INHFA leader also hit out at the imposition of utopian standards on Irish farmers by certain factions within the Green Lobby Group. Such standards he stressed “do not represent a just transition; rather, they epitomize an elitist agenda with unimaginable negative consequences for rural communities.

Beyond the farm gate Roddy also warned of the clear dangers embedded in this law for rural communities. There is, he stated “no doubt that this law will be a key factor in planning applications and will undermine private and public infrastructure projects driving rural decline and decimate our Rural towns and villages.”

In concluding the INHFA President pointed to the upcoming vote on this law which will be held in Strasburg in the last week of February. The 13 MEPs representing Ireland have he stressed “a crucial opportunity to oppose this unjust and poorly conceived law and the INHFA implores political parties to recognize the significance of this vote and to demand that MEPs do not sign the death warrant of rural Ireland.”