The 'slash and burn' or Heritage bill that Heather Humphreys TD is trying to introduce will come before the Seanad on Wednesday afternoon, 9th of November 2016. If passed, the bill would allow the Minister to extend the time during which landowners could cut hedgerows and burn scrub. It would allow for the burning of scrub in March and the cutting of hedgerows in August, which is currently not permitted. This is highly worrying as during these months birds are either preparing to build nests or are still nesting. As well as birds, these landscapes provide habitats for countless other species of plants and insects and contribute to healthy ecosystems. Many rare bird species in Ireland are in dire straits and to extend the time allowed for 'slash and burn' would put them in an even more precarious position in our ecosystem. Additionally, our hedgerows also provide important 'food' for bees, as well as being fantastic carbon sinks.
On his re-election as Taoiseach, Enda Kenny announced he was restructuring Ministerial Departments to better reflect the new Government's priorities. With that, he promptly abolished the Department of the Environment and scattered its functions across three Departments.
We have very little time to get this decision reversed. If this goes ahead, the words ‘environment’ and ‘heritage’ would be dropped from the titles of any Minister or Department, and Ireland would become the only EU member state without a Minister for the Environment.
The election is in the closing stretch. The final leaders' debate is tonight. Will they discuss climate change? Probably not, but even if they do it'll be short and superficial at best. The reality, however, is that whoever forms the next Government will find climate change high on the policy agenda because of the Paris Agreement, looming EU targets and competing interest groups at home.
So how much thought have the parties actually given it? Below you can see and read for yourself.
Friends of the Earth Liberia campaigners write about how the Jogbahn Clan in Liberia is fighting to keep their home. A British palm oil company wants to clear their land without their permission. Add your voice to the petition below to tell the palm oil company and its major shareholders that the world is watching. NO means NO!
It is only my second full day here and I feel like I've been here for weeks. The big warm convention centre is already almost all familiar to me. It is an early stage in the negotiations but certain key issues seem to be generating debate in the side events and other areas outside of the negotiations themselves.
REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation in Developing countries) is one of them. Yesterday Friends of the Earth held a side event on REDD. It was very well attended and the quality and diversity of the speakers was excellent.