Environmentalists to meet Green Party Ministers on ‘fragmentation’

Coalition of environmentalists hoping for regular progress reports from Government

Environmentalists will meet Green Party leader Eamon Ryan. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Environmentalists will meet Green Party leader Eamon Ryan. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

 

Environmentalists will meet Green Party Ministers Pippa Hackett, Eamon Ryan and Malcolm Noonan on Friday afternoon in what they hope will be the first of regular progress updates on the “green agenda”.

Members of the environmental coalition – the Pillar, Stop Climate Chaos and the Sustainable Water Network – will be seeking regular briefings on the progress of measures to protect biodiversity, promote sustainable forestry, mitigate against climate change among other environmental issues.

The environmental coalition is also expected to tell the three ministers they are concerned about the “fragmented” approach to environmental issues in the incoming Government.

“For a start the Programme for Government says it intends to implement the McKinnon report on forestry. But the report recommends there be a Cabinet minister for forestry and we don’t have that,” said Andrew St Leger of the Woodland League, a participant group in the environmental Pillar.

Mr St Ledger said the environmentalists would seek clarity from the ministers on the responsibilities of particular departments. He said it was “all a bit fragmented with the National Parks and Wildlife Service, part of the Department of Housing, and the new Minister of State for Land Use and Biodiversity, Ms Hackett, based at the Department of Agriculture.

Mr St Ledger said heritage was the preserve of a further department with Minister of State for Heritage Malcolm Noonan being based at the new department of Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht.

The environmentalists are expected to ask Green Party leader and Minister for Climate Action, Communications Networks and Transport, to brief them on the responsibilities of each department, and it was hoped he would agree to meet regularly with the environmentalists to brief them on progress on the green agenda.