Sir, – The proposed EU Nature Restoration Law would see over a third (35 per cent) of land previously drained for agriculture rewetted by 2050. The Taoiseach suggests that proposals for large-scale rewetting of farmland are going too far and changes in the proposals are likely.
In the short to medium term, there is no alternative. With accelerating risk of collapsing ecosystems and global warming, how can this modest proposal to restore wetlands be going “too far”?
There is a welcome move toward acknowledging that farmers need to be rewarded for delivering not only healthy food but also healthy ecosystems, and major policy changes around eligibility have already been made.
The rewilding of land needs to be as natural a choice for farmers, and as rewarding, as producing food.
The evidence shows that the water retention potential of both wetlands and native forests has a critical role to play in buffering the effects of both heavy rainfall and droughts.
This is a step that is as crucial for farmers and food prices as for nature and climate.
In a year of floods, droughts, heatwaves, forest fires and crop losses, what more proof do we need?
The Taoiseach has an opportunity to secure his place in posterity for supporting critical legislation that would be a game-changer in the European fight to support food security, restore nature and meet climate targets. – Yours, etc,