4 February 2021
By Tom Collins
A strategic review of the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), aimed at assessing and reviewing how the body works, is now underway, Cork South West Deputy and Fianna Fáil spokesperson for Biodiversity, Christopher O’Sullivan has said.
Deputy O’Sullivan commented, “I’m glad to see work starting on the review of the NPWS, which was a key commitment in the Programme for Government.
“For too long it has been under-resourced and under-staffed, which has meant multiple wildlife crimes have gone unpunished. We need a NPWS that will make a real difference to biodiversity in Ireland.
“Ensuring the NPWS is properly resourced, staffed and equipped, not only to lead Ireland’s response to wildlife crime but also the biodiversity emergency and environmental vandalism, is of premier importance to Ireland’s environmental future.
“The review’s recommendations will inform the future development of the NPWS and enable it to support Ireland’s biodiversity objectives in alignment with the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, the EU 2030 Biodiversity Strategy and the forthcoming post-2020 global biodiversity framework.’’
The review is being led by Dr Jane Stout, Professor in Botany at the School of Natural Sciences, Trinity College Dublin (Chairperson) and former EPA Director Dr Micheál Ó Cinnéide (Deputy Chair).
It is anticipated that the review process will be completed this summer, with publication of the report and its key recommendations to follow. The terms of reference will be published in advance of the stakeholder engagement process, which will commence in the coming weeks.