Written Answers. - Conservation of Bogland.

68.

asked the Minister for Finance whether there is any conflict of interests in the commitment to conserve the remaining 92 per cent of bogland by the deadline of 1995 and the campaign for the promotion of peat by Bord na Móna; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

The objective of the Wildlife Service is to conserve 10,000 hectares of midland raised bog and 40,000 hectares of blanket bog. This will be done by the purchase of suitable peatlands as resources permit and as they become available. At present 741 hectares of midland raised bog and over 10,000 hectares of blanket bog are conserved. A survey of the remaining raised bogs has been completed and will be published shortly. A survey of all blanket bogs is in train and is expected to be completed over the next few years.

A conflict of interest between the objectives of Bord na Móna and those of the Wildlife Service may arise from time to time in relation to particular properties. It has been possible in the past to arrive at an acceptable compromise in such cases and I have no doubt that that will be possible in the future also, and I commend both bodies on the broad positive attitude which they adopt at all times.