Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Questions (686)

Denis Naughten


686. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the mechanism for the compensation of a landowner that is prohibited from planting their lands with forestry due to its designation under the Curlew Conservation Programme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21437/19]

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Written answers (Question to Culture)

The population of breeding curlew in Ireland is in extreme danger of extinction, having declined by 97% in recent decades.

There is no formal designation process, rather my Department shares information with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine on the known remaining breeding sites. Protecting these sites is a shared responsibility across sectors, although the decision in regard to afforestation licenses and payments is made by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

 I understand that the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine guidance on forestry schemes,  provides information on where compensation may not be paid, such as, inter alia, where the refusal is related to the protection of the environment; this would apply in the case of protection of a critically endangered species such as Curlew.

I also understand that Curlew areas have been prioritized in the GLAS scheme , offering up to €7,000 per annum for 5 years, depending on how much ground is available.