Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Questions (884)

Michael Moynihan

Question:

884. Deputy Michael Moynihan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht when the threat response plan for hen harrier areas will be completed; and her views on permitting afforestation in hen harrier areas. [30005/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Culture)

The draft Hen Harrier Threat Response Plan is nearing completion and is currently being refined and updated as necessary in consultation with Departmental stakeholders. The Departments will meet with the Consultative Committee for the Threat Response Plan as soon as practical, and the plan will then go to public consultation.

Any afforestation proposals in Special Protection Areas designated under the EU Birds Directive require completion by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine of an Appropriate Assessment, in accordance with Article 6.3 of the EU Habitats Directive.  As per European Union Guidelines for State aid, any afforestation within the SPAs must be agreed in advance by the Competent Authority responsible for designating Natura sites, that is to say my Department.