Green Party plan for planting trees along rivers, watercourses

Grants may be offered to farmers to plant trees along rivers and watercourses to act as a ‘carbon sink’.

There’s also be to be a new focus on preventing pollution of rivers and streams by fertilisers and pesticides.

The Green Party idea was approved in principle at a Cabinet sub-committee meeting at the end of last week.

However, no precise figures on the size of the grants have been discussed.

Junior agriculture minister Pippa Hackett, of the Green Party, says the creation of permanent native woodlands along watercourses is one such highly significant and far-reaching way of dealing with pollution.

She says there’s a need to make sure the right incentives are there for farmers to consider this kind of planting.

The issue of grants was discussed by party leaders in light of Ireland’s water quality declining over the last decade.

The Cabinet Committee on Climate and the Environment discussed the issue last Thursday, with Ms Hackett authorised to rapidly draw up a scheme.

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan believes planting trees will have other benefits such as carbon capture, habitat creation and climatic control for aquatic life.

Meanwhile, a River Basin Management Plan to run from next year until 2027 to address the matter will be published shortly, followed by a six-month public consultation.

Bláithín Gallagher is national coordinator of the Green Party and former Green Party general election candidate in Sligo/Leitrim.


IFA elections

The election process for Chair of the IFA National Dairy Committee and the Vice-Chair of the National Livestock Committee is underway.

Ballot papers have been issued to each member of the two Committees. The deadline for returning the completed postal ballot is Fri, April 16th.

Each Committee will hold a meeting on Friday week, at which the results will be announced.

IFA National Treasurer Martin Stapleton said despite the restrictions imposed by COVID-19, the IFA National Council decided to press ahead with elections as they were due.

He said the postal system has worked very well, with elections for Committee positions, County Chairs and one Regional Chair position.