Once in a lifetime opportunity for rewilding following COVID-19 – Chambers
28 April 2020
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Communications, Jack Chambers has called on the Minister for Housing to form a national approach to rewilding by local authorities following COVID-19.
Deputy Chambers said: “Many local authorities are already making real measurable improvements to their areas in response to COVID-19. From expansions of cycling lanes, barriers to implement social distancing in heavily trafficked areas and the reprioritisation of walking and cycling infrastructure, some areas are undergoing a minor revolution. The Department of Housing should co-ordinate this approach and expand it into new areas.
“I believe that there is a huge opportunity to expand this further in the weeks ahead to improve our bio-diversity. There are already widespread anecdotal reports of wildlife returning to areas in which it has not previously been seen for many years. Flora has had an unprecedented opportunity to grow as it has not been subject to the usual tending which occurs in the daily course of events. I believe this should be harnessed.
“I am calling on the Minister for Housing to bring together local authorities to put in place a plan to identify these areas with a view to their protection and enhancement where appropriate. Such a survey could also play a role in any forthcoming Citizens Assembly which would examine bio-diversity.”
“This is a unique opportunity. While COVID-19 is an immediate crisis, the biodiversity crisis is urgent also. We should seize on the rare opportunities it offers,” concluded Deputy Chambers.