The renewal of the National Parks and Wildlife Service is the keystone action in this Government’s response to the biodiversity emergency and I’ve just announced a suite of strategic actions to transform the organisation. - It will be established as an Executive Agency, giving it a strong identity and voice to speak for nature.
- Its internal structures will be overhauled, delivering a stronger focus on external engagement and delivery of outcomes.
- New Directorates, organised along functional lines, will benefit from the early recruitment of 60 key staff for critically important roles.
- Government-endorsed future underpinning investment of €55m over the coming three budgetary cycles to realise this plan.
All of this is the outcome of a key Programme for Government commitment, secured by The Green Party, to review the role and remit of the NPWS, a vision which will help us begin to turn the tide on biodiversity loss.
Special mention to the NPWS staff and to the independent authors whose work the Action Plan is designed to implement - Professor Jane Stout of Trinity College Dublin and Dr Micheál ÓCinnéide, who delivered first phase of the Review, and former Secretary General Gerry Kearney, who completed concluding phases.
Many thanks too to my Departmental colleague, Darragh O'Brien. We're all delivering for biodiversity in Government through this plan by equipping and resourcing the NPWS to lead on conservation and restoration and to be the authoritative and respected voice for nature that Ireland needs.