In the media coverage surrounding the announcement of the Government’s draft Rural Development Programme (RDP) for 2014-2020, precious little attention has been given to alternative visions for using the very large pot of money available.
Between direct payments, rural development and market supports, Ireland’s CAP package will amount to over €11 billion over this seven-year period.
Nevertheless, two internal submissions from the National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) to the Department of Agriculture in 2013 make a compelling case for a change in approach in how RDP funds are used, and how agri-environment schemes are designed in Ireland.
This debate is of extraordinary significance for the future of our countryside and environment.
As such, the NPWS’s submissions – obtained by An Taisce under access to information rules – make essential reading for anyone interested in farming, nature conservation and Ireland’s environment more generally.
Further details and Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 are available in An Taisce press release.