All Ireland approach to Environment welcomed
Sinn Féin's Environment spokesperson North Antrim MLA Daithí McKay, speaking after the launch of the publication 'Foundations for the Future' report said that the document contains wide ranging and radical recommendations which the Assembly and the Executive will want to carefully study.
Not only does the report call for the establishment of an Environmental Protection Agency but it further calls for the transfer of powers out of several departments and to locate them within the Department of the Environment. In addition the report clearly highlights and signposts the need for an all-island approach to environmental issues.
Mr McKay said:
"Sinn Féin have long campaigned for the creation of an all-Ireland Environmental Protection Agency.
"This wide ranging report contains some sensible recommendations for a radical overhaul of how we deal with the environment here.
"While we will take the time to consider all its recommendations in full I think that no-one will be surprised that I am delighted that it clearly recognises the fact that 'factors that impact on environmental quality do not political boundaries' and further goes on to say '&hellipthe review team is persuaded of the value of cross border implementation bodies to delivering sound environmental governance'.
"This approach is supported by the example of both parts of the island operating as one block in negotiations surrounding the implementation of the Nitrates Directive, to the north's advantage. Further the report makes it clear that our interests would not be well represented by DEFRA when it comes to the issue of Marine Management. The authors of the report clearly believe that DEFRA would be representing English marine priorities to the detriment of our waters.
"These examples make it abundantly clear that the future development of environmental policy should formally go down the all-Ireland route."