Tuesday, 21 May 1996
Dáil Éireann Debate
289. Mr. Molloy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry if he will put in place modifications which would allow the REP scheme to benefit corncrake conservation as requested by the Irish Wildbird Conservancy. [10287/96]
Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry (Mr. Yates): The matter of the conservation of individual wildlife species such as the corncrake is a matter for the Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht. The corncrake grant scheme, funded jointly by the Department of Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and operated by the Irish Wildbird Conservancy, provides area based payments to farmers in three defined “corncrake areas” who farm in a corncrake-friendly way.
REPS, as administered by my Department, provides assistance in the area of corncrake conservation through the supplementary measures dealing with the conservation of proposed natural heritage areas. Under this supplementary measure, which is mandatory for REPS participants in such areas, farmers wishing to join REPS who have lands in a proposed NHA must comply with the requirements for the conservation of the proposed NHA site, as prescribed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service of the Department of Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht. The three “corncrake areas” are proposed NHAs and as such farmers in these areas can avail of the REPS supplementary measure. Under this measure an additional payment of £30 per hectare is available on top of the basic REPS premium of £125 per hectare, subject to a maximum of 40 hectares. In the light of the foregoing I have no plans to modify REPS as suggested by the Deputy.
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