WWF Criticises Ireland's Poor Conservation Record.

7th Jul 2001 This week the world's leading conservation group published an embarrassing report on Ireland's feeble conservation measures. Even a new report slamming Ireland for having the worst record in Europe on wildlife protection couldn't distract the woman who is legally responsible for protecting our natural heritage. By Thursday, almost a week after its publication, she had to admit in front of the Dail that she had not even read it yet and was not in a position to comment.

Nature lovers and anyone with an appreciation of our natural landscape will be hoping that at some point over the weekend, the Minister for Arts, Heritage, the Gaeltacht and the Islands will sit down and read the report, which is a shameful snapshot of how her Department has failed to protect our most threatened species and habitat. They might also expect that by next week she will be better informed to answer some of its complaints.

The report, which was presented as a 30km race with a finish line representing implementation of the Habitats Directive, shows Ireland trailing way behind all the other 13 member states reaching only 8k of the way compared to the 21km held by leader Denmark. It criticises Ireland on a number of fronts including failure to monitor sites once they have given protection status and the fact that large areas of priority habitats have not even been considered by the Government.

Gemma O'Doherty reports in the Irish Independent. Click here for full story.