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Aug 2019 right left


CEDaR Training Course – Lake Habitats

Friday 2nd August
Blessingbourne Estate


Inishowen, County Donegal – Drystone Walling

Friday 9th August
Inishowen, County Donegal


CEDaR Training Course – Invasive Species

Wednesday 21st August
Cultra Manor, UFTM


The future of farming, DAERA must act now


10th May 2019

Environmental charities have expressed concern at the lack of progress towards a post–Brexit agricultural policy framework in Northern Ireland. This lack of progress is creating uncertainty for farmers and agri–business and delaying much needed urgent action on climate change and the safeguarding of species and habitats. DAERA have been asked to clarify the future direction of travel as a matter of urgency.

Nature Matters NI has called for the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) to re–engage with stakeholders in the development of a future policy framework for agriculture in Northern Ireland. The campaign group, which includes organisations such as RSPB NI, Ulster Wildlife and the National Trust NI state that the next stage in this process should be the release of the synopsis report from the Department’s Trade and Agriculture Committee Stakeholder Engagement exercise.

Between August and October last year, DAERA sought responses on their proposals for a future agriculture policy framework. Although lacking an agriculture minister, releasing these proposals for stakeholder engagement was deemed to be within the public interest. It’s intended that a future framework will replace the current system operating as part of the EU Common Agricultural Policy. Within this, the Department has set out several objectives for the farming sector in Northern Ireland as we prepare to leave the EU, including increased productivity, resilience and environmental sustainability. During the stakeholder engagement, over 1,200 members of the public responded, backing Nature Matters NI call for a future policy to focus on the restoration and enhancement of the environment based on the principle of public money for public goods.

Since then, the process has stalled, with little clarity on the future direction of travel, or a view as to how stakeholders can engage with the future development of this important policy moving forward. This creates uncertainty for farming and agricultural businesses who cannot plan for the long–term and also delays urgent action on meeting environmental priorities such as addressing climate change and safeguarding species and habitats, which agriculture has an important role in providing solutions for. With DAERA recently beginning the process of developing a long–term strategy for the environment, it is important that a future agriculture policy is embedded within this and vice versa, allowing for a joined–up approach towards farming and the environment in NI.

Patrick Casement, Chair of Nature Matters NI stated:
“Without a clearly defined roadmap, the future for farming and the environment lie in the balance. The Department must now take the opportunity to re–engage with stakeholders and continue the process of developing a policy that works for nature, farming and the public”.


Notes to editors

Nature Matters NI is a campaign led by a coalition of environmental organisations in Northern Ireland on a mission to protect nature so that we can secure the best future for our environment post–Brexit.

For more information on Nature Matters NI priorities and policy please visit:

For interview requests or comment please contact John Martin of Nature Matters NI:

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