She continued, “August is a crucial time of year for bees and other pollinators which are gravely under threat. If hedge-cutting is permitted during this season, or if upland burning is extended into the March nesting season as provided for by the Bill, the impact on our natural environment could be devastating.”
Senator Higgins fought strongly against the Heritage Bill when it was initially introduced, submitting over 50 amendments during committee and report stage in the Seanad to prevent against the erosion of environmental standards and habitat protections.
“The urgency of these issues has” she noted “ become ever clearer. We now know that three-quarters of all land on Earth is significantly impacted by human activities and 60% of all animal populations have been wiped-out since 1970. We are long past the point to act. Strengthening the protections afforded our native hedgerows and habitats is one crucial step.”
“Joined up action on both the climate crisis and the ecological crisis” will be a priority for Senator Higgins in her new role as a member of the Climate Action Committee. Speaking when she formally joined the committee last week she said, “The public, and young people in particular understand the need for ambitious action on climate change and the need for systemic change. I have been campaigning for climate justice since the UN Climate Talks 2008, on the Climate Action Committee I look forward to working closely with both colleagues and civil society to promote positive, ambitious and transformative action”.