Green Party TD for Wicklow, Steven Matthews has welcomed the confirmation that Wicklow County Council has been approved for the appointment of a Biodiversity Officer. This is a high-level role within Wicklow County Council that will work on strategies and policies that focus on protecting the environment, biodiversity and sensitive landscapes across Wicklow. Wicklow County Council was one of the very first in the country to declare a climate and biodiversity crisis in 2019. This new biodiversity officer will be tasked with promoting the initiatives required to tackle this crisis at a local level.
Discussing the announcement, Deputy Matthews said:
“A Biodiversity Officer for Wicklow is a wonderful addition to work on the objectives of Wicklow County Council in relation to Climate and Biodiversity which are driven by the Climate & Biodiversity Action, Strategic Policy Committee (SPC). Prior to being elected as a TD, I was directly involved with the establishment of the SPC and to see one of our key priorities – establishing a specific strategic role on biodiversity within the council is extremely positive.
“We are extremely fortunate in Wicklow to have a truly incredible landscape containing great variety of wilderness, mountains, farmland and rural and urban environments including our Wicklow Mountains National Park. We also have important areas of conservation for habitats and birds along our considerable coastline and our marine environment to protect and restore especially as we look to a decade of development of offshore renewable energy, which is currently underway.
“In my experience, Wicklow County Council is already streets ahead of other local authorities in terms of their strategic awareness of the need to emphasise our environment in their projects but would greatly benefit from the support of a dedicated biodiversity officer. This new officer will work in tandem with the pre-existing roles of climate officer and heritage officer, and I believe will provide a wonderful team in Wicklow to work at the highest level with the Chief Executive on biodiversity strategic objectives.
“I look forward to working further with Wicklow County Council and specifically the new Biodiversity officer on ensuring that all new projects and initiatives at a council level have a focus on our lived environment and biodiversity at their core”, concluded Deputy Matthews.