With the upcoming Area of Natural Constraints review Sinn FÃ©in MEP for the Midlands North West, Matt Carthy, has called for greater attention to be paid to flood prone areas in the ongoing Areas of Natural Constraint Review.
Carthy, who is a member of the European Parliaments Agriculture & Rural Development committee said no attention is currently been given to the affected areas and called for the proposed Flood risk Management plans to be implemented. HeÂ said âFlood prone rural areas have been shown little to no attention in the Governmentâs priorities. While the EU Floods Directives required all EU Member States to adopt Flood Risk Management Plans by December 2015, Irelandâs were still outstanding as of October 2016. This means that not only are there no plans in place, but the Irish Government has already missed the first reporting period.
Carthy added that he has repeatedly questioned the Commission on the topic, but as of yet has received no reply. He said âI have asked the Commission repeatedly to confirm whether all Irish Flood Risk Management Plans and the corresponding reports have been submitted yet, but as of yet there has been no response.
Matt Carthy added âThe Government cannot continue to let those areas affected by flooding down. The upcoming review of the ANC Scheme should be an opportunity to right some of this neglect.
Carthy went on to list some of the reasons for increased flooding in recent years, and says a lack of planning in urban areas is one of the main causes,âUrbanisation without flood management planning, industrial peatland development, climate change and the designation of certain areas have all contributed to increased flooding. Yet all of these factors are out of the hands of farmers.'
He reiterated his call for focus to be put on flooded farmland saying, âThe terms of the ANC Scheme review under Regulation 1305/2013 call for excess soil moisture and limited soil drainage to be given attention as a part of the scientific review. This is to reflect the fact that many farmers have had to alter their practices to deal with recent spates of bad flooding.'
Carthy explained that only certain types of farmers are affected by said flooding, adding that it is their livlihoods at stake. He also called for compensation for those affected farmersÂ saying, âIn cases of bad flooding, the chemical and biological processes central to certain types of farming are compromised. This means farmers have to be quick to adapt, or risk damaging their livelihood. While I am sure the scientific review will uncover all of these areas, it will be up to the Minister to ensure that these areas receive an adequate level of compensation.'
Mr. Carthy MEP concluded by calling on commitments from the Minister, stating âThe Minister must give commitments to farmers working with significant constraints such as flooding.â