Posted by George Morrison

Restoring Nature             Word on the Week                              15th July 2023.

Everyone agrees it is a good idea to restore nature.  The problems arise over the methods employed to the restoration.   These could have a negative impact on farm incomes.    Some farmers say a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush in opposition to the ecologist who would prefer to see the birds in the bush!

Matters came to a head in Europe this week when the debating ended and a vote was taken.   The result was a narrow win for those wishing to see nature restored 336 votes against 300 who opposed any change.   All the Irish MEP’s voted for the law although in its final form it was gutted of its most significant conservation measures to achieve the victory!

These measures were lower targets and more flexibility than originally proposed with increased support from the EU Nature fund.   Urgent action is required if Ireland is to live up to its emerald Isle green image.

We have never been good at dealing with waste.   A concerted effort has reduced the amount formally dumped in country lanes and Council wheelie bins have greatly helped in segregation and waste disposal.

An ongoing problem has been the lack of regular inspection of septic tanks.   These may be installed correctly but through time malfunction polluting the area and its water courses.   We seem blighted by fish kills as none of our rivers are immune from these discharges of waste.

But these are relatively minor incidents.   It is the restoration of the landscape to its former wooded glory that is part of the solution.   The watercourses merely indicate health or otherwise.   The safeguarding of declining flora and fauna requires much attention.

The seas, once teeming with fish, are badly overfished.   Methods of catching fish have increased the catch beyond what sustains the species.   The salmon is an example of a fish which has to be farmed.   Wild salmon, once plentiful, will soon be a thing of the past.

The Bible indicates where the responsibility lies.   It was given to humankind at the beginning (Genesis 2 verse 15).   We are to act as God’s stewards to tend and care for it.    The psalmist writes of this work in Psalm 8 part of which reads: – You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;
    you have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen,
    and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas. O Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!                                                            May we accept this responsibility.