The first legislation of 2016, and the twelfth Act to date, was signed into law by the Co-Presidents yesterday at Orchardstown. The Biodiversity Protection Act 2016 is also the third Act to cover environmental affairs, following the Agricultural Regulations Act 2015 and the Municipal Waste Collection Act 2015. The law is split into two sections, each covering an aspect of biodiversity. The first article concerns the genetic diversity of seeds, while the second concerns the biodiversity of native wildlife.
The first article established a National Seed Bank, a government agency which will promote the protection of seed varieties, and serve as a repository for seeds. Varieties will be selected, catalogued and stored, with a view to multiplying them through further cultivation. The Confederation Seeds Company, established last year, will be obliged to assist the Seed Bank by donating some of its stock every year and assisting it in acquiring varieties of interest. The provisions given in the first article make the National Seed Bank the most powerful government agency established to date, which reflects the government’s priorities in agriculture.
The second article aims to enhance the welfare of native wildlife. Areas of the Confederation of natural significance will be designated as nature reserves. Commercial activities will be forbidden in these areas in order to protect the native wildlife and their habitats. In addition, species of native plants and animals will be catalogued by the government, with certain species being given a protected status in order to preserve and enhance their welfare. This second article was left deliberately vague in order to give the Government the widest scope possible in terms of the way they can carry out these activities, as well as perform other activities to reflect the positions in this Act.
In other news, the government of Ipainia, which holds diplomatic relations with the Confederation, has published a lengthy report on agriculture in the micronational community. “Agriculture in Micronations” explains the term agriculture, the status of agriculture globally, and the agricultural sectors of five micronations: Timeria, Überstadt, Siar Fordell, Leylandiistan & Gurvata and Ipainia itself. The agricultural sector of Leylandiistan & Gurvata receives extensive coverage in the report, and covers the development of the sector in the Confederation over the past two years, as well as the beverage and seed production sectors which have developed from it. “The great interest in developing agricultural sectors in various micronations is a matter of delight for me”, said Co-President Ó Cathail. “I would like to see more cooperation between nations on the matter of agriculture so we can collectively advance our efforts, perhaps through a formal agricultural pact”. The Government gave extensive praise to the report on their twitter page, @LeylandiiGov, as seen below.
Though the Government met briefly to sign the above act into law, it will meet again in the coming days to discuss its plans for the year ahead. Unsurprisingly, the agricultural sector will be central to the economic outlook of the government. The failure to trade goods with any micronation in 2015 will be a matter for the government to resolve in 2016, though the numerous agreements agreed with other nations regarding trade in 2015 will no doubt assist in these efforts. The government’s foreign policy will also be formally reviewed for the first time since the September 2014, given that circumstances in the micronational community have altered considerably since then. A government plan for 2016 may be released in the coming days, and if so will be published on Béal na Tíre as soon as it becomes available.
Lastly, Béal na Tíre is delighted to report that 2015 was our best year to date. Our readership increased 46% despite the number of articles published decreasing by a third from 2014. We will aim to improve further on these levels in 2016, publishing more regularly and further increasing readership. We encourage readers to interact with us on Twitter and Tumblr. We wish our readers a happy new year and great success for 2016! Athbhliain faoi mhaise dhaoibh a chairde!