Committee for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Legacy Report 2017 - 2022

Session: Session currently unavailable

Reference: NIA 182/17-22

Committee for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Legacy Report 2017 - 2022.pdf (1.83 mb)


List of abbreviations and acronyms.

Remit, Powers and Membership of the Committee.

Review of 2017 – 2022 Mandate.



Informal Events & Activities.


Suggested Issues for the Successor Committee.

Appendix 1 – Committee for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.

Appendix 2 – Mandate facts and figures.

Committee meetings & visits.

Committee Bill Reports.

Committee Inquiries / Reviews / Micro inquiries.

Committee Motions Debated in Plenary (excluding Inquiries / Reviews / Membership changes)

Statutory Rules.


Appendix 3 - Expenditure for the period 1 September 2017 – 24 March 2022.



List of abbreviations and acronyms

AERA: Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs

AFBI: Agri-food and Biosciences Institute

DAERA: Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs

DfI: Department for Infrastructure

EU: European Union

GHG: Greenhouse Gases

LCM: Legislative Consent Motion

MEABC: Mid and East Antrim Borough Council

MLA: Member of the Legislative Assembly

MP: Member of Parliament

NDNA: New Decade New Approach

SME: Small Medium Enterprise

SPS: Sanitary and Phytosanitary

TB: Tuberculosis

UK: United Kingdom

UKCCC: United Kingdom Climate on Change Committee



Remit, Powers and Membership of the Committee

The Committee for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs is a Statutory Departmental Committee established in accordance with paragraphs 8 and 9 of Strand One of the Belfast Agreement 1998 and under Assembly Standing Order 48.

The Committee has a scrutiny, policy development and consultation role with respect to the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs and has a role in the initiation of legislation.

The Committee has power to:

• consider and advise on Departmental budgets and annual plans in the context of the overall budget allocation;

• consider subordinate legislation and take the Committee Stage of primary legislation;

• call for persons and papers;

• initiate inquiries and make reports; and

• consider and advise on matters brought to the Committee by the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.

The Committee has nine members, including a Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson, and a quorum of five. The membership of the Committee is:

Mr Declan McAleer MLA (Chairperson)

Mr Philip McGuigan MLA (Deputy Chairperson)

Ms Clare Bailey MLA

Mrs Rosemary Barton MLA

Mr John Blair MLA

Mr Tom Buchanan MLA

Mr Harry Harvey MLA

Mr William Irwin MLA

Mr Patsy McGlone MLA



Review of 2017 – 2022 Mandate


The key aspects of the Committee’s scrutiny activities during the 2017 - 2022 mandate are summarised below:

Inquiries and Investigations

Report into the Withdrawal of DAERA and Local Authority Staff from Ports

On 1 February 2021 the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and Mid and East Antrim Borough Council (MEABC) decided to withdraw staff temporarily from undertaking Protocol-related checks on goods entering Larne and Belfast Ports.

The primary motivation cited by officials and the Minister for DAERA for this action was to protect the safety, health and well-being of staff in the context of graffiti containing threatening messages in the vicinity of Ports of Entry and reports of concerning behaviour communicated via “grassroots contacts.”

The Committee sought documentation from a wide range of stakeholders and facilitated numerous oral evidence sessions in order to understand comprehensively the timeline of events and the extent of each organisation’s involvement as well as the evidence for the espoused rationale for the withdrawal of staff.

The Committee ultimately concluded that there was limited justification for this action given repeated assurances from the Police Service for Northern Ireland that the threat to staff was considered to be low.

The Committee’s Report, which contained four key recommendations, was published on 9 July 2021 and was reported widely in the local media.

BBC News Report 9 July 2021

Challenges Facing Women in Agriculture

Farming and agriculture have, for generations, been considered a “man’s job” and women’s role in the sector has often been overlooked. 

The Committee decided to look at this issue in the context of an increasing emphasis being placed elsewhere on encouraging women to consider and pursue farm management as a career.

In order to gain a greater understanding of the issues facing females in the industry, the Committee agreed to conduct a mini-inquiry into women in farm management with a view to “Breaking the Grass Ceiling”.

In order to do this the Committee facilitated an online survey for local women to give their views and share their experiences: the Committee received 178 responses from women currently living and working on local farms.

The Committee’s Summary Report and Full Report can be accessed via the Committee’s website.

 The Committee Report was debated on the floor of the Assembly Chamber on Tuesday 8 March 2022 – International Women’s Day – where the Chairperson called upon the House to endorse the Report on the challenges women experience in the local agriculture sector; recognise the practical, social and cultural barriers which women face in the industry; acknowledge the crucial and valuable role that women play in running farms and agri-businesses and called on the Minister to put in place measures to support women in the sector, as has been done in other jurisdictions.

The Committee’s inquiry and report attracted widespread attention in the media including numerous articles in local news outlets and a focussed item on Good Morning Ulster.

Break the `Grass Ceiling' - The Irish News

Women in Northern Ireland Farming - Belfast Telegraph

Farmweek News

Policy Scrutiny

The Committee undertook detailed reviews of a number of key policy areas.

Draft Environment Strategy

Committee tells Officials Environment Strategy is Vague and Unambitious - Belfast Live

On 11 November 2021 DAERA launched a consultation on its draft Environment Strategy which sought to address some of the primary challenges in terms of environmental health including, but not limited to, habitat and species loss, GHG emissions, climate change, waste management, the development of a circular economy; soil quality; air quality; waste crime.

DAERA highlighted the need for global cooperation in tandem with local, grassroots initiatives to respond to these issues with the Minister declaring that the Strategy should be ‘a guide to how we can preserve, protect and improve our environment for our children and our grandchildren’.

As part of the Executive’s wider Green Growth agenda, the Committee articulated to officials  that the Strategy should be ambitious and in keeping with recommendations made by the UK Committee on Climate Change (UKCCC).

To carry out effective scrutiny of the proposals, the Committee met with officials on 11 November 2021 to understand what they key aims and aspirations were. Members highlighted concerns that the draft Strategy appeared less ambitious than recommendations made by the CCC across a range of areas including goals for planting trees, peatland restoration and recycling targets. Further, the Committee team undertook a benchmarking exercise of policy frameworks in other jurisdictions which demonstrated that some of the pledges in the draft Strategy failed to achieve parity.

In a follow up meeting on 13 January 2022 the Committee commented on the lack of ambition in the Strategy compared to other jurisdictions and encouraged DAERA to reconsider some of the pledges on these policy areas and seek to strengthen them where possible. Officials acknowledged that the Strategy could be more ambitious in some areas and endeavoured to revise it accordingly.

Climate Change

In response to the UKCCC’s Sixth Carbon Budget Report, which was published on 9 December 2020, the Committee agreed to conduct an independent review of its advice regarding local greenhouse gas emissions reduction.

The DAERA Minister had requested the CCC’s views on a fair and equitable contribution by Northern Ireland to the UK Net-Zero emissions target and the response was an “at least 82% reduction from 1990 levels in all net Greenhouse Gases by 2050”.

The Committee’s consideration focussed on the potential implication of this emissions pathway. The views of 14 key stakeholders were sought and analysed before Lord Deben, Chairman UKCCC, was invited to give oral evidence to the Committee.

The Committee’s review of Climate Change can be found here.

Further, as part of its continued outreach work with young people the Committee hosted pupils of St. Patrick’s College Dungannon in November 2021 via an online discussion about their ‘Climate Action in Rural Environments’ project to identify the priorities for Climate Action in their local area.

Bovine TB Eradication Proposals

On 16 January 2021 the DAERA Minister launched a seven-week consultation on proposals for a Bovine TB Eradication Strategy.

The proposals outlined proposed changes to the compensation regime, tackling TB in wildlife via a controlled cull of badgers, testing and the increased use of the Interferon Gama blood test.

In December 2021 the Committee commissioned research in relation to Bovine TB eradication methods in other jurisdictions. This centred on the policy in Wales which enables limited moves of cattle from herds which have had a positive test.

In January 2022 the Committee carried out detailed consideration of the DAERA proposals including an analysis of the responses to the consultation exercise. Members conducted an extensive deliberation process and in February 2022 published its position paper on the proposals, including recommendations, which was forwarded to the Department for consideration in advance of finalising its proposals.

Future Agricultural Policy Proposals

On 21 December 2021 DAERA launched a consultation on Future Agricultural Policy Proposals, which centred around four key areas:

  • Increased productivity;
  • Environmental sustainability;
  • Improved resilience;
  • An effective functioning supply chain.

The Committee recognised that the proposals would be fundamental in shaping the future direction of the agriculture sector and that they would have profound implications for local farmers, particularly in relation to Direct Payments.

Given the significance of the proposals the Committee wrote to the Minister expressing its concern at the duration of the consultation period and the insufficient timeframe for farmers and stakeholders to make detailed responses (the consultation closed on 15 February 2022).

Despite an extension to the deadline not being facilitated the Committee examined the 13 workstreams aimed at encouraging efficiency and resilience as well as environmentally friendly initiatives.

Members highlighted their concerns around a number of policy areas including:

  • Minimum claim size for the resilience measure;
  • Calving intervals;
  • Female participation in knowledge transfer groups;
  • Succession planning;
  • Measures for new entrants;
  • Cross compliance regulations; and,
  • Support schemes for sheep.

The Committee prepared a Position Paper outlining its considerations and recommendations in respect of the proposals and forwarded this to DAERA for review prior to finalisation of the plans.

Common Frameworks

Common Frameworks have been designed by administrations across the UK to manage policies which were repatriated from the EU following Brexit and intersect with devolved competence with a view to achieve commonality of approach and manage potential divergence across jurisdictions.

In total there are 15 Common Frameworks under the Committee’s remit:

  • Animal Health & Welfare
  • Agri-Support
  • Plant Health
  • Plant Varieties and Seeds
  • Fisheries Management
  • Chemicals and Pesticides
  • Fertilizers
  • Radioactive Substances
  • Ozone-Depleting Substances
  • Zootechnics
  • Best Available Techniques for reducing Industrial Emissions
  • Resources and Waste
  • Air Quality
  • Emissions Trading Scheme
  • Organic Production

The Committee developed a stratified methodology to manage the scrutiny process with greater focus and attention on those areas with higher likelihood of divergence.

The bulk of the Common Frameworks were published in February 2022 and the Committee engaged with groups of stakeholders to gather evidence and inform its deliberations.

By the end of the Mandate the Committee had scrutinised 9 of the Common Frameworks and the Committee’s views were forwarded to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities via DAERA.


The Committee undertook three Committee Stages during the mandate.

Two of the main Bills scrutinised by the Committee were the Climate Change Bill and Climate Change (No.2) Bill.

At the beginning of the mandate Northern Ireland was the only part of the UK and Ireland without local climate change legislation. As outlined in the New Decade New Approach commitment, a key priority for the restored Executive was to ‘tackle climate change head on with a strategy to address the immediate and longer term impacts of climate change, The Executive will introduce legislation and targets for reducing carbon emissions in line with the Paris Climate Change Accord’.

Between May 2021 and January 2022, the Committee was in the unique and unprecedented situation of undertaking parallel scrutiny of two separate Bills covering the same policy area.

Will 2022 be the year NI gets legislation? BBC News

Climate Change Bill

The Climate Change Bill is a Private Member’s Bill which was introduced by Committee Member Clare Bailey MLA.

The purpose of the Bill is to enable the mitigation of the impact of climate change locally; establish a legally binding net-zero carbon target by 2045; provide for the establishment and powers of a Climate Commissioner and Climate Office and guarantee existing environmental and climate protections.

Read the Committee’s report on the Climate Change Bill here.

Climate Change (No.2) Bill

The Climate Change (No.2) Bill was brought forward by the Minister for DAERA Edwin Poots MLA.

Northern Ireland is not immune to the severity of the impacts of a changing climate and it is important that it plays its part in the global and UK effort to tackle climate change. The No.2 Bill aims to achieve this by creating a framework that will establish a pathway to achieving emission reduction targets that will ensure that Northern Ireland makes a fair and equitable contribution to the achievement of the UK 2050 Net Zero target.

The Bill reflects the recommendation of the UKCCC which states clearly that ‘any climate legislation for Northern Ireland include a target to reduce all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 82% by 2050 as part of a fair contribution to the UK Net Zero target in 2050 and our international obligations under the Paris Agreement’.

In doing so this will help to ensure that Northern Ireland develops a greener, low carbon, circular economy in which the environment can prosper and be protected.

Read the Committee’s report on Climate Change (No.2) Bill. here

Horse Racing (Amendment) Bill

The Horse Racing (Amendment) Bill sought to amend the Horse Racing (NI) Order 1990 to allow for payments to be made from the Horse Racing Fund to horse racecourse operators at Down Royal and Downpatrick.

The Bill was largely technical in nature and required amendments to provisions of the 1990 Order which controlled the dissemination of money from a fund which has been resourced via levies to on and off course bookmakers.

The Act received Royal Assent on 2 February 2022 and funding to the Down Royal and Downpatrick Racecourses has now been restored.

Fund for Racecourses Reinstated - Belfast Telegraph

Read the Committee’s report on the Horse Racing (Amendment) Bill. here

Report on the LCM on the UK Government Agriculture Bill 2019-2020

The purpose of the Agriculture Bill 2019-2020 was to provide a legal framework for the transition and replacement of the Common Agricultural Policy as well as providing financial support following EU exit. It also aimed to deliver a range of reforms and to create a new domestic agriculture system founded on the principle of paying public money for delivery of public goods.

There are UK-wide provisions within the Bill which required legislative consent as they relate to devolved matters. The LCM was approved by the Assembly on 31 March 2020.

Read the Committee’s report on the LCM here

Report on the LCM on the UK Government Fisheries Bill 2019-2020

The purpose of the Fisheries Bill 2019-2020 is to make provision in relation to fisheries, aquaculture and marine conservation, the functioning of the Marine Management Organisation and for connected purposes. The Bill aims to provide for a new legal framework to replace the Common Fisheries Policy.

There were UK wide provisions within the Bill which required legislative consent as they relate to devolved matters. The LCM was approved by the Assembly on 29 September 2020.

Read the Committee’s report on the LCM here

Report on the LCM on the UK Government Environment Bill

The purpose of the Environment Bill is to provide a new domestic framework for environmental governance in the UK following Brexit. The Bill also provides for environmental improvement in respect of a number of specific environmental areas namely waste and resource efficiency, air, water, nature and biodiversity, and conservation covenants.

There were UK-wide provisions within the Bill which required legislative consent as they relate to devolved matters. The LCM was approved by the Assembly on 30 June 2020.

Read the Committee’s report on the LCM here


Virtual Meetings and Stakeholder Events

In line with Covid-19 public health regulations the Committee sought to move from public meetings and events, which involved large gatherings, to virtual meetings online.

This allowed the Committee to engage with many more individuals and stakeholders than via physical meetings and had a number of further advantages including more efficient use of time, cost reductions and environmental benefits associated with less travel.

Members agreed to use this medium to hold stakeholder events in relation to future inquiries and reports, including the Women in Farm Management mini-inquiry.

The Committee brought together over 30 key stakeholders to discuss the main issues facing females in the farming sector.

Participants engaged in a robust debate around the key issues which had been identified in the Committee’s call for evidence. Using online technology, the participants were separated into three breakout rooms with each one hosting a key area of discussion.

Discussions were facilitated by a Member of the Committee and staff and the Mentimeter app was used to record voting trends and commentary from each room.

The entire group was reconvened in the main staging area and statistical data and contributors’ views were readily available on-screen for all to see.

To continue improving its service to Members and Stakeholders, the Committee Team sought input from contributors to the event.

Whilst the Committee Team is grateful for input on areas of improvement for its engagement event, 92% of respondents agreed that the session was well-received.

Citizen Space

As part of its scrutiny of the Climate Change Bill, the Committee piloted the use of Citizen Space as a primary means of gathering information and views from members of the public and key stakeholders.

Through social media postings and targeted emailing of stakeholders, the Committee issued its call for evidence via an online link. Responses were then uploaded to one central repository where they could be managed and analysed expediently.

In total 126 responses were received to this call for evidence including a significant volume of information that was easy to moderate and available to all team members to assist with their roles in data control and report writing.

Following the success of this pilot, the Committee has embedded Citizen Space as its primary method of seeking views and evidence from stakeholders.

Summary Reports

The Committee has sought to achieve a more fulsome engagement with stakeholders and the public over the course of the Mandate. In order to achieve this the Committee has prepared and published Summary Reports as an abridged, accessible version of its full Committee Reports.

Based on the number of independent “click throughs” via the Committee’s Twitter page, it is clear that stakeholders are more readily inclined to access the Summary Report:


Full Report (views)

Summary Report (views)

Women in Agriculture Report



Horse Racing (Amendment) Bill



Climate Change Bill



Climate Change (No.2) Bill




Informal Events & Activities

Agri-Food Funding

The Committee called on the EU and Westminster to provide a support package to help alleviate the financial strain facing the local agri-food sector in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a letter issued to the Executive, local MPs and to the EU Commission, the Committee expressed its support for the DAERA Minister’s call to the DEFRA Minister for assurance that the local agri-food industry would not be overlooked during the crisis.

A copy of the responses received by the Committee can be found here .

Engagement Exercises

The Committee has invested a lot of time in engagement with young people, particularly in relation to issues with long-term significance such as climate change: through collaboration with the Assembly’s Education Service we facilitated focus groups with over 300 pupils at primary and secondary schools to understand their views about climate change legislation.

Pupils of Ulidia College engage with the Committee on climate change issues.

COP 26

On 1 November 2021 Parliament Buildings was illuminated in green to mark the beginning of the COP 26 Climate Change Conference, at the Committee’s request.

The Committee engaged in series of events to mark this watershed global climate summit which was held in Glasgow from 31 October to 12 November 2021 and a number of Members had the opportunity attend part of the Conference.

Deputy Chairperson Philip McGuigan MLA cycling to the COP26 Conference in Glasgow.

With transport being a major contributor to GHG emissions, the Committee invited Translink and DfI officials to Parliament Buildings to showcase the Carbon Battle Bus: a hydrogen powered form of transport. The shift away from fossil fuels to power forms of transport will be integral to the moves to reduce emissions over the next several decades.

The Committee engaged with pupils from Banbridge Academy; St Patrick’s College Dungannon and Ulidia Integrated College in a collective “Q + A” session for pupils to ask Members what COP26 meant for them and the importance of Climate Change.

You can watch a video of the event including questions and answers with Members: Roundtable discussion on Climate Change issues

On 10 November 2022, the Committee concluded its series of events to mark the conference by welcoming Sustrans NI representatives to Parliament Buildings to discuss their Active Travel Programme.

Our Committee Members had an opportunity to trial electric powered bikes which offer a climate and health friendly form of transport.


Whilst the Committee sought to engage with key stakeholders and promote its work throughout various communities, site visits and external meetings were heavily restricted by Covid regulations.

Following appropriate risk assessments, and in accordance with Covid regulations, the Committee was able to participate in several visits throughout the Mandate.

Peatlands Park

In October 2021, the Committee visited Peatlands Park in County Tyrone to discuss the environmental benefits of healthy peatland in helping to mitigate climate change. The Department had just concluded its consultation on a proposed Peatlands Strategy which aims to set the foundation for peatland restoration locally.

Members learned about the benefits of peatland in terms of carbon sequestration and promoting healthy environments for flora/fauna, as well as supporting good water quality and flood alleviation.

Members questioned officials on the significance of restoring and conserving our local peatlands as well as the extent of governance and funding required to support such a strategy.

Balmoral Show

In September 2021, the Committee had the opportunity to attend the Balmoral Show following its return after it was suspended in 2020 due to Covid-19.

The Committee took the opportunity to engage with stakeholders and to discuss the main issues facing the agriculture, environment and rural community sectors.

Castlederg Farm Visit

In August 2021 the Committee were invited by the Ulster Farmers’ Union to the Pollock Farm in Castlederg to see and learn about the on-farm solutions which have been introduced to reduce emissions and improve efficiency.

The Committee was shown an on-site electric generator powered by a bairn running through the holding and other innovations including a low-emission slurry spreader and tools used to more accurately record grass level to maximise yields.

Suggested Issues for the Successor Committee

The Committee draws the attention of the Successor Committee to the following issues:

1. Implementation of Climate Change Act and Scrutiny of Plans

The impending introduction of a Climate Change Act will precipitate a raft of new policies, strategies and interventions across all sectors of the local economy to help meet the outlined emissions targets.

It will be important to ensure that there is regular parliamentary oversight and scrutiny of the progress made in respect of these initiatives and that an effective structure and approach to scrutiny is put in place accordingly.

Some of the key issues are:

  • Ensuring a Just Transition
  • Monitoring emissions levels
  • Recognising the needs and challenges of rural communities in Climate Action Plans
  • Appraising bodies with oversight powers
  • Secondary legislation in respect of climate issues

Reviewing emerging evidence and greenhouse gas emissions methodologies

2. Future System of Farm Payments

DAERA’s proposals for Future Agricultural Policies will fundamentally change the process by which farmers have received direct payments for the past two decades.

Oversight of this new system will be integral for the incoming Committee to ensure that the schemes are effective and are delivering on the intended aspiration of achieving a more productive, sustainable and resilient farming sector.

3. Future Rural Development Schemes

The Rural Development Programme has been a cornerstone of DAERA’s policy over the past number of years and has facilitated a range of initiatives to enhance infrastructure, community engagement and well-being in local rural communities.

DAERA has recently completed a consultation on future priorities for a new Rural Development Policy which include a focus on tackling poverty and social isolation and Covid-19 recovery. Further, new structures will be established to identify local priorities for funding and implementation.

The implementation of schemes under the new Rural Development Programme will be a key focus of activity, as well as ensuring that the needs, priorities and views of local communities are appropriately considered when allocating funding for projects.

4. Delivering on Protocol Requirements

While negotiations between the UK Government and EU on potential revisions to the Protocol are on-going, it is likely that DAERA will be required to continue to provide a higher level of Sanitary and Phytosanitary checks on goods imported from Great Britain.

The incoming Committee may wish to ensure that the DAERA has the necessary staff and physical infrastructure in place to discharge its responsibilities in this regard.

5. Common Frameworks and Management of Divergence

Given NI’s unique position of maintaining parity with aspects of EU legislation via the Protocol, it is likely that divergence with other UK jurisdictions will manifest in terms of policy in future years.

The Common Framework mechanism is designed to facilitate the handling of such issues, but it will be important to ensure that the needs of local businesses, stakeholders and industries are not unduly affected by any policy disparity between NI and its neighbours.

6. Financial Issues

There are two key aspects of financial management which the incoming Committee may wish to consider a priority:

-       Investment required to deliver on Climate Change/Green Growth projects: the Department submitted a bid of £600m in capital funding for the multi-year budget period to support its agenda and bring forward projects in this sphere. Only £175m was indicatively allocated in the draft multi-year budget proposals which will likely have a significant impact on the Department’s ability to meet its ambitions

-       Replacement of EU-funding streams: Prior to Brexit the funding for direct payments and the Rural Development Programme was provided centrally by the EU.

The Department is facing uncertainty in the future about the resourcing of these initiatives given that the UK Government has pledged to provide funding for farm payments only until the end of the current parliamentary term and the Department’s ability to seek match EU funding for current schemes ends in 2023.

7. Research and Development

The successor Committee may wish to consider appraising research and development policies, including its Science Transformation Programme, which comprise a significant component of its annual expenditure.

DAERA, through the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, has enacted a range of new research initiatives that will continue into the next Mandate to help inform its policies including work on carbon soil testing, enhanced livestock genetics and optimisation of feed alternatives to reduce emissions.



Appendix 1 – Committee for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs

The Committee has 9 members. The membership of the Committee throughout the current mandate was as follows:

  • Declan McAleer MLA Chairperson
  • Philip McGuigan MLA Deputy Chairperson
  • Clare Bailey MLA
  • Rosemary Barton MLA
  • John Blair MLA
  • Thomas Buchanan MLA
  • Harry Harvey MLA
  • William Irwin MLA
  • Patsy McGlone MLA 1, 2

1 With effect from 9 March 2020 Mr Pat Catney MLA replaced Mr John Dallat MLA

2 With effect from 26 May 2020 Mr Patsy McGlone MLA replaced Mr Pat Catney MLA

3 From 20 September 2021 Mr Maurice Bradley MLA ceased to be a member of the Committee and was replaced by Mr Thomas Buchanan MLA on 1 November 2021



Appendix 2 – Mandate facts and figures

Committee meetings & visits


Number of meetings held

Percentage minutes public / closed

Number of meetings held outside Parliament Buildings

Number of committee visits



Public – 66.65%

Closed –15.04%





Public – 84.18%

Closed – 14.43%





Public – 76.89%

Closed – 19.63%




Committee Bill Reports


Name of Bill

Committee report

(Ordered to print)


Report on the Legislative Consent Memorandum on the UK Government Agriculture Bill 2019-2020




Report on the Legislative Consent Memorandum on the UK Government Environment Report 2019/2020



Report on the Legislative Consent Memorandum on the UK Government Fisheries Bill



Report on Legislative Consent Memorandum on the UK Government Agriculture Bill 2019-2020





Report on Legislative Consent Memorandum on the UK Government Fisheries Bill 2019-2020




Report on the Legislative Consent Memorandum on the UK Government Environment Bill



Report on the Climate Change (No.2) Bill



Report on the Climate Change Bill



Report on the Horse Racing (Amendment) Bill




Committee Inquiries / Reviews / Micro inquiries


Name of report

Committee Report

(ordered to print)

Date debated in Plenary (if applicable)






Report into Withdrawal of DAERA and Local Authority Staff from Ports




“Breaking the Grass Ceiling” Challenges Women Experience in the Local Agriculture Sector




Committee Motions Debated in Plenary (excluding Inquiries / Reviews / Membership changes)



Date debated in Plenary


Climate Change and the Introduction of a Climate Change Act




Prayer of Annulment: The Sea Fishing (Licenses and Notices) (Amendment) Regulations (NI) 2019 (SR2019/65)



Prayer of Annulment: The Sea Fish Licensing Order (Northern Ireland) 2019 (SR 2019/61)



Nature Friendly Farming (Revised Wording)



Extension of Committee Stage: Climate Change (No.2) Bill



Statutory Rules


Number agreed by Committee










Number of Organisations who gave evidence to the committee









Appendix 3 - Expenditure for the period 1 September 2017 – 24 March 2022

Budget area



Committee Travel - committee members and staff travel and subsistence in relation to visits and meetings outside Parliament Buildings




Includes the cost of advertising relating to:


External Consultancy         

Includes costs associated with committee use of external consultants to assist in consideration of legislation, inquiries, etc.


General expenses

Cost of refreshments for committee meetings, committee events, working lunches, seminars, room hire, witness expenses, and conference fees for members etc.


All budget areas

All details



You may re-use this publication (not including images or logos) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Northern Ireland Assembly Licence.

Find out more about the Open Northern Ireland Assembly Licence.

This Report can be made available in a range of formats including large print, Braille etc. For more information please contact:

Committee for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs

Mr Nick Henry, Committee Clerk

Northern Ireland Assembly

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Belfast BT4 3XX

Telephone: 028 90 521742


Twitter: @NIAAgriEnvRA

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