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Protecting Natural Habitats and Species

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Ciaran O’Keeffe, NPWS - Protecting Natural Habitats and Species

Ciaran O’Keeffe, NPWS - Protecting Natural Habitats and Species

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  • 1. Protecting habitats and species EPA State of te Environment Conference June 2012 1
  • 2. Drivers and Pressures identified in report on status of habitats and species 2008Key pressures on Ireland’s habitats and species were listed as• Direct habitat damage• overgrazing and undergrazing;• water pollution• unsustainable exploitation• invasive alien species; and• recreational pressure 2
  • 3. Drivers and Pressures identified in report on status of habitats and species 2008Key pressures on Ireland’s habitats and species were listed as• Direct habitat damage• overgrazing and undergrazing;• water pollution• unsustainable exploitation• invasive alien species; and N e xt• recreational pressure e nd 2 re p o r t d ue 01 3 3
  • 4. ProgressMuch significant progress• Legislation; designation; national plans and strategies• Designation of Natura areas• Knowledge improvement• Protective measures 4
  • 5. Progress: Legislation and plans – Birds and Habitats Regs (2011) – EIA Agriculture Regs (2011)• National Biodiversity Plan (2011-16)• Sustainable Development Framework• Landscape Strategy (consultation phase complete) 5
  • 6. National Biodiversity Plan• 21 targets• 102 actions• Reflects the UN CBD “Aichi” targets and EU Biodiversity Strategy 6
  • 7. THE EU BIODIVERSITY STRATEGY 2050 Vision 2020 headline target Halt biodiversity loss – restore ecosystem services – global contribution 6 Targets: Restore Sustainable ecosystems Sustainable Combat Contribute toImplementation Agriculture est. Green Fisheries Alien Invasive averting global of nature & Infrastructure Species biodiversity legislation Forestry loss ANNEX OF ACTIONS 7
  • 8. Progress:• Designation of Natura areas – largely complete in terms of legal protection but still work to do on – Last few marine SACs – Marine SPAs for birds ??? – Final completion of formal site designation of SACs• Setting of detailed conservation objectives for sites 8
  • 9. Sufficiency of Natura 2000 network Terrestrial part (species and habitat types)100% SR90% IN MAJ80% IN MOD70% IN MIN60% SUF50%40%30%20%10% 0% CY SK SI PL LT RO CZ IT PT AT BG LV MT DE EE FI ES FR GR SE BE HU UK LU IE NL DK 9
  • 10. Progress: knowledge e.g.• National surveys of habitats - grasslands, woodlands, limestone pavement, uplands (in train) and species e.g. frog,• National vegetation database (NBDC)• Recommendations for biodiversity research (NPBR)• Biodiversity in coastal marine sites to aid licensing of aquaculture/fisheries (MI/ NPWS/ DAFM)• Red lists (all island) 10
  • 11. 11
  • 12. Progress: Restoration measures for speciesNatterjack toad:100 new pondsPartridge Red kite Red grouse Roseate tern 12
  • 13. 13
  • 14. 2008 Species2013 report likely to show some smallfurther improvement 14
  • 15. Some progress but lots more to do• CAP, CFP and other policies are critical• So too are the national schemes and policies derived from the new EU policies• Resource constraints are a serious issue and likely to remain so• Volunteers remain a crucial element in data collection 15
  • 16. Habitats 2008Not much improvement likely in 2013 report; 16 although future prospects may be better
  • 17. Direct habitat damage• Target on the protected bogs: 17
  • 18. Turf cutting on raised bogs• ban on cutting on 53 bogs in place• complex and emotive issue• substantial compensation options put in place• cutting in 2012 at 25% of recent years• legal procedures being followed and prosecutions will follow 18
  • 19. Overgrazing/undergrazing• Overgrazing now a minor problem in terms of vegetation cover, but natural vegetation composition will take a longer time to recover; undergrazing may be an issue• However substantial land reclamation has damaged habitats, driven by EU audit rules on eligibility of lands for Single Farm Payment 19
  • 20. Fw Pearl MusselWant this 20
  • 21. Fw Pearl MusselNot this 21
  • 22. Fw Pearl Mussel•Silt•Nutrients•Droughts/floodsif hydrology ofriver iscompromised 22
  • 23. Invasive species• Good progress on knowledge issues• Good progress on some eradication projects• However capacity respond to IAS remains relatively low• Still have to “commence” section of new Birds and Habitats Regulations 23
  • 24. Key factors in protection/loss and of habitats and species• Agriculture, forestry and fisheries• CAP, CFP and other policies are critical• So too is public opinion, especially when funds are in short supply• Economic value – “natural capital”• EU vigilance over Ireland’s implementation of environmental protection directives continues to be a key driver 24
  • 25. “A Prioritised Action• Framework” Habitats Directive says member states shall prepare a PAF for habitats and species in the Directive• Purpose is to assist in funding Natura but does not create aditional funds• Irish PAF will have to highlight bogs, woodlands, species rich grasslands; and species including pearl mussel, several fish species, corncrake• Future Rural Dev. Plan will need to take this into account 25
  • 26. 26
  • 27. Meesia triquetra 27