Irish policy framework for Biodiversity Protection


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session 2 plans strategies and legal instruments
Irish policy for biodiversity protection
by Anja Murray
An Taisce

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  • These are the most significant steps to conserve biodiversity Advantage that are legally enforceable at European level, in contrast to other voluntary agreements (CBD)
  • Irish policy framework for Biodiversity Protection

    1. 1. Anja Murray Natural Environment Officer
    2. 2. Irish Policy Framework for Biodiversity Protection Legislation & Policy
    3. 3. Biological diversity the variability among living organisms from all sources, incl. terrestrial , marine , and other aquatic ecosystems & the ecological complexes of which they are part Bio diversity
    4. 4. Halting Biodiversity Loss <ul><li>Cornerstones of realizing our commitments: </li></ul><ul><li>The Habitats Directive </li></ul><ul><li>The Birds Directive </li></ul><ul><li>EC Environmental Impact Assessment ( EIA ) Regulations & Strategic Environmental Assessment ( SEA ) </li></ul><ul><li>Water Framework Directive ( WFD ) </li></ul><ul><li>Full and timely implementation </li></ul>
    5. 5. Legislation
    6. 6. 1976 Wildlife Act <ul><li>Nature reserves & ‘Refuges for Fauna’ </li></ul><ul><li>Protection of unspecified wild birds, wild animals, wild flora </li></ul><ul><li>Licences to hunt otters or deer, hare hunting and coursing </li></ul>
    7. 7. The Wildlife (Amendment) Act, 2000 <ul><li>Protection for Natural Heritage Areas (NHAs) </li></ul><ul><li>Improved protection for wildlife </li></ul><ul><li>Implements CITES (convention on international trade in endangered species) </li></ul><ul><li>Hedgerow protection – extended nesting season – no cutting - exemptions </li></ul>
    8. 8. Hedgerows Section 46: no cutting 1 st March – 31 st August Exemptions: public safety, agriculture, forestry, construction
    9. 9. Natural Heritage Areas <ul><li>Important National sites </li></ul><ul><li>Damage ongoing </li></ul><ul><li>Need strong protection by National & Local Authorities </li></ul>
    10. 10. NHAs <ul><li>NHAs: The Case for Conservation </li></ul><ul><li>A Review of NHA Protection in Ireland </li></ul><ul><li>An Taisce review, 2009 </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>617 proposed NHAs (pNHAs), proposed in 1995, which still do not have the full legal protection they require </li></ul>
    11. 11. Draft European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2010 <ul><li>Address ECJ judgements against Ireland for failures to fully transpose Birds Directive and Habitats Directives </li></ul><ul><li>Selection of sites and site notifications; </li></ul><ul><li>site protection & appeals; </li></ul><ul><li>duty of public authorities; </li></ul><ul><li>threat response plans; </li></ul><ul><li>Article 6(3) and 6(4) of the Habitats Directive </li></ul>
    12. 12. Draft European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2010 <ul><li>Draft does not address: </li></ul><ul><li>habitats and species outside Natura 2000 sites </li></ul><ul><li>Public participation and information aspects lacking </li></ul><ul><li>Cumulative impacts </li></ul><ul><li>NHAs </li></ul>
    13. 14. Planning and Development Acts <ul><li>Planning and Development (Amendment) Bill 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>4 different SIs in August - October2010 </li></ul>
    14. 15. 1946 Forestry Act
    15. 16. Forestry: Planting in the wrong places <ul><li>Bog drainage </li></ul><ul><li>Loss of marginal habitats </li></ul><ul><li>Impact on rare & protected species </li></ul>
    16. 17. S.I. 538 of 2001: Afforestation <ul><li>If proposed afforestation may have significant effects on: </li></ul><ul><li>water quality (acidification) </li></ul><ul><li>nature conservation </li></ul><ul><li>archaeology </li></ul><ul><li>amenity </li></ul><ul><li>Forest Service (Department of Agriculture & Food) </li></ul><ul><li>must publish notice of the application in at least one newspaper circulating in the district </li></ul>
    17. 18. Forest Policy <ul><li>‘ Growing for the Future’, Ireland’s strategic Plan to develop forestry (DAFF, 1996) aims to increase forest cover to 17% by 2030 </li></ul><ul><li>GGuidelines for water quality, archaeology, biodiversity, harvesting, aerial fertilisation </li></ul><ul><li>Forestry exempted under Planning and Development Acts </li></ul>
    18. 19. Forestry & Water Quality <ul><ul><li>Acidification </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Eutrophication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Siltation from soil erosion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pesticides </li></ul></ul>
    19. 20. Forestry: International context <ul><li>Ireland responsible for the import of tens of thousands of m 3 of illegally felled tropical timber each year </li></ul><ul><li>Curbing deforestation essential for mitigating (and adapting to) Climate Change </li></ul>
    20. 21. Water <ul><li>European Communities (Water Policy) Regulations 2003 implement the Water Framework Directive (WFD) </li></ul><ul><li>WFD River Basin Management Plans 2010 for </li></ul><ul><li>7 separate ‘River Basin Districts’ </li></ul>
    21. 22. Aquaculture licensing <ul><li>Fisheries Amendment Acts 1997, 2001 </li></ul><ul><li>Finfish aquaculture needs licence and EIA </li></ul>
    22. 23. Current Aquaculture licensing <ul><li>Licensing halted for the moment </li></ul><ul><li>– European Intervention </li></ul><ul><li>Requirement to assess impacts of aquaculture on protected species and habitats nature conservation sites </li></ul><ul><li>Lost of data needed - Article 6 Assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Full compliance with Nature Laws </li></ul>
    23. 24. NATIONAL BIODIVERSITY PLAN  2010-2015 Draft September 2010 <ul><li>89 Actions implementing Convention on Biological Diversity </li></ul>education and awareness Agriculture decision making Forestry Alien invasive species Flood risk management Wetlands Research legislation fisheries International Trade Financing Genetic Diverstiy
    24. 25. Flora Protection Orders <ul><li>1999 Flora Protection Order (S.I. No. 94 of 1999) </li></ul>69 Flowering Plants 14 mosses liverworts, lichens and stoneworts Killarney Fern Galeopsis angustifolia
    25. 26. Flora Protection Orders <ul><li>Marsh Saxifrage, </li></ul><ul><li>Saxifraga hirculus , </li></ul><ul><li>8 known populations, all in Co Mayo </li></ul><ul><li>decline due to the drainage and exploitation of its peatland habitat </li></ul><ul><li>Also listed in Annex II and Annexe IV Habitats Directive & listed as endangered in the Red Data Book </li></ul>
    26. 27. Irish Red Data Books <ul><li>IUCN </li></ul><ul><li>list rare and threatened vascular plants &vertebrates </li></ul><ul><li>(non-marine molluscs, mammals, birds, amphibians and fish) </li></ul><ul><li>assess and prioritise species for conservation purposes </li></ul>
    27. 28. Birds of Conservation Concern in Ireland (BoCCI) <ul><li>BirdWatch Ireland and RSPB Northern Ireland </li></ul><ul><li>Red list= declining breeders, historically declining (since 1900), global conservation concern </li></ul><ul><li>Amber list = medium conservation concern </li></ul><ul><li>Green list = all other regularly-occurring birds in Ireland </li></ul>
    28. 29. <ul><li>Red List </li></ul><ul><li>18 species </li></ul>
    29. 30. Other Legal and Policy Instruments <ul><li>Waste: IPPC licencing (EPA) </li></ul><ul><li>Species Action Plans </li></ul><ul><li>Tree Preservation Orders (Local Authorities) </li></ul><ul><li>Climate Change Adaptation Plan (DOEHLG, due) </li></ul><ul><li>Voluntary Codes & sectoral Biodiversity Guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>Dumping at Sea Regulations </li></ul><ul><li>GMO Regulation: largely reverts to EU positions </li></ul><ul><li>National Plant Conservation Strategy for Ireland </li></ul>
    30. 31. Responsibility <ul><li>NPWS - part of the DOEHLG </li></ul><ul><li>manages the Irish State’s nature conservation responsibilities under National, European and international law </li></ul><ul><li>DoEHLG also for Climate Change Bill (???), WFD, Planning and Development </li></ul>
    31. 32. Responsibilities <ul><li>Responsibilities also for licencing agencies </li></ul><ul><li>Local Authorities (planning) </li></ul><ul><li>OPW </li></ul><ul><li>Forest Service (DAFF) </li></ul><ul><li>EPA – aspects of WFD, IPCC, SEA </li></ul><ul><li>All licencing agencies (clarified under draft Birds and Habitats regulations 2010) </li></ul>