An Táisce’s Legacy4LIFE Project is the brain child of Professor Emeritus John Sweeney of Maynooth
University and An Táisce. The €0.5m project is co-funded by the EULIFE programme - the EU’s
funding instrument for the environment and climate action - alongside the European Climate
Foundation, the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and the Department of the
Environment, Climate and Communication. The Project runs for a 2 year period, 2022 – 2023.
The project was officially launched in May 2022, by Minister Noonan with The Minister of State at
the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, to develop community-based supports
for Ireland’s natural environment with a focus on ecosystem resilience and biodiversity

The Legacy4LIFE programme comprises of three distinct strands - Pond Diversity, Advancing 'Farm
to Fork', and Green Communities.

The Pond Diversity project looking to build Irish capacity and expertise in pond creation,
management, and conservation and to disseminate much needed information on the value of ponds
for biodiversity, water quality and climate mitigation, in addition to facilitating the development of
public amenity/blue space.

Advancing 'Farm to Fork' seeks to identify the barriers to the development of organic agriculture,
promote the role of organic agriculture in delivering a robust, diverse and resilient food system in
Ireland, in line with the Green New Deal 2020.The Green Communities strand is developing a template for low carbon community plans in both urban and rural settings, aligning best practice templates, with the successful Green Flag Award concept.

At the core of the programme is a focus on collaboration at both institutional level among public and
private sectors organisations and within the wider community at large, where harnessing bottom-up
engagement and lateral knowledge transfer is instrumental in creating change- a key target outcome
in each of the three strands.

Since initiation, the 3 teams have been working to engage with key stakeholders, establishing
baseline data and developing strategies to achieve the project objectives;
The “Ponds Project” will survey pond owners to establish baseline database regarding the status of
ponds in Ireland, developing a network of local authorities and other bodies who understand the
value of ponds, and will commit to protecting/creating ponds on public and private lands, accessible
to the public. Developing a draft action plan for Local Authorities to foster pond development as part
of their Development Plans and assist in fostering the development of new ponds as educational
resources is key to success.

Another key element of the ponds strand, is demonstrating to practitioners and policy makers how
ponds may help communities to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change and to establish
an ‘adopt a pond’ network of citizen scientists/community groups to monitor and manage the newly
created or existing ponds. Engagement with the community is vital and a formalization of
community involvement will be a key part of the project. The National Biodiversity Data Centre will
hold all data collated, making it accessible to the public.

Advancing Farm to Fork 
The second work package relates to agriculture there are three distinct strands to this work package;
Task 1 is engaging with all stakeholders to identify the perceived and real barriers to uptake of
organic farming in Ireland, with the objective of increasing organic farming in alignment with EU
Green Deal expectations. Farmers will be surveyed in the latter part of 2022 to identify barriers and
the changes they see necessary to increase the level of organic farming in Ireland and a report
provided. A second element of Farm 2 Fork is the development of best practise guides for farmers
and policy makers, combined with educational material for schools and educational facilities on the
value of organic farming.
Task 2 is evaluating current methodologies for calculation of Carbon Emissions from Agriculture, this
work is ongoing and the final report, to be issued in 2023, will provide policy makers and
stakeholders with critical direction going forward.
Task 3 is a desk study on the implications of BREXIT, CETA, and Mercosur on the trade landscape for
Irish Agriculture, reviewing “carbon leakage” and the displacement of food processing activities to
Ireland from other EU Member States, due to disparity in agricultural regulations, the result of which
will be a briefing document, with best practise policy recommendations informing policy makers.

Green Communities Low Carbon Plan 
Developing a Low Carbon Town Plan for Urban and Rural Communities, is the final task of the project
and will be delivered by carrying out a baseline analysis of the carbon footprint of both an urban and
rural location on a whole community scale. Maynooth has been selected as the urban test location
and stakeholder engagement is ongoing with community, business, local authority and Maynooth
University Project Live together with national stakeholders to ascertain baseline emissions. Citizen
science will play a part in data gathering, where lacunas exist.
This project task aims to deliver a transferable methodology for urban and rural centres, easily
transferable and complementary to the County Development Plan, Climate Change Adaptation
Strategy, Maynooth SEC Energy Master Plan, Just Transition Plan, and the future Kildare County
Council Decarbonisation Zone Strategy, with a strong focus on community engagement to further
develop community awareness, participation, and empowerment in line with the European Green
Deal, in increasing climate ambition. Ultimately, the task will explore the design of an accreditation
scheme for Low Carbon Communities, which will be explored in Q4 of the project.

Ongoing updates for the project duration will be posted by the Legacy4LIFE team as blogs and
releases on the An Táisce social media channels. If you would like further information about the
project please contact [email protected]