March 2109 2nd eZine

27th March 2019

Win a prize for your photo.

27th March 2019

Followers of the eZine will know that we are currently preparing a new website but we need lots of photos. We are looking for high quality large file photos covering the built and natural environment: photos of nature and beautiful buildings, examples of sustainable transport modes, landscapes, people - whatever you think.

Please email no more that 5 photos to Submission of an image gives An Taisce the right to use it on their websites, or social media sites. If we use your photo your name will be credited. Please fill in the title, subject and author field in the properties of your images (right click the file).

The first 10 images that we use will win a beautiful book, Wild Flowers of Ireland: a personal record, by Zoe Devlin. (Priced €30 but valued much higher for the 400 pages of stunning photos of common flowers)

An Taisce seeking planning Intern

27th March 2019

An Taisce The National Trust for Ireland is seeking a Planning Intern with interest in the operation of the planning system nationally. The internship will provide an opportunity to gain experience in the research, assessment and preparation of submissions on planning applications with regard to meeting the objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals and National, Regional and Local Authority Development policy.

The planning applications covered relate to bio-diversity, cultural heritage and landscape sensitive locations or having energy or transport demand impact, including those lodged under the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive. Applicants should provide relevant information on experience, interest and time availability addressed to with the notation “Planning Intern “ in the subject line.

Wastewater Treatment and Disposal Systems Serving Single Houses

21st March 2019
Submission Summary


An Taisce wish to make the following submission as part of the Consultation on the Code of Practice: Wastewater Treatment and Disposal Systems Serving Single Houses.

The current situation with domestic wastewater treatment systems (DWWTS) in Ireland is far from ideal. In 2017, 43% of the 195 groundwater monitoring sites had a sample contaminated with one or more E. coli, indicating contamination of groundwater by faecal matter. This is particularly worrying given that many private water supplies abstract from groundwater with limited or no treatment.

In addition, under the National Inspection Plan, of 1110 septic tanks inspected in 2016, 49% failed, due to lack of desludging, and operation and maintenance issues. According to 2011 census statistics, over 80% of households in rural areas (accounting for one third of Ireland’s population) treat and dispose of wastewater effluent onsite (CSO, 2012) There are an estimated 500,000 septic tanks in Ireland, and if the trend found in 2016 is accurate, that means roughly a quarter of a million septic tanks are potentially malfunctioning. Public health and water quality are threatened when domestic wastewater treatment systems fail to operate satisfactorily. As such, it is imperative that DWWTS are carefully designed, installed and maintained. In this regard, An Taisce welcomes this updated Code of Practice (CoP), which benefits greatly from recent research on the topic.

Full submission below

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Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food And The Marine Call for Submissions The Future of The Beef Sector

14th March 2019
Submission Summary

An Taisce welcomes the opportunity provided by this strategic oversight by the Joint Oireachtas Committee (“JOC”) on the Future of the Irish Beef Sector.

Maintaining a habitable planet is dependent on an integrated ecosystem of land, sea and air embedded within a stable climate. This means that environmental sustainability is the overarching and all encompassing consideration which supersedes all others.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals 2015, set out the integrated and overarching framework for considering the future of all human sectoral activities, including agriculture and food production.

All industrial production sectors at national, EU and global level require strategic review to determine their future-proofing to ensure that we maintain a climatically stable and habitable planet for a still growing global population. This applies to all areas of food production as much as to consumer goods and services, energy and resource use.

The Irish Beef sector requires the same level of independent overarching foresight and oversight as the German car industry or the Polish coal sector as much as the beef industries in any other county. There is nothing that makes any Irish industrial sector “special” or exempt from strategic oversight.

At a global level, the sustainability of Irish beef production as part of future international food supply needs to be considered in the same way as oil and gas consumption, the central Asian cotton industry, the Brazilian beef or soya industry or South East Asian Palm Oil production, all of which are responsible for major land use, greenhouse gas emission or biodiversity loss impacts.

  1. An overview of any national food production sector, such as is being advanced in this case for the Irish beef industry, needs to take a global perspective on the current, continuing and future role of that sector in the following key areas:
  2. Ensuring that it is part of an overall strategy for its sector to meet the Paris Agreement Carbon Budget target of stabilizing global temperature as near as possible to 1.5℃ over pre-industrial levels, which inevitably requires immediate, deep and accelerating emission cuts;
  3. That it meets and does not conflict with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (“SDGs”) including global health and well-being, sustainable consumption, climate action and reversing biodiversity loss;
  4. That it is ethically justified in its resource consumption, production and consumer impact in meeting planetary nutrition needs in accordance with the Climate Justice principles which are incorporated into the Irish Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015;
  5. That it advances United Nations Environment Programme (“UNEP”) policy in achieving a more plant-based diet to meet global nutrition needs;
  6. That it is future-proofed and assessed under the nine planetary boundaries, defined by the Stockholm Resilience Centre, namely:

i. Climate Change
ii. Novel Entities (not yet quantified)
iii. Stratospheric Ozone Depletion
iv. Atmospheric Aerosol Loading (Not yet quantified)
v. Ocean Acidification
vi. Biochemical Flows
vii. Freshwater Use
viii. Land-System Change
ix. Biosphere Integrity

Link to full submission below:

Download PDF: 
Download PDF (5.05 MB)