The public consultation on the Government’s Heritage Ireland 2030 plan has just closed. An Taisce have made their submission[1].

Heritage Ireland 2030 is the Government’s plan outlining the priorities for protecting Ireland’s heritage over the next decade. It aims to identify the priorities which will be resourced under the National Planning Framework. The plan proposes to protect both natural and built heritage. Natural heritage includes our important habitats, wildlife and landscapes.

The most important thing Heritage Ireland 2030 needs to deliver is a plan which recognises the scale and urgency of the threats facing our natural world through mass extinction and climate change.

David Attenborough recently outlined:

"Right now, we are facing a man-made disaster of global scale. Our greatest threat in thousands of years. Climate change. If we don't take action, the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon."

However, Heritage Ireland 2030 fails to address these threats, despite assurances that this plan will shape and influence the heritage of our children and the generations to come.

The vision in Heritage Ireland 2030 lacks any clear objectives, or any real targets. It presents an aspirational vision with no indication of how this could be achieved. It does not instil any confidence that any of the objectives can, or will, be realised.

Heritage Ireland 2030 needs to adopt, as a starting point, the exemplary implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2015 [2] and other international conventions; the legal requirements under the Birds and Habitats Directives, and other EU Directives; and the provisions of the Council of Europe Conventions on Landscape, Archaeology, Architectural Heritage, and other areas of cultural heritage.

The plan, as stands, is an aspiration wish list, which cannot give rise to meaningful measures to protect our heritage. Heritage Ireland needs clear and targeted objectives, and a clear indication of how these could be achieved.

Quotes from Dr. Elaine McGoff, Natural Heritage Officer An Taisce

‘This ‘plan’ has no clear objectives or specific targets. It’s simply a wish list. It can’t possibly succeed, if it hasn’t laid out what it is it actually wants achieve, or how we can get there.’

‘This plan is indicative of the lack of government recognition and ambition when it comes to real protection of our natural heritage. Without a fundamental shift in the mind-set of the whole government, our heritage faces the biggest global threat we’ve ever encountered: climate change and mass biodiversity loss.

‘I have no faith that this document can provide any true protection of our natural heritage, and our children won’t thank us for the future we leave them if we fail to address the urgent issues at hand. ‘The entire focus of Heritage Ireland 2030, should be changed, without this, this document is meaningless'

For further information, contact:

Dr. Elaine McGoff, Natural Environment Officer, An Taisce, Tel: +353 1 707 7063
Charles Stanley-Smith, Communications, An Taisce. Tel: +353 87 241 1995
email: [email protected]
An Taisce The National Trust for Ireland


  1. An Taisce's Submission on Heritage Ireland 2030 

  2. UN Sustainable Development Goals - 17 Goals to transform our world -

About An Taisce

Protecting Ireland’s heritage, safeguarding its future

An Taisce is a charity that works to preserve and protect Ireland's natural and built heritage. We are an independent charitable voice for the environment and for heritage issues. We are not a government body, semi-state or agency. Founded in 1948, we are one of Ireland’s oldest and largest environmental organisations.