The growing human population is putting pressure on the Earth’s arable land to produce more food, while this land, and other natural resources are deteriorating in quality and abundance as the human-enhanced greenhouse effect strengthens the negative impacts of climate change. This phenomenon is described by Kanayo F. Nwanze, the President of the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in the sense that, “It is clear that food security and climate change, humanity’s two greatest challenges in the 21st century, are inextricably linked” (UN, 2011).
About 64% of Ireland’s land area is used for agriculture, so it’s impossible to overstate the significance of the sector in environmental terms.
Feeding the World Sustainably? - analysis of Irish and EU food nutrition trade balances
Dr Colin Doyle is an associate member of the Environment and Sustainable Development Cluster, Whitaker Institute, NUI Galway.
The Aquatic Services Unit (ASU) with technical assistance from the School of Biological and Earth Sciences (BEES) and the Hydraulics and Maritime Research Centre (HMRC), all part of UCC, were commissioned by An Taisce, the National Trust for Ireland, to carry out this review of the role of wetlands in flood attenuation in Ireland.