Sewage and diffuse agricultural sources continue to be the main threat to the quality of Ireland’s waters. Under the EU's Water Framework Directive the goal is aim to achieve good status in all waters by 2015 and to ensure that status does not deteriorate in any waters.

As the National Parks & Wildlife Service explains, "Ireland is home to 28 species of land mammal, over 400 species of birds, more than 4,000 plant species and over 12,000 species of insect. If we want all of this to survive, we must ensure that there are enough suitable areas for all these species to flourish.

An Taisce has dedicated significant work to the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The CAP provides support to European agriculture and rural development. The scale of this support is enormous, with the fund comprising roughly one third of the entire EU budget (the 2014-2020 CAP budget is worth about €350bn) compared to just 0.2% for nature conservation.

7th October 2013

An Taisce – the National Trust for Ireland – today expressed serious concern at Minister Coveney’s recent announcement that there will be no rollover of REPS and no new AEOS entrants in 2014.

The Minister claimed that this would achieve “national and European savings of about €25 million”. However, An Taisce believes that these savings mean that thousands of farmers implementing environmentally beneficial schemes and sustainable forms of agriculture will lose, in some cases, half of their total farm income in 2014.

"Bogs," writes John Feehan, "are places of enchantment. This is due in large measure to the immense natural diversity of the peatland landscape, but also to its unique atmosphere. The bogs are great, open expanses with distant horizons. You feel drawn to them as though they awakened an echo deep within us of the open savannah landscapes in which our human kind had its origins several million years ago."

In 2010 the Department of Agriculture published a major strategy called Food Harvest 2020, which sets out a range of objectives for the entire agricultural sector for the next decade. The strategy, if carried out, will have negative consequences for Ireland's environment. A Strategic Environmental Assessment was reluctantly carried out by the Department of Agriculture after extensive lobbying by environmental groups, including An Taisce.

An Taisce supports the sustainable development of aquaculture, in keeping with other objectives for the relevant area. That is, aquaculture projects should be developed in a balanced manner which does not cause degradation in the area of the aquaculture facility, for example through habitat destruction, by way of habitat alteration, or by degrading water quality. In essence, any aquaculture development must ensure that local habitats, flora, fauna, and avifauna are not adversely impacted.


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