Minister Heather Humphreys launches 3rd National Biodiversity Action Plan, 2017 – 2021
Published: 5th October 2017
New Biodiversity Plan to strengthen Ireland’s endeavours to protect biodiversity nationally and globally. 119 actions set out in framework of seven strategic objectives, Minister to set up high-level group to monitor roll-out of Plan
Minister Heather Humphreys today (5 October 2017) launched Ireland’s 3rd National Biodiversity Action Plan, ‘Actions for Biodiversity 2017-2021’ in the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin. The Plan sets out actions through which a range of government, civil and private sectors will undertake to achieve Ireland’s ‘Vision for Biodiversity’, and follows on from the work of the first and second National Biodiversity Action Plans.
119 targeted actions are contained in the Plan, underpinned by seven strategic objectives. The objectives lay out a clear framework for Ireland’s national approach to biodiversity, ensuring that efforts and achievements of the past are built upon, while looking ahead to what can be achieved over the next five years and beyond.
- mainstreaming biodiversity across the decision making process in the State;
- strengthening the knowledge base underpinning work on biodiversity issues;
- increasing public awareness and participation;
- ensuring conservation of biodiversity in the wider countryside;
- ensuring conservation of biodiversity in the marine environment;
- expanding and improving on the management of protected areas and protected species;
- enhancing the contribution to international biodiversity issues.
Launching the Plan, the Minister said:
“We are lucky in Ireland to be surrounded by an abundance of nature. This natural heritage supports our livelihoods and enriches our lives on a daily basis. We also gain many fundamental benefits from a healthy biodiversity, with many of Ireland’s economic sectors depend on our natural capital.
“The new National Biodiversity Action Plan for 2017-2021 demonstrates Ireland’s continuing commitment to acting on its obligations to protect our biodiversity for the benefit of future generations.
“All sectors of society need to be engaged for the Plan to be a success. Local government and local community involvement, in particular, is crucial. I would like to see Local Authorities more involved in supporting the Plan through locally focussed biodiversity projects and will be considering options in this regard in the coming period.”
Turning to North-South co-operation, the Minister stressed that work should continue on an all-island basis, with programmes such as INTERREG, which is designed to promote greater levels of cross-border co-operation. The Minister said:
“Biodiversity knows no borders and we will continue to work with our colleagues in Northern Ireland towards the protection of our shared resource of wildlife.”
Minister Humphreys also highlighted the importance of Ireland’s role globally, and maintaining our commitments to a range of international organisations and conventions, at EU and UN level:
“Globally, biodiversity is declining and despite increased awareness and efforts to halt its loss, it remains threatened by human activities worldwide. The Plan includes indicators which facilitate reporting on Ireland’s progress towards national, European and global biodiversity targets. It is crucial that Ireland continues to make its voice heard for biodiversity on the global stage.”
Returning to efforts nationally to protect habitats and species in Ireland, Minister Humphreys stressed the importance of maintaining cohesion in the work being carried out by numerous agencies in the area of biodiversity. To assist this, she stated her intention to set up a high-level group to monitor the process of rolling out the Plan:
“Cohesion across government is central to the success of the Plan, and we are committed to working together, in cooperation with the many stakeholders across the heritage sector, to make the implementation of the Plan a success.
“I intend to convene a meeting with other Departments and State Agencies to set out my priorities for implementing the actions in the Plan.”
Minister Humphreys concluded by noting the contributions and continued efforts of the broad range of organisations involved in biodiversity conservation. This includes central Government Departments, State agencies, Local Authorities, the research community, national and local NGOs, local communities and individuals.
The Plan is available on www.npws.ie/publications