Meeting the Key Environmental Challenges for Ireland

Date released: Nov 28 2008

An EPA workshop will today consider the four main environmental challenges facing Ireland. These are:

  1. Limiting and adapting to climate change;
  2. Reversing environmental degradation – particularly in relation to water pollution and the conservation status of habitats;
  3. Mainstreaming environmental considerations across all sectors of the economy; and
  4. Complying with environmental legislation and agreements.

The workshop is targeted at policy and decision makers across all economic sectors. 
Over 100 delegates from Ireland’s public and private sectors will debate the state of Ireland’s environment, and the actions required to address the main challenges facing the country.

Dr Mary Kelly, Director General of the EPA said:

“Ireland’s environment is a key strategic asset for the country and it must be protected and managed to ensure that it continues to be a basis for a healthy society and a strong economy in to the future.  Economic well-being is intrinsically linked to a clean and protected environment and growth opportunities in the future may well come from greening the economy.”

She continued:

“While much of Ireland’s environmental quality remains good, we are not making progress at the rate we need to. Environmental issues can no longer be considered in isolation and it is vital that they are placed at the heart of policy and decision-making across all sectors of the economy at national, regional and local levels.”

Speaking at the workshop Mr Larry Stapleton, Director, EPA Office of Environmental Assessment said:

“This workshop is exploring the overall challenge of mainstreaming the environment across all sectors.  In more difficult economic circumstances the need is all the more evident to target our actions to where the environment is under the greatest threat.  Also, EPA research is showing that there can be significant win-win outcomes for business and the environment through waste prevention and resource efficiency.”

ENDS

Further information: Niamh Leahy, EPA Media Relations Office 053-9170770 (24 hours)


Note to Editors:
In October 2008, the EPA published its fourth ‘state of the environment’ report, Ireland’s Environment 2008. The report provides an independent evidence-based integrated assessment of the overall quality of Ireland’s environment. It identifies the four main environmental challenges for Ireland to address in the coming years as:

  1. Limiting and adapting to climate change;
  2. Reversing environmental degradation – particularly in relation to water pollution and the conservation status of habitats;
  3. Mainstreaming environmental considerations across all sectors of the economy; and
  4. Complying with environmental legislation and agreements.

The full details and a copy of the report  are available on the EPA website.