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Date released: Jun 27 2012
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is holding an international workshop today to look at the main environmental challenges facing Ireland. The most recent ‘state of the environment’, assessment has confirmed that while Ireland’s environment is of a generally high standard, significant environmental challenges face Ireland in the medium term.
Today’s event is one of three being held this week to mark the publication of the EPA’s fifth ‘state of the environment’ report, Ireland’s Environment 2012 – An Assessment.
Dr Micheal Lehane, EPA Programme Manager and one of the main authors of the report explained, “The conference will bring together policy and decision makers from across all economic sectors to consider the actions needed to address the challenges facing the country in the coming years and to identify potential barriers to progress. Over 100 delegates from Ireland’s public and private sectors will debate the actions required to address the main challenges facing Ireland’s environment with national and international experts.”
The workshop will include presentations and discussions on the following themes:
The keynote address will be given by Simon Upton from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The topic he will address is what the world environment might look like in 2050 and what we can do about it. He will speak particularly from a green growth perspective saying that, "The scale of the environmental challenges we face is so large that we can't afford expensive solutions. The green growth agenda is not a panacea but an analytical lens that brings into focus two big areas of government policy that don’t always line up: the economic and the environmental. Green growth is about using natural assets and ecosystem services in a way that will enable those resources and services to go on contributing to growth and development over time.”
Jock Martin of the European Environment Agency (EEA) will give participants the European perspective. He said: “Dedicated management of Ireland's natural environment is the key to sustainability. Using soil, biomass, freshwaters and seas in ways that do not degrade ecosystem services can help ensure the long-term viability of landscapes and seascapes, sustain tourism, support climate change adaptation, and contribute to food and energy security. Untapped potential remains for Irish jobs and exports through developing bio-technologies and bio-products”
Further information: EPA Media Relations Office 053-9170770 (24 hours)
Note to Editors:
Ireland’s Environment 2012 – An Assessment
On 25th June 2012, the EPA published its fifth ‘state of the environment’ report, Ireland’s Environment 2012 – An Assessment. The report, which is the most wide-ranging assessment of Ireland’s environment, identifies four key challenges for Ireland to address in the coming years. These are:
The EPA has also developed an online environmental indicator-based resource to accompany this report to provide regularly updated information on key environmental indicators. This resource as well as the report is available on the EPA’s website.
Further State of the Environment events this week
In parallel with this event, the EPA-funded research project ‘Symbiosys’ is hosting a major end-of-project conference on the sectoral impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services.
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