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Climate Research Coordination Group: Third Report on Activities: January - December 2020

This report has been prepared by the EPA on behalf of the Climate Research Coordination Group, July 2021

Year: 2021

This third report presents a summary of the Climate Research Coordination Group’s activities in 2020.

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Research 383: Towards a Good Practice Guide for Implementing CNOSSOS-EU in Ireland

Authors: Jon-Paul Faulkner, Enda Murphy, Henry J. Rice and John Kennedy, June 2021

Year: 2021

This guide addresses noise pollution from transport as a significant environmental pressure and public health concern. The guide is primarily targeted at practitioners charged with implementing the 5-yearly strategic noise mapping requirements of the Environmental Noise Directive (END). The guide also supports relevant authorities by providing robust analysis and instruction on how to implement strategic noise mapping under CNOSSOS-EU.

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Research 382: Transitioning to Strategic Noise Mapping under CNOSSOS-EU (Noise-Adapt)

Authors: Enda Murphy, Jon-Paul Faulkner, Henry J. Rice and John Kennedy, June 2021

Year: 2021

In the European Union (EU), 113 million people are estimated to be exposed to noise pollution from transport sources and this is detrimental to their health and quality of life. This report addresses noise pollution from transport as a significant environmental pressure and public health concern by providing recommendations that assist with the practical implementation of revisions to the Environmental Noise Directive.

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Research 381: An Irish Nutrient Platform to Underpin Sustainable Development

Authors: Vincent O’Flaherty, John McGrath, Dermot Hughes, Juan Castilla Archilla, Jose Antonio Pícon, Andrew Bartle, Therese Mahony, Katrina Macintosh and Etain Doherty, June 2021

Year: 2021

The UN Agenda for Sustainable Development consists of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), underpinned by 169 targets, which aim to “end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all”. These SDGs are expected to frame national policy agendas over the next 15 years in the context of both domestic and international policy, with an overarching desire to link environmental sustainability to sustainable economic development and the recognition that the management and protection of the environment are vital to economic wellbeing and a healthy society.

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Research 380: Innovative Water Monitoring

Authors: Kevin Fitzgibbon, William Whelan-Curtin, Chinna Devarapu, Patricia Loren, Colin O’Sullivan and Ian Aherne, June 2021

Year: 2021

The Innovative Water Monitoring project aimed to create an additional innovative sensing system for real-time detection of water quality parameters, to support the existing water quality monitoring policies, programmes and requirements under the Water Framework Directive, the Bathing Water Quality legislation, etc. It has demonstrated the ability to detect two such parameters, nitrates and Escherichia coli (E. coli), using the system.

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Research 379: Policy Coherence in Adaptation Studies: Selecting and Using Indicators of Climate Resilience

Authors: Stephen Flood, Ned Dwyer and Jeremy Gault, June 2021

Year: 2021

Adaptation action is now urgently needed to reduce the social, economic and environmental impacts of present and future climate change to ensure resilience to both extreme and slow-onset events under a changing climate. This project combines an analysis of international best practice and approaches to the development of climate adaptation indicators, co-designed by key stakeholder representatives from relevant state agencies and regional and national government, to identify a tailored suite of Ireland-relevant climate adaptation indicators. The co-design process identified a suite of 127 recommended indicators – 15 are climatological indicators, 23 are impact indicators, 32 are implementation indicators and 21 are outcome indicators. Ninety-one of these indicators were identified as priority.

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National Environmental Policies For the EPA State of Environment Report 2020

Authors: Tadhg Coakley and Eileen O’Leary, June 2021

Year: 2021

In the recently published EPA report, Ireland's Environment 2020 - An Assessment, the need for an overarching environmental policy for the country was identified. This report examines national environmental policies across a number of countries, as well as a review of other related policies at an EU and international level.

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Research 378: Towards the Quantification of Blanket Bog Ecosystem Services to Water

Authors: Raymond Flynn, Francis Mackin and Florence Renou-Wilson, June 2021

Year: 2021

Blanket bogs are common in many areas of Ireland, contributing to our most iconic landscapes. However, although they cover approximately 13% of the country, natural processes sustaining blanket bogs remain poorly understood. This research aimed to better understand blanket bog hydrology through a 3-year programme in which researchers monitored the flow and water quality in streams draining Irish blanket bogs that are relatively intact.

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Research 377: Impacts of Microplastics in the Irish Freshwater Environment

Authors: Alicia Mateos-Cárdenas, Alexandra R.J. Jansen, John O’Halloran, Frank N.A.M. van Pelt and Marcel A.K. Jansen, June 2021

Year: 2021

Plastics are a key part of modern life, due to their desirable characteristics such as light weight and low cost. However, the extensive production of plastics is resulting in plastic pollution. This study recognises the risk posed by rapid formation of micro- and nanoplastics in the freshwater environment and advocates the rapid development of field-monitoring and impact studies to analyse hazards and risks posed by these plastics.

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Research 376: From Source to Sink: Responses of a Coastal Catchment to Large-scale Changes (Golden Strand Catchment, Achill Island, County Mayo)

Authors: Eugene Farrell, Mary Bourke, Tiernan Henry, Gesche Kindermann, Kevin Lynch, Terry Morley, Barry O’Dwyer, John O’Sullivan and Jonathan Turner, June 2021

Year: 2021

This research is a series of field experiments that measured patterns in the sediment and water pathways in the Golden Strand catchment, Achill Island, County Mayo. The results show that climate changes (storminess, temperature, precipitation) impacts are site specific and require long-term, multi-disciplinary field monitoring programmes (geomorphology; ecology; hydrology) to capture local specificity and environmental variability.

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Guidelines on the Preparation of Final Reports

Year: 2021

Guidelines on the Preparation of Final Reports

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EPA Research Project Communication

Year: 2021

This is a guide for EPA Research Project communications

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Guidelines for EPA-Funded Research Project Twitter Accounts

Year: 2021

Guidelines for EPA-Funded Research Project Twitter Accounts

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Research 375: Development of Quality Standards for Compost and Digestate in Ireland

Authors: Percy Foster and Munoo Prasad, May 2021

Year: 2021

In Ireland, there are no national end-of-waste criteria for compost and digestate derived from source-separated materials. This study developed a quality standard for digestate and an updated standard for compost, it also recommends a strategy on how Ireland should implement national end-of-waste criteria for compost and digestate. It also examined best practice in other countries and options for having end-of-waste criteria.

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Research 374: Piloting Innovative Approaches in Sustainable Communities towards Achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in Ireland

Authors: Vincent Carragher and Hugh O’Reilly, May 2021

Year: 2021

This study set out to catalyse the sustainability transition of communities using the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework. The research had a branded, public-facing campaign, Spark Change (www.sparkchange.ie), which recruited communities to an SDG challenge, effectively asking and supporting them to progress their sustainability transition and related SDG actions.

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