EPA Research 2030Action plan 2023

2023 EPA Research 2030 Action Plan

Authors: EPA, March 2023

Year: 2023

This Action Plan 2023 provides a guide for the planned activities of the EPA Research Programme in 2023.

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Evidence Synthesis Report 4: Land Use Review: Fluxes, Scenarios and Capacity Synthesis Report

Authors: Eamon Haughey, David Styles, Matthew Saunders, Ruth Bennett Coady and James Moran, March 2023

Year: 2023

Land use in Ireland is dominated by grasslands, with significant areas of forestry and wetland, which are not distributed evenly across the country. Changes to Irelands climate have already been observed and are projected to increase over the coming decades, impacting the land system. AFOLU in Ireland is a substantial GHG source and achieving net-zero GHG emissions targets for the sector by 2050 will be very challenging. Measures considered in this report include afforestation, peatland restoration and optimised livestock production. Land based climate mitigation measures may result in trade-offs for biodiversity and water quality, the avoidance of which require an integrated approach to land management.

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Evidence Synthesis Report 3: Land Use Review: Fluxes, Scenarios and Capacity

Authors: Eamon Haughey, David Styles, Matthew Saunders, Ruth Bennett Coady and James Moran, March 2023

Year: 2023

Land use in Ireland is dominated by grasslands, with significant areas of forestry and wetland, which are not distributed evenly across the country. Changes to Irelands climate have already been observed and are projected to increase over the coming decades, impacting the land system. AFOLU in Ireland is a substantial GHG source and achieving net-zero GHG emissions targets for the sector by 2050 will be very challenging. Measures considered in this report include afforestation, peatland restoration and optimised livestock production. Land based climate mitigation measures may result in trade-offs for biodiversity and water quality, the avoidance of which require an integrated approach to land management.

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Evidence Synthesis Report 2: Circular Bioeconomy Outlook Study 2030–2050 in Support of Climate Action, Sustainable Food and Biobased Systems

Authors: Kevin O’Connor, James Gaffey, Elizabeth Gavin, Jane Stout and Nicholas M. Holden, February 2023

Year: 2023

This report provides an outlook for Ireland’s circular bioeconomy for the period 2030–2050, highlighting the potential to create economic, environmental and social opportunities for new biobased innovations.

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Research 429: Building Coastal and Marine Resilience in Ireland

Authors: Eugene J. Farrell, Glen Smith, Anne Marie O’Hagan and Martin Le Tissier, February 2023

Year: 2023

The identification and increased awareness of climate change risks to Ireland’s coastal communities highlights the importance of building national resilience across socio-ecological and economic systems. This research investigated barriers to the environmental and socio-economic resilience of two coastal communities: Maharees, County Kerry, and Youghal, County Cork.

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Research 428: Percolation Testing of Soils for On-site Wastewater Treatment

Authors: Joanne Mac Mahon, Jan Knappe and Laurence Gill, January 2023

Year: 2023

Estimation of soil permeability is a critical aspect of on-site wastewater treatment system design. The findings of this research identify a need to revise the currently available options in the Irish Code of Practice for estimating soil permeability for on-site wastewater system design. In this research, a correlation was developed between field saturated hydraulic conductivity (Kfs) and percolation time (T-values) across a full range of Irish soil texture data.

EPA Researchers Awards 2022 Submission Form

Year: 2023

Please download and fully complete this form. The form must be sent as an attachment with all submissions to the EPA Researchers Awards 2022 for the submission to be valid.

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Guidance on Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Statements and Monitoring

Year: 2023

This report is an update of the previous stand-alone guidance document on SEA Statements and monitoring, prepared as part of the EPA-funded project Second Review of SEA Effectiveness in Ireland (González et al., 2020). It is specific to the Irish context but has wider international applicability. The monitoring recommendations include guidance on indicators to facilitate a more consistent and coherent approach at this SEA stage. The updates relate to clarifying some SEA monitoring requirements and to acknowledge the published revised national SEA Guidelines and the Development Plan Guidelines for Planning authorities, both published by the DHLGH in 2022.

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Research 427: Fungal Monitoring Network and Algorithm

Authors: David O’Connor, Jerry Hourihane Clancy, Moisés Martínez-Bracero, Eoin McGillicuddy and Emma Markey, December 2022

Year: 2022

Bioaerosols are biological particles in the air such as pollen, fungal spores, bacteria and viruses. While most are harmless, some can trigger adverse effects such as hay fever or respiratory diseases. The impacts of bioaerosols on the health of the Irish population and agriculture and the linkages to climate remain underexplored. This project seeks to address this problem by undertaking the required monitoring and by developing a forecast model.

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Research 426: Packaging Waste Statistics, Producer Motivations and Consumer Behaviour

Authors: Craig H. Bullock, Nicolai Thorball, Celia Somlai and John Gallagher, December 2022

Year: 2022

The production of plastic packaging for food and other products has increased substantially over the past 50 years. The ReWrapped project investigated why Ireland’s production of plastic packaging waste appears to be higher than that of other EU Member States. The project also undertook a survey of producers to help understand what drives their use of different types of plastic and the extent to which sustainability considerations influence their decision-making.

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Research 425: Connecting People to Climate Change Action: Informing Participatory Frameworks for the National Dialogue on Climate Action (C-CHANGE)

Authors: Marguerite Nyhan, Barry O'Dwyer and Yairen Jerez Columbié, October 2022

Year: 2022

Ireland has committed to achieving a net-zero and climate-neutral economy by 2050. The C-CHANGE project is focused on developing solutions and provides guidance on facilitating stakeholders’ and citizens’ participation in environmental and climate dialogues and thus in climate action nationally and internationally. The research outputs provide clear and flexible guidelines that can be adapted to different contexts, sectors and audiences by practitioners, researchers and authorities.

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Research 424: ESDecide: From Ecosystem Services Framework to Application for Integrated Freshwater Resources Management

Authors: Mary Kelly-Quinn, Michael Bruen, Craig Bullock, Mike Christie, Christian K. Feld, Jasper Kenter, Marcin Penk and Jeremy Piggott, September 2022

Year: 2022

The ESDecide project set out to build on the outputs of the previous EPA-funded ESManage project by developing the tools and guidance needed to advance the incorporation of ecosystem services and the concept of “nature’s contribution to people” (NCP) into decision-making for the protection and management of freshwater resources and other related policy goals. The project developed the interactive decision support tool ProgRES, which helps river resource managers estimate the probability of changes in biological responses and the associated ecosystem services/NCP changes in environmental conditions.

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Research 423: Environmental Transport Noise and Health: Evidence from Ireland (Noise–Health)

Authors: Enda Murphy, Jon-Paul Faulkner, Ciarán Mac Domhnaill, Seán Lyons, Anne Nolan and Owen Douglas, September 2022

Year: 2022

Noise is found everywhere, particularly in urban areas, and is part of daily living and activity. However, noise can be a serious risk to public health and wellbeing. This report outlines key policy and practice recommendations for managing environmental noise in Ireland. It also details how “noise–health” considerations can be better incorporated into Irish policy.

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Climate Research Coordination Group: Fourth Report on Activities: January - December 2021

This report has been prepared by the EPA on behalf of the Climate Research Coordination Group, September 2022

Year: 2022

This fourth report presents a summary of the Climate Research Coordination Group’s activities in 2021.

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Research 422: Soil Organic Carbon and Land Use Mapping (SOLUM)

Authors: Matthew Saunders, Gabriela Mihaela Afrasinei, Jesko Zimmerman, Alina Premrov, Kevin Black and Stuart Green, September 2022

Year: 2022

Soils contain more than twice the amount of carbon held in the atmosphere, but globally approximately 1600 million tonnes of carbon are lost from the soil each year due to cultivation and land use. This research highlights how large geospatial datasets can provide an excellent source of land use information and can detect land use change events at both national and regional scales. The rule-based land use and soil inventory coupled with the soil cluster approach developed in this work could be implemented in current national land use mapping activities to enhance our ability to assess the impacts of land use and land use change on soil carbon stocks.

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