24th March

Hard engineering is not the only answer to managing flood risk

An ecosystem-based approach to managing flood waters that is proving effective across Europe has yet to be accepted in Ireland where policy-makers appear to favour hard engineering as the answer to this growing problem – a new report has found.

Craughwell flooding December 2015

Craughwell, Co Galway, December 2015                                                                 Photo John Conaghan 

Natural Flood Management – Adopting ecosystem approaches to managing flood risk – by environmental policy analyst and broadcaster, Anja Murray, and commissioned by Friends of the Earth, finds that soft engineering - a whole catchment approach to managing soil, wetlands, woodlands and flood plains – can be highly effective by slowing down the flow of water on a catchment wide scale and reducing flood risk.

Read more: Hard engineering is not the only answer to managing flood risk

Fracking for shale gas poses a serious threat to the water environment

Sinead O'Brien Network Coordinator at Sustainable Water Network (SWAN)

With a climate change denier and ardent supporter of the fossil fuel industry elected as US President, the environmental threats posed by exploitation of oil and gas have come into sharp focus.SWAN wetlands

Fracking for shale gas poses a serious threat to the water environment

Potentially viable reserves of shale gas in Ireland, for which exploration licences have been granted, mean that these threats are not only related to global climate change. Shale gas extraction poses a significant potential risk to the local environment, especially in the licensed areas of Leitrim, Sligo, Cavan and Clare.

Read more: Fracking for shale gas poses a serious threat to the water environment

Tellus surveys north of Ireland collated in new publication

TELLUS COVER

Unearthed: Impacts of the Tellus surveys of the north of Ireland showcases outputs from 'the most significant geoscience project ever conducted across the island of Ireland'. 

Published by the Royal Irish Academy and produced in partnership with the Geological Survey of Ireland; the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland and the British Geological Survey, the book presents findings from the first two stages of Tellus: Tellus Border and the Tellus survey of Northern Ireland - the largest collaborative cross-border programme of geoscience surveys on the island of Ireland to date.

Read more: Tellus surveys north of Ireland collated in new publication

Environment includes wildlife and water protection, Minister told

Campaigners in animal costumes and body paint handed in a 14,000 strong petition at Leinster House, calling for the Minister for Environment to be given resonsiblity for wildlife and water protection.

The petition was started in response to An Taoiseach Enda Kenny's proposed abolition of the Department of Environment and the disbandment of its functions across three departments.

FoE Environment

 

Denis Naughten has now  been given the  title, Minister for Environment despite not having responsiblity for key environment functions such as nature, wildlife protection and water quality.

Oisin Coghlan, Director of Friends of the Earth says it wouldhave been "absurd" for Ireland to be one of only two European countries without a Minister for Environment.

"But it's still absurd that he doesn't have responsibility for wildlife and water."

Read more: Environment includes wildlife and water protection, Minister told

Ireland faces action for failing to protect SACs

The European Commission has issued a 'Reasoned Opinion' to Ireland for failing to apply appropriate protection for areas designed under the Natura 2000 network.

In line with the Habitats Directive (Council Directive 92/43/EEC), Member States have had six years to designate protected areas under their natural law, turning them from 'Sites of Community Interest' into Special Areas of Conservation. Required measures are then adopted to improve the status of habitats and species present on these sites.

EUComm logo

To date, Ireland has formally designated only a 'minor proportion' of its sites, and has not yet established the required conservation objectives and measures for all of the remaining sites, according to the Commission.

Read more: Ireland faces action for failing to protect SACs

Could fracking for shale gas return to the Irish agenda?

North Yorkshire County Council’s decision in May to approve plans for fracking shale gas ends a four-year moratorium in the UK on the controversial technology, and is certain to renew interest in the process in Ireland.

Despite 4,000 representations from the public against and 30 in favour, the county council’s planning committee voted 7:4 to allow Third Energy to test the commercial viability of fracking shale rock in the district of Rydale.Fracking

                                                                                                                          Courtesy of Tamboran Resources

Speaking on BBC radio, Professor Paul Ekins ― Director of the Institute for Sustainable Resources at University College London and an authority on fracking ― described the development as “a political watershed.

Read more: Could fracking for shale gas return to the Irish agenda?

Spread the News

Hard engineering is not the only answer to managin...

An ecosystem-based approach to managing flood waters that is proving effective across Europe has yet [ ... ]

Fracking for shale gas poses a serious threat to t...

Sinead O'Brien Network Coordinator at Sustainable Water Network (SWAN) With a climate change denie [ ... ]

Tellus surveys north of Ireland collated in new pu...

Unearthed: Impacts of the Tellus surveys of the north of Ireland showcases outputs from 'the  [ ... ]

Environment includes wildlife and water protection...

Campaigners in animal costumes and body paint handed in a 14,000 strong petition at Leinster House,  [ ... ]

Hard engineering is not the only answer to managing flood risk
Fracking for shale gas poses a serious threat to the water environment
Tellus surveys north of Ireland collated in new publication
Environment includes wildlife and water protection, Minister told