This week the Water Forum members participated in a workshop to discuss the findings on the Land Use Review Phase 1 carried out by the Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Economic and Social Council’s report on a Just Transition in Agriculture and Land Use Change.
Dr Matt Crowe, the Water Forum Chairperson, introduced the speakers and welcomed everyone to the workshop. Fiona O’Rourke from the EPA presented on the processes used for Phase 1 of the Land Use Review, the findings on land cover and land use in Ireland and the recommendations for improving evidence, data and monitoring of land cover and land use.
Niamh Garvey from NESC presented on their recently published report on a Just Transition in Agriculture and Land Use Change. This was followed by a Q&A session where members asked questions and explored the findings further.
Professor Mark Scott from University College Dublin, gave a presentation on plans for Phase 2 of the Land Use Review that will be carried out in the coming months. Phase 2 will seek to optimise land use across key Government objectives including improving (1) socioeconomic; (2) climate; (3) biodiversity; (4) water and (5) air quality outcomes.
The members then participated in facilitated round table discussions on the opportunities and challenges of land use change to meet Ireland’s environmental objectives of clean water and air, halting biodiversity loss, habitat conservation and meeting net zero climate targets.
The day was informative and engaging and we will be in a position to publish a workshop report in the coming weeks.
Picture left to right: Larry O’Connell & Niamh Garvey (NESC); Matt Crowe (Water Forum); Fiona O’Rourke (EPA) and Donal Purcell (Water Forum)