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Unauthorised quarries ‘putting Ireland’s environment at risk’

There are more than 150 unauthorised quarries across Ireland, it was revealed on Wednesday.  Permission for quarries is given or refused on a number of grounds including how much environmental damage they’re likely to cause but RTÉ Investigates has found that the system is full of loopholes, delays and grey areas, resulting in Ireland’s environment being put at risk.  The programme ...
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EU action plan for restoring a key habitat for wild pollinators

Europe depends on biodiversity for its prosperity and quality of life, but Europe’s ecosystems continue to be degraded at an alarming rate. The European Commission has published a first action plan to maintain and restore dry calcareous grasslands – one of the most species-rich and most threatened European habitat, of vital importance for wild bees, butterflies and moths. This action ...
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Full costs of UK biodiversity net gain revealed by Defra

Defra has reported that the expected overall direct cost to developers of introducing compulsory biodiversity net gain (BNG) in England will be £199m/yr.  The familiarisation cost for developers of implementing the new system is estimated at £6.3m in the first year. Biodiversity net gain requires developers to ensure habitats for wildlife are "enhanced and left in a measurably better state than t...
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Environmental due diligence and assessment important consideration when developing investment plans

Four environmental advocacy organizations called on Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP, Heerlen, Netherlands, on Monday to halt all new investments in fossil fuel companies and commit to phasing out such existing investments.  The €456 billion ($502 billion) pension fund's investments in fossil fuels rose to €16.5 billion as of Dec. 31 from €14 billion in 2015, according to a report by consultant Profund...
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Blue Dot project will improve the environment and its water quality

A five-year pilot project recently launched under the IRD Duhallow rural development group will develop a farmer-focused approach to simultaneously supporting local agriculture and enhancing the freshwater environment. Working closely with farmers in the North Cork catchments of the Rivers Allow, Dalua and Owenanare - which are home to a variety of rare and protected species, including otter, salm...
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EU Guidelines on climate change and Natura 2000

With nature our best ally to fight the the climate crisis in Europe - the Natura 2000 network stores around 9.6 billion tonnes of carbon - the European Commission issued a guidance document Guidelines on Climate Change and Natura 2000: Dealing with the impact of climate change on the management of the Natura 2000 Network of areas of high biodiversity value to help all managers of protected areas. ...
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Dairy expansion putting pressure on marine life

The expansion of the Irish dairy herd is placing significant pressure on aquatic biodiversity, a conference on marine protected areas (MPA) heard today.  Speaking at the Bigger and Better MPA conference at Trinity College Dublin, Dr David Lyons of the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) said that agricultural intensification is becoming a key stress on the marine en...
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Nearly half of Irish Habitats continue to decline – report

Agricultural practices are impacting negatively on 70 per cent of internationally important habitats in Ireland, a report submitted to the EU by the National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) has said.  A summary report published on Wednesday confirms the vast majority of designated habitats – including peatlands, grasslands, woodlands and marine areas – are in poor condition. The third assessm...
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Oysters considered to cut nitrate pollution

Pollution problems that have halted building in parts of Hampshire could be tackled by introducing oyster beds.  In June, five councils accepted advice by Natural England to refuse permission for new developments amid concerns over nitrate levels in The Solent. Nitrogen from housing and agricultural sources has accelerated the growth of algae which is damaging protected wildlife habitats and bird ...
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Bird and Butterfly populations show downward trend

Trends in bird and butterfly populations can be excellent indicators for the health of the environment.  Alarmingly, both of them show significant downward trends, with no signs of recovery. Key messages Monitoring schemes show significant long-term (25-year) downward trends in common birds (in particular farmland birds) and grassland butterfly population numbers, with no signs of recover...
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