Minister Sean Canney launched the Coalition 2030 SDG ‘Shadow Report’ in Dublin today.
The Sustainable Development Goals National Implementation Plan 2018-2020, launched in April 2018, demonstrates a clear commitment by Ireland to fully implement the SDGs. The Plan sets out Ireland’s vision of how we will fully implement the SDGs at home, and contribute to their achievement globally. It also underlines our commitment under the SDGs to Leaving No One Behind and reaching the furthest behind first.
Ireland has adopted a ‘whole-of-government’ approach to implementing the SDGs, with clear roles for every Government Department and overall political oversight provided through the Cabinet.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Goals (SDGs) represent the most wide-ranging and transformative agreement ever reached by the international community, and respond to the interwoven economic, social and environmental challenges facing the world today. The SDG require action and ambition, but they also require new ways of thinking, because the SDGs address the basic reality that many of the social, economic and environmental challenges which we face today require common, integrated, solutions.
Ireland is proud to have played a leading part in the 2030 Agenda negotiations, through our role as co-facilitator. We recognised then, and recognise now, the urgent need to chart a course towards achieving a sustainable future. We want continue demonstrating leadership in relation to the SDGs as they are implemented, both domestically and globally through our overseas development Irish Aid programmes.
SDG 15 – Life on Land
Although Ireland has a low level of biodiversity from a comparative biogeographic standpoint, it has globally significant populations of many species, including Leisler’s Bat, Greenland White-fronted Goose, and the Roseate Tern. Ireland also plays a significant role in supporting populations of migratory species in the North Atlantic region, such as wetland and wading birds which spend the winter in Ireland, and migratory fish including Lampreys, Atlantic Salmon and the European Eel, all of which spend part of their life cycle in Irish rivers. As such, Ireland has an international duty to significantly strengthen efforts – which have until now been weak – in protecting biodiversity and natural habitats under its jurisdiction.
Ireland’s principal provisions for the protection of ecosystems and biodiversity are set out in the Wildlife Act 1976 (Amended 2000) and the EU Habitats Directive.
Biodiversity in Ireland is in poor condition. The main pressures driving this loss of biodiversity come from pollution and habitat loss due to agricultural expansion (see also SDG7, SDG13), forestry and fishing, mining, urban sprawl (see SDG11), climate change (see SDG13) and invasive foreign species. Of great concern to environmental groups is the fact that some 70 percent of the habitats and species recognised in the aforementioned EU provisions have been seriously impacted by agriculture.
Pollution from agriculture and forestry-related activities is the largest threat to protected habitats and species.