Natural Capital Ireland held our AGM online on March 23rd, 2022 - we invited all of our members to hear an update on our progress over what was a particularly busy year, to share feedback, exchange ideas, and refine our future strategy. Below we share some of the highlights.
Highlights from 2021 as reported at our AGM:
Working with the Irish Natural Capital Accounting for Sustainable Environments (INCASE) project team - our EPA-funded project piloting natural capital accounting at catchment level in Ireland - hosting workshops, disseminating publications and supporting community engagement efforts (stay tuned for the final INCASE report due in early 2023.)
Hosting a ‘Data 4 Nature’ workshop with over 100 attendees. The recommendations from the workshop formed the basis of the Data4Nature report, which was submitted to the Minister with responsibility for Communications and Data Governance, Ossian Smyth.
Creating a new Policy Working Group to submit feedback and highlight natural capital considerations for Irish policies. (You can read our submissions from 2021/22.)
Collaborating with the Irish Peatland Society to facilitate the Peatlands Gathering event, which provided a platform for peatland stakeholders to share their perspectives on the future of land use in Ireland. Key messages from the event were presented at COP26 at the UNEP Virtual Peatlands Pavilion.
Working with the National Parks and Wildlife Service to draft the 4th National Biodiversity Action Plan, an emergency response plan to address ongoing biodiversity loss in Ireland. A public consultation period on the draft plan will be announced soon.
Winning the tender to establish Ireland’s Business for Biodiversity Platform. The platform is designed to encourage Irish businesses to assess their impacts and dependencies on biodiversity and support implementation of the National Biodiversity Action Plan.
NCI’s 2021-2023 Strategic Plan set out three core objectives:
Increase funding & develop governance;
Build natural capital awareness and capacity in Ireland;
Implement research programmes.
We consistently grew our membership, community engagement, research capacity and funding during 2021, and we are starting to see the benefits through increased awareness of NCI’s mission and the incorporation of natural capital concepts within Irish and European policy.
NCI will continue to pursue these objectives during 2022, including:
Increasing funding and governance:
NCI intends to diversify funding streams through government, corporate and philanthropic sources to meet the strategic target of €150,000. We also aim to apply for charitable status during 2022; the board is working with Beauchamps to ensure we are ready to start the process in Q2.
Building awareness and capacity:
NCI will increase member offerings to include short podcasts, natural capital approach webinars and workshop opportunities to connect policy makers and stakeholders from diverse sectors. We are developing course materials for natural capital at university level and hope to formalise our Media Response Unit to increase the dialogue on Natural Capital across Irish society.
NCI also won the tender to organise the National Biodiversity Conference in June 2022, supporting stakeholder engagement in the NBAP and awareness of natural capital concepts.
Implementing research programmes:
While the INCASE project is wrapping up, NCI’s new Forestry projects will soon be up and running. We have started consulting our members and Steering Committee via surveys and will formalise a research plan in the coming months.
NCI has also won a COFORD-funded project to address the integration of forest-related ecosystem services into non-forestry policy.
We would like to offer a huge thank you to all our members for their support and a particular thank you to attendees of the AGM for their feedback and participation. Full minutes will be issued to the members ahead of the next AGM in 2023.
Remember NCI membership is free! If you haven’t joined yet, you can sign up here to receive regular updates and an invitation to our next AGM.