• Fiona Smith

Report: Expanding Ireland’s Marine Protected Area Network

The final report of the MPA Advisory Group: “Expanding Ireland’s Marine Protected Area Network” has been published online, the Marine Environment section of the Department has announced.

The report states: "Ireland’s Programme for Government (2020) commits to expanding Ireland’s network of MPAs to 10% of its maritime area as soon as is practical and meeting a higher target of MPAs - constituting 30% of its maritime area by 2030, in line with the EU Biodiversity Strategy.


"The expansion of Ireland’s MPA network will contribute to protecting biodiversity in crisis, creating a sustainable future, and meeting the challenges presented by a changing climate.


"MPAs are one approach with which to achieve these aims, but their implementation can be contentious if not approached in a manner respectful of the needs of people and communities, as well as to the environment of which they are a part.


"In developing its own approach, Ireland has an opportunity to learn from MPA planning, selection and management processes in other parts of the world and from its own experience of area-based protection to date. This report summarises relevant information and current thinking about MPAs in an Irish context and makes recommendations for the expansion of Ireland’s network of MPAs based on the work of the MPA Expert Advisory Group and its engagement with key stakeholders in Ireland’s marine environment."


A public consultation process on the findings of the report will commence in the week beginning Monday 15 February, 2021. The consultation will run for five months to allow stakeholders and members of the public to submit their views.


The report is available for download from the following pages, in both Irish and English:

https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/135a8-expanding-irelands-marine-protected-area-network/


https://www.gov.ie/ga/foilsiuchan/677ac-lionra-na-limistear-muiri-faoi-chosaint-in-eirinn-a-leathnu-amach/


Further information may be also obtained via the Marine Protected Areas webpage at: https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/e00ec-marine-protected-areas/


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