The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, TD, and Minister of State with responsibility for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, TD, invite submissions, observations and comments on the report of an expert advisory group on marine protected areas (MPAs) entitled “Expanding Ireland’s Marine Protected Area Network”.
The aim of this public consultation is to invite you to share your views on the process by which Ireland’s network of MPAs will be expanded.
In general terms, MPAs are geographically defined maritime areas with certain protections for conservation purposes. The Government aims to designate 30% of our maritime area as MPAs by 2030. Currently our MPA coverage is at 2.13%.
Why are we launching a Public Consultation?
Having a clean, healthy, diverse and productive marine environment will help protect biodiversity, our well-being and our economy. It will also provide greater resilience against the effects of climate change and support a wide range of sustainable human activities and practices.
Ireland’s network of marine protected areas (MPAs) will be an important tool for ensuring that we continue to have a thriving marine environment, whether in our coastal bays, shallow seas or in the deeper Atlantic. This public consultation focuses on the report of an independent advisory group on expanding Ireland’s network of MPAs, published by the Department in January 2021. The report considers:
what features of our marine environment should be protected
why they should be protected, and
how they should be protected.
The public consultation aims to gather the views and perspectives of a wide range of people over a period of five months, in order to guide the Government in this work and underpin the expansion of Ireland’s MPA network.
How you can get involved
We are inviting any interested parties (e.g. individual persons or groups) to provide comments and make submissions on the MPA Advisory Group’s report. A copy of this report can be accessed by clicking on the first link under the heading 'Documents' below.
All submissions and comments submitted to the Department for this purpose are subject to release under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2014 and the European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations 2007-2014. Submissions are also subject to Data Protection legislation.
Personal, confidential or commercially sensitive information should not be included in your submission and it will be presumed that all information contained in your submission is releasable under the Freedom of Information Act 2014.
What we will do with your response
Please note that submissions received may be made available on the Department’s website, unless otherwise requested. In any event, all submissions received will be subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act and Data Protection legislation. See also the Privacy Statement under the Documents link above.