Our seas are at risk – tell the government you want action

Our seas are at risk – tell the government you want action

Our seas are at risk – tell the government you want action

Make your voice heard by making a submission on Marine Protected Areas before Friday, July 30th

The oceans give us everything. For generations we have lived off the sea – especially here in Clare. But our seas are now at crisis point, following years of attack from supertrawlers, aquaculture, oil and gas exploration, plastic and noise pollution, to mention just a few of the threats to our precious marine life. Large predatory fish have declined by 90% since the advent of industrial fishing and many species face extinction. 

The good news is that sea-life has a remarkable ability to bounce back once these threats are removed. Scientists worldwide agree that a network of properly-managed Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) allows marine habitats to recover and replenish. 

Just 2% of Ireland’s incredibly diverse sea area is designated as protected areas, but there is almost no monitoring or policing of these. Supertrawlers can legally operate in these areas.

Clare-based ocean wildlife filmmaker Ken O’Sullivan says that to rebuild marine ecosystems, we must designate at least 30% of our ocean for special protection by 2030. As marine life recovers, fish catches will increase and create sustainable jobs. 

Ken is backing a call by Clare PPN’s environmental groups and Clare Environmental Network for groups and individuals in Clare to let the Government know we care about Ireland’s marine environment and want meaningful action to protect it.

You can have your say by making a submission as part of the government’s public consultation on an expert report, ‘Expanding Ireland’s Marine Protected Area Network’. The consultation closes next Friday, July 30th, at 5pm. 

HOW TO TAKE ACTION:
If you can spare 10 or 15 minutes, please send an email to marine.env@housing.gov.ie, with the subject line ‘MPA Public Consultation 2021’. You don’t need to be an expert and your submission can be as short or long as you like.

An email written by you will have more impact than a template email, but here are a few points you might like to make…

I support the expert report and would like to see the recommendations being swiftly implemented.

I would also like to see:

• Immediate action to protect existing Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Special Protection Areas, for example the SAC in the Shannon Estuary.
• No industrial fishing in Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) – and especially no bottom-towed gears.
• 30% of Irish waters as MPAs as a minimum target for 2030.
• Support for fishing communities in Clare that may be negatively impacted by MPAs.
• Proper investment in scientific data gathering.
• All MPAs to be actively managed with public participation. 

Another way to make a submission is go to the public consultation website and fill in an anonymous survey (where you can also download the full MPA report):
https://www.gov.ie/en/consultation/45271-public-consultation-on-expert-advisory-group-report-entitled-expanding-irelands-marine-protected-area-network/#how-you-can-get-involved

You can read more about MPAs at the Irish Wildlife Trust’s excellent website:
https://iwt.ie/take-action-on-mpas/

Review of Clare County Council’s provision of Traveller Specific Housing

Equality Review of Clare County Council’s Provision of Traveller Specific Housing

July 14th 2021

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission yesterday released the reports on Equality Reviews which they required each Local Authority to carry out in respect of their provision of Traveller Specific Accomodation.

You can read the review of County Clare Here:  Clare-CC-Equality-Review-IHREC_Final

For more details on this IHREC initiative go to this link: https://www.ihrec.ie/our-work/equality-review

Clare PPN Submission to New National Action Plan Against Racism July 2021

Clare PPN Submission to the consultation on the National Action Plan Against Racism:

July 14th 2021

Click on the link below to read our submission:

Clare-Public-Participation-Network-Submission-to-the-Consultation-on-a-new-Action-Plan-Against-Racism-July-2021

Clare Public Participation Network frequently makes submissions on National and Local Government Consultations. We do this by alerting our member groups to the consultation, offering to hold a consultation meeting and if there is interest from our groups, colleges or expert groups we work together to collaboratively create a submission. When compiling such submissions we also refer to priorities identified or motions passed by our member groups at Plenary meetings, previous Clare PPN submissions on relevant topics and most recently we also refer to the Wellbeing Vision Statements for Clare Created by our members in 2020.

 

Minister Simon Coveney’s Response to Clare PPN call for UN Ban on Fracking

Response from Minister Simon Coveney to Clare PPN’s request that Ireland propose a global ban on fracking at the UN.

At Clare PPN’s last Plenary Meeting on May 11th a motion was passed that we should ask the Government to propose a Global Ban on the practice of fracking to the UN. Our Councillors in Clare passed a similar motion on our and other environmental groups requests. Clare PPN wrote to the Taoiseach, Micheal Martin,  and to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence Simon Coveney TD. We received a receipt of reply from the office of An Taoiseach and on Monday 12th July this response from the office of Minister Coveney.

 

Subject: Response to your correspondence – Reference No: DFA-MCO-04134-2021

 

Reference No: DFA-MCO-04134-2021

Dear Ms. Clancy,

On behalf of the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence, Mr. Simon Coveney T.D., I wish to thank you for your correspondence on behalf of Clare Public Participation Network and for raising this important proposal.

The work of civil society and community and voluntary groups in bringing the concept of a resolution for a global ban on fracking to its current point is to be congratulated.

As you will be aware from the Programme for Government, the Government does not support the importation of fracked gas and committed to developing a Policy Statement to establish that approach. This Statement was published on 18 May 2021 and outlines both constraints and opportunities for Government action in this area, notably given European Union obligations.

Minister Coveney has consulted widely with partners, including through Ireland’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations, on the question of whether this is the appropriate time to bring forward a resolution along the lines the civil society and academic organisations have developed.  The Minister regrets to say that it does not seem to be an opportune time to push for a resolution, with more advocacy needed by civil society and others before the necessary alliances required to get a resolution over the line would emerge – unfortunately, some time away.  Minister Coveney’s priority for this year is take maximum opportunity from Ireland’s Security Council term, including the Security Council’s engagement on the Climate and Security agenda.

Nevertheless, Minister Coveney, with his Government colleagues, is committed to taking action in ways which are consistent with your proposal. In the short term, the revision of the European Union’s Gas Directive and Gas Regulation provides an opportunity to try to build consensus within the EU, itself an important constituency for any work at the UN.

Separately, upcoming climate related events provide an opportunity to advance understanding of international dynamics around your proposal. Such events include the United Nations High-Level Dialogue on Energy in September 2021, the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity to be held in October 2021 (COP15), the Conference of Parties to United National Framework Convention on Climate Change in November 2021 (COP26), the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (date TBC), and the United Nations Ocean Conference to be held in 2022.

Minister Coveney wishes you the best in your continuing work on this important agenda.

Yours sincerely,

Nora Delaney
Private Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs

Clare groups express concerns about last-minute amendments to Ireland’s Climate Bill

Clare groups express concerns about last-minute amendments to Ireland’s Climate Bill

July 13th 2021

Last night, July 12th 2021 concerned members of Clare PPN’s Environmental College, Clare Environmental Network and One Future Clare called a meeting to discuss their fears about the last minute amending of the Climate Bill by the Government. The Climate Bill is scheduled to go through its final stage in the Dail tomorrow Wednesday 14th July.  The concerning amendments (pictured below), numbered 23 and 26 were proposed in the Seanad on July 9th.  Our members are worried that these amendments appear to have the capacity to undermine the strength and clarity of the Climate Bill. They are concerned that it may leave politicians open to sectoral lobbying as well as weakening the independence of the Climate Change Advisory Committee.

Even if such concerns prove unfounded introducing these amendments at the last minute did not allow time for proper scrutiny or analysis. Our members do not want this extremely important bill passed without sufficient consideration being given to ensure it is robust enough to underpin some of the most important and far reaching decisions we will have to make as a country in the coming decades. They are today contacting their elected representatives to ask that the bill be deferred and the amendments given due consideration.

Spokesperson for the concerned group Dr Tracy Watson said. ‘This bill needs to set us up for sustainable futures and give as much clarity as possible to all stakeholders. These amendments appear to weaken the bill in such a way that issues such as carbon budgets are contested and must be negotiated piecemeal. They appear also to suggest that the expert Climate Change Advisory Committee is expected to make its recommendations in response to those negotiations rather than in response to Climate Science. If the Government is confident that these amendments do not weaken the Climate Bill, then it should take the time to debate and explain their reasoning’

Clare PPN environmental members have engaged with every public consultation opportunity on this vitally important Climate Bill. They have held focus groups, done surveys, made individual and group submissions, made submissions to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action and organised a mass lobbying event with Clare Political Representatives in an effort to ensure that a watertight Climate Bill that sets Ireland on a course of transformation for a sustainable, liveable future is passed. They are calling for the Climate Bill to be deferred until such a time as proper consideration of the Government Amendments has been carried out.

ENDS
For more information or comment please contact:
Sarah Clancy  0871617375

Notes for Editors:

Clare PPN (CPPN) is a network of 318 community, voluntary, environmental and social inclusion groups from Clare. It exists to facilitate the formal participation by the community sector in Clare County Council’s policy making structures and to support communication and information sharing in the community and voluntary sector in Clare. It is funded jointly by the Department of Rural and Community Development and Clare County Council but is autonomous and its activities are directed by its members through an elected secretariat. Clare PPN’s website is www.clareppn.ie and we are on Twitter @clare_ppn and facebook.com/clareppn/

Text of Amendment 23