Chapter 9: Climate Action, Biodiversity and Environment

Closed18 Jun, 2021, 11:00am - 30 Aug, 2021, 5:00pm

Chapter 9: Climate Action, Biodiversity & Environment 

Strategic Objectives

  • Integrate climate change and adaptation considerations into land-use policy objectives and decision-making processes to enhance our resilience to the effects of Climate Change and reducing our carbon footprint.
  • We will protect, manage and enhance the natural heritage, biodiversity, landscape and environment of Waterford City and County in recognition of its importance as a non-renewable resource, providing a  unique identity and character for the county and city as a natural resource asset.

9.0 Introduction

A Climate Change and Biodiversity Loss Emergency was declared by the Government in May 2019 following publication of a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service on the state of the world’s biodiversity and ecosystem services. This report starkly detailed an unprecedented and dangerous decline in nature, accelerating rates of species extinction, an insufficient global response and the need for transformative change to restore and protect nature.

The State of the Environment Report (EPA 2020) presents trends and indicators of a declining environmental quality for Ireland. Ecological status for habitats and species and water quality are under threat from a range of development pressures and land management practices whilst climate change impacts are presenting increased intensity and frequency of storm events, increased periods of flooding and drought and rising sea level. A coastal county such as Waterford is at risk from climate change events ; climate adaptation measures and nature based solutions are required to be inherent to all future land use planning and development proposals.

Regulatory Framework and Decision Making Policy Objectives

ENV 01

Through implementation of the Development Plan we will ccumulatively contribute towards – in combination with other users and bodies – the achievement of the objectives of the regulatory framework for environmental protection and management, including compliance with EU Directives - including the Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC, as amended), the Birds Directive (2009/147/EC), the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive (2011/92/EU, as amended by 2014/52/EC) and the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive (2001/42/EC) – and relevant transposing Regulations.

ENV 02

Lower levels of decision making and environmental assessment shall consider the sensitivities identified in the SEA Environmental Report that accompanies the Plan, including the following:

  • Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas;
  • Features of the landscape that provide linkages/connectivity to designated sites (e.g. watercourses, areas of semi-natural habitat such as linear woodlands etc);
  • Natural Heritage Areas and proposed Natural Heritage Areas;
  • Areas likely to contain a habitat listed in Annex 1 of the Habitats Directive;
  • Entries to the Record of Monuments;
  • Entries to the Record of Protected Structures;
  • Architectural Conservation Areas; and,
  • Landscape/amenity designations.

ENV 03

The Council shall, in conjunction with the Regional Assembly and other sources as relevant, implement the monitoring programme as set out in the SEA Environmental Report and Statement. This will include the preparation of stand-alone SEA Monitoring Reports:

  1. To accompany the report required of the manager under section 15(2) of the Act, including information in relation to progress on, and the results of, monitoring the significant environmental effects of implementation of the Development Plan;

On the significant environmental effects of implementing the Plan, in advance of the beginning of the review of the next Plan.

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