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Tuesday 3 October 2023 Dublin: 10°C

# Biodiversity

Last year
'The ocean is not a rubbish dump': UN tells leaders to take action on protecting seas
At the heart of a draft biodiversity treaty is a plan to designate 30% of land and oceans as protected zones by 2030.
Peat’s Sake: Leading company under EPA spotlight for potential unlicensed extraction
Noteworthy investigation reveals Klasmann-Deilmann Ireland is one of a dozen large-scale peat extractors currently being investigated by the environmental watchdog.
The Irish branch of peat giant Klasmann-Deilmann is being investigated by the EPA in relation to peat extraction in the Midlands, writes Noteworthy’s Niall Sargent
In June 2021, the EPA warned Klasmann it was of the view that the company was committing a serious and ongoing breach of EU environmental law
Almost a dozen other large-scale peat extractors are also under investigation by the environmental watchdog
Citizens' Assembly on biodiversity loss to visit three examples of biodiversity management
The assembly is tasked with making recommendations to the Oireachtas on how the State should tackle biodiversity loss.
Over the Hill: Persistent overgrazing causing 'devastation' in vulnerable habitats
Many upland areas are experiencing ongoing grazing pressure and degradation, with rare plants disappearing.
Many upland areas are experiencing grazing pressure and degradation, with rare plants disappearing
Anthea Lacchia of investigative platform Noteworthy reports that overgrazing remains an issue despite being recognised as a problem for at least two decades
Protected areas will be lost if farmers are not given more support, according to experts
€17 million needed to save Ireland’s most threatened birds says BirdWatch Ireland
The organisation says that several ground nesting birds are at risk of extinction without funding for conservation schemes.
The Bee Guy: On World Bee Day, let's not just focus on the honey bees
Paul Handrick says time is running out for wild bees but there’s lots we can do to help.
New Citizens' Assembly on biodiversity loss officially launched at first meeting today
Over the next six months, a citizens’ assembly will hear evidence and made recommendations for the good of Ireland’s biodiversity.
At least one in five reptile species threatened by extinction in biodiversity crisis
Before now, researchers did not have a comprehensive picture of the risk to reptiles.
The Bee Guy: Diary of a mother bumble bee stuck at the window
Paul Handrick charts the story of that one bee you hear tapping at the window to get out, and he asks us to help her escape.
'One of the most important and defining issues': Citizens' assembly on biodiversity launched
A citizens’ assembly on Dublin’s governance will also begin this afternoon.
Peat pressure: Industrial peat extraction in enforcement firing line
Historic problems revealed in crackdown on extraction without planning permission and EPA licensing.
Historic problems in enforcement of large-scale peat extraction in Ireland has led to the loss of precious bog, writes Niall Sargent
Noteworthy investigates the case of Harte Peat found to be operating in breach of EU law
12 other peat extractors are now also subject to ongoing EPA enforcement action
'Incredibly difficult' to prosecute people for starting illegal fires, Heritage Minister says
Malcolm Noonan yesterday condemned an illegal 300-hectare fire in Wicklow Mountains National Park.
The Bee Guy: The girls are back in town - tips for helping the bumblebee queens
Paul Handrick has some helpful advice for keeping queen bumblebees alive if you see them in trouble.
The Explainer x Noteworthy: How are public maintenance works impacting river biodiversity?
Noteworthy’s Anthea Lacchia and An Taisce’s Elaine McGoff tell Susan Daly about how arterial drainage works are changing our waterways.
Breaking the Banks: 'Vicious circle' of public works 'degrading' Ireland's rivers
A report by
Anthea Lacchia
While the Office of Public Works says it is reducing the impact of arterial drainage work, waterways and their habitats “are still suffering”.
While the Office of Public Works (OPW) says it is reducing the impact of arterial drainage work, waterways and their habitats “are still suffering”, reports Anthea Lacchia
This investigation by Noteworthy reveals recent OPW maintenance work occurred outside tree cutting season
A quarter of audits of these OPW works last year failed to obtain a ‘good’ or ‘very good’ score
Koalas declared endangered in eastern Australia amid disease and habitat loss
Koala populations in New South Wales have fallen by 33%-61% since 2001.
'Immediate steps' should be taken to protect Ireland's hedgerows, committee to hear
The Agriculture Committee will hear from participants on hedgerows and the draft CAP Strategic Plan.
New citizens' assembly on biodiversity to meet for the first time in April
Cabinet approved two new citizens’ assemblies on biodiversity and Dublin’s local governance at a meeting this afternoon.
Quiz: Which Irish flower is this?
The Taoiseach said this week that he plans to bring a proposal to Cabinet to form a citizens’ assembly on biodiversity “shortly”.
Opinion: A citizen's assembly is one of many steps necessary to preserve Ireland's biodiversity
The Fianna Fáil TD welcomes news this week that Cabinet is to consider a citizen’s assembly on biodiversity.
Taoiseach to bring proposal to Cabinet to form citizens' assembly on biodiversity
Campaigners have been waiting for the assembly to be called since a biodiversity emergency was declared in 2019.
Horticultural peat unlawfully removed ‘much like rock from a quarry’, High Court hears
Environmental Protection Agency is seeking an injunction against Harte Peat Ltd to halt peat extraction in Westmeath.
Pippa Hackett: We need to move fast to improve our forestry cover in Ireland
The Minister of State for Agriculture says Ireland is falling in its targets on forestry but the government plans to accelerate progress this year.
Special branch: Over 75 cases of alleged illegal tree felling investigated last year
A report by
Niall Sargent
In several cases, trees were cut down in protected nature areas or on land previously sold to private individuals by Coillte.
Several large-scale cases still open, including the felling of 30 hectares of forest, writes Niall Sargent of Noteworthy
Removal of trees to make way for agricultural expansion is a common issue across many cases
In several instances, trees were cut down in protected nature areas or on land previously sold to private individuals by Coillte
All time
Rare hen harrier numbers plummet as plan to protect species pushed back
Only 18 pairs of the rare raptor species reared chicks this year in areas designated to protect it – the most unproductive year on record.
Crackdown sees 50 cases launched against illegal hedge cutting this year
A report by
Niall Sargent
Action by National Parks and Wildlife Service this year represents huge increase; only 70 cases were taken across the whole previous decade.
Huge crackdown on illegal cutting during bird nesting season over the past two years, writes Niall Sargent of Noteworthy
Since 2020, the wildlife service has taken as many cases to court as it did between 2010 and 2019
Over €45,000 was paid by guilty parties in fines, costs and donations to charities this year alone
New peat legislation slammed as ‘incompatible’ with climate targets and EU law
The Bill, fast-tracked by Fine Gael and Fianna Fail senators, would remove the need for planning permission to extract peat for horticultural sector use.
Legal experts argue that new peat legislation disregards strict EU environmental law, writes Niall Sargent as part of Noteworthy investigation of peat extraction
Bill would give planning exemption to peat extraction for horticulture and pause any ongoing enforcement action until at least 2026
Peatland experts are also concerned the Bill is ' not compatible' with our climate action goals
Opinion: Young people are demanding action on climate and biodiversity, we can't let them down
Yvonne McKenna of Gaisce outlines their plans to encourage biodiversity by asking the public to plant bulbs for the bees.
The Explainer x Noteworthy: What is the issue with farm subsidies and nature?
Noteworthy’s Niall Sargent and journalist Ella McSweeney tell Susan Daly how agri-subsidies are encouraging farmers to cut back on nature.
'It is urgent': 'Frustration' that still no date set for Citizens' Assembly on biodiversity
The 2020 Programme for Government committed to progressing an assembly on this topic.
This planned Citizens' Assembly is currently "under discussion at a senior level" between two government departments.
Environmentalists have said it's "frustrating" to still be awaiting a timeline for the assembly.
Ireland declared a climate and biodiversity emergency in 2019.
The Explainer x Noteworthy: What can be done to halt the decline of our precious biodiversity?
Loss of Ireland's biodiversity is accelerating - and we're missing the chance to halt it
Land grab: How agri-subsidies encourage farmers to cut back on nature
A report by
Niall Sargent and Ella McSweeney
Carbon emissions-heavy dairy and livestock farming rewarded over environmental efforts.
The EU's multi-billion euro farm subsidy model is driving up emissions & hitting nature hard, writes Niall Sargent and Ella McSweeney in new Noteworthy investigation
Irish farmers are being financially penalised for maintaining biodiversity hotspots
€100 billion of farm subsidies for climate action have had little impact on emissions, EU audit finds
Taoiseach disagrees with revoking free parking for former politicians at Leinster House
There have been calls to restore the Leinster House garden at the Kildare Street entrance, which is now a car park for members.
Opinion: Five changes you can make to guide your children to a greener life
David Maher from SOLAS in Co Laois shares his tips on how we can teach children to live sustainably.
The Explainer x Noteworthy: What can be done to halt the decline of our precious biodiversity?
Noteworthy’s Niall Sargent tells Susan Daly how the race is on to save iconic species like the puffin and curlew – and even save ourselves.
Funding failure: Most of Ireland's biodiversity spend goes on schemes that have little impact
Ireland’s overall spending on biodiversity protection is also under internationally-accepted levels.
Loss of Ireland's biodiversity is accelerating - and we're missing the chance to halt it
A report by
Niall Sargent
Noteworthy reveals virtually no protected sites have management plans and Ireland is moving further away from a target for effective nature conservation.
A host of iconic Irish species and habitats are under threat, writes Niall Sargent in first part of Noteworthy's investigation into biodiversity loss
Virtually none of our protected nature areas have management plans
An expert forum has labelled the State as the “biggest transgressor of environmental law in Ireland”
Opinion: Bees and agriculture need each other - we should class bees as livestock to protect them
Fianna Fáil Senator Erin McGreehan argues that protecting bees should be a priority for the Department of Agriculture.
Lice, infectious disease and taking reef fish: The impact of salmon farms on marine biodiversity
Noteworthy investigation reveals concerns over State monitoring of potential environmental impacts of salmon farms from sea lice, disease and farm escapes.
State holds limited details on disease outbreaks and mortality rates at salmon farms, reports Niall Sargent of Noteworthy, our investigative platform
Little regulation of wild wrasse fishing for use as cleaner fish on farms despite potential marine impacts
Experts warn Ireland lacks baseline data to effectively monitor for salmon farm escapes
Opinion: Our bee sanctuary is wild, messy and beautiful - and it's protecting biodiversity
Paul Handrick runs ‘the only true bee sanctuary on the planet’ in county Wicklow and before you ask, no, they don’t produce honey.
'Whole ditches disappearing overnight': hedgerows falling foul to larger farms
Noteworthy finds biodiversity in a battle with some farming practices – and a low level of accountability demanded by the Department of Agriculture.