The Minister for Defence, Tony Killeen T.D., this week published the Sectoral Biodiversity Action Plan for the Department of Defence.
The United Nations has designated 2010 as International Year of Biodiversity and this is currently National Biodiversity Week.
Action 1 of The National Biodiversity Plan requests “Relevant Government Departments and State agencies to prepare, with stakeholders, their own Biodiversity Action Plans in line with agreed guidelines to ensure and promote the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.”
Minister Killeen said “I am delighted to publish this plan during National Biodiversity Week. Biodiversity is not just about animals and plants, it is also about the places in which these animals and plants exist and how these places are impacted by humans.”
The Department of Defence’s property and infrastructure portfolio consists of almost 100 sites including 23 permanently occupied military barracks, together with lands comprising about 21,000 acres. The major land holdings include the Curragh, Co. Kildare, Glen of Imaal, Co. Wicklow and Kilworth, Co. Cork.
In administering these large tracts of land the Department acknowledges that there is a requirement to take account of biodiversity issues. By their nature, the elements comprising the larger training lands are wilderness areas that are generally restricted in terms of public access. As a result these areas and the biodiversity contained within them can be maintained and encouraged to flourish whilst balancing the training needs of the Defence Forces.
The targets and actions contained in the Department of Defence’s Sectoral Biodiversity Action Plan are set out in a number of main categories:
• Land Use and Management
• Identification and Monitoring
• General Measures and sustainability
• Managing Biological Data
Minister Killeen said “Military training lands are located in predominantly remote areas with limited access. The level of activity on certain areas of the military training lands has ensured that biodiversity is conserved to a much greater extent than would otherwise be the case. The introduction of this plan, the first by any Government Department, shows the commitment of the Department to a range of issues that would not normally be associated with Defence policy.”
The Plan is available on the Department’s website at www.defence.ie
Notes to Editor:
- For further information please contact Mark Dunphy of Dunphy Public Relations on 00353868534900 or media ( @ ) dunphypr dot com
- High-resolution images of Minister Killeen are available to download from www.dunphypr.com