Government confirms funding measure to continue protecting important Irish marine ecosystem
The Irish-managed international group will launch a series of aerial surveys of Ireland’s maritime area. The ObSERVE 2 Aerial survey will generate a deeper understanding of marine species and habitats in Ireland and what is required to enable them to survive and prosper.
Environmental supporters explain that the natural marine environment and renewable energy resources can help us meet our climate goals and the Government is showing its commitment towards marine life protection when implementing plans for offshore projects.
The ObSERVE programme enables efficient marine activity planning and development, without having an impact on sensitive marine ecosystems. The plans are jointly funded by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications, the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland (SEAI).
Eamon Ryan, the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications recently spoke at the launch of the ObSERVE Aerial 2 project. He explained that by developing our offshore wind resources, Ireland has the opportunity to diverge from fossil fuels and reach the climate targets. Ryan highlights that they are determined to protect the marine environment and all of the surrounding biodiversity.
The findings from the ObSERVE project will play an important role in sustainably developing the necessary resources. The collaboration from other departments and organisations also highlight the importance Ireland is placing on marine environment protection and the shared vision of combating both climate change and biodiversity loss.
Malcolm Noonan, the Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform explain that conservation of marine biodiversity is one of the top priorities of his position and the research will be critical in supporting these plans. Ireland’s maritime area is one of the biggest in Europe and we have an underlying responsibility to preserve it and its associated wildlife, especially with plans to accelerate offshore renewable energy as part of the wider climate agenda in Ireland.
The Observe 2 project represents an important step closer to gaining a deeper understanding of marine ecosystems and working with a range of stakeholders to enable long term protection. Effective conservation and management can only really be achieved if supported by strong science.
The aerial surveys are due to start this month and will include a large sample of the maritime area in Ireland, led by the University College of Cork. The data already collected has provided vital information to support the more sustainable management of offshore activities and to enable the development of conservation strategies to support the marine environment in the long term.