The EPA has launched its new Strategic Plan for 2013-2015, entitled ‘Working with others for a Better Environment’. Nine Strategic Priorities are identified in the new Strategic Plan – Clean Water, Better Regulation, Preventing Environmental Damage, Accessible Information, Evidence based decision making, Research Programme, Working with Others, Behavioural Change, and Human Health.
The EPA’s previous strategy set out a long term vision for Ireland’s environment, and identified six key environmental goals which remain valid. These are: Climate Change, Clean Air, Water Quality, Sustainable Use of Resources, Protected Soil and Biodiversity, and Integration and Enforcement.
“The EPA’s over-riding priority for the next three years is to keep the environment centre-stage and support sustainable economic recovery,” says Laura Burke, EPA Director General.
The Strategic Plan sets out the priority actions that the EPA will take between now and 2015 in its role as environmental regulator, knowledge provider and advocate for the environment.
The nine Strategic Priorities reflect the current environmental challenges being faced by the EPA and society as a whole. Addressing these challenges will be key to delivering the EPA’s vision of a clean, healthy and well protected environment supporting a sustainable society and economy. In developing the Strategic Plan, the EPA consulted with many people and organisations, including the public. The number of responses received highlighted the continued awareness and interest in environmental issues and have helped refine and strengthen the Strategy.
Laura Burke continues: “The Strategic Plan sets out the priority actions that the EPA will take between now and 2015 to protect and improve our environment. We will continue to carry out our core functions of environmental regulation, enforcement, monitoring, assessment, research and reporting in an exemplary manner. In addition, we will enhance today’s services by expanding our advocacy role, by networking and being an agent for change to effect positive outcomes for the environment. We will work with other sectors and organisations to increase environmental awareness and encourage the behaviour changes needed in our homes, communities, businesses and at policy level to enable Ireland to become a low-carbon, resource-efficient economy and society.”
The Strategic Plan also takes account of the recent Government decision to merge the RPII with the EPA. The merger is being progressed with the aim of completing it by mid-2014. The merger will bring together the staff of both organisations to create a strong scientific organisation that combines the expert resources and the excellent reputations of both the EPA and the RPII.