EPA calls for comments on its new Environmental Research Strategy

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking the views of the public about research priorities in the areas of climate change, water and sustainable environment. Since 2007, the EPA has supported 490 research projects which have a value of over €68 million through its STRIVE programme. The EPA is now developing a new research programme to enhance environmental protection.

Mr Dara Lynott, Deputy Director General, EPA said, “EPA-funded research has provided integrated solutions for many of the complex environmental challenges facing Ireland in the areas of water, climate change and environmental sustainability. I would encourage people to get involved in this consultation process and help shape the future of environmental research funded by the EPA.”

Since 1993, the EPA has provided essential support for the formulation and implementation of environmental policies and decision-making. It has played a vital role in ensuring that EU and national environmental policies are implemented in the most cost-effective manner and in developing novel solutions to protect Ireland’s environment. In particular, since 2001, the EPA research programme has significantly contributed to meeting and addressing Ireland’s international environmental obligations at EU and UN levels and in supporting national policy development and implementation.

New aspects to the proposed research programme include:

  1. Funding for ‘blue-skies’ research aimed at environmental issues;
  2. Piloting of innovations in the area of citizen-centric public services;
  3. Inclusion of natural resources/raw materials as a topic area;
  4. Innovative use of social networks to influence the behaviours needed to enable Ireland to become a low-carbon, resource-efficient economy and society;
  5. Increased use of innovative dissemination techniques;
  6. Greater use of co-funding with national and international partners on shared research priorities.

The EPA is also consulting with Government departments, and other agencies and organisations with an environmental protection function to obtain their views on key priorities and how best such priorities could be implemented effectively through working together.

The draft EPA Research Strategic Plan is available on the EPA website. Those wishing to make suggestions on the draft strategy are encouraged to do so by visiting the EPA’s website and completing a short survey at www.surveymonkey.com/s/5R872FZ
The deadline for submissions is Friday 7 December 2013.