Ireland is well known as having a clean and healthy environment and we are the envy of many European regions where pollution has now reached unacceptable levels.
But unfortunately even in Ireland things are starting to change. Many of our rivers and lakes have over the last few years, become noticeably polluted. As a result there have been habitat changes and certain types of flora and fauna have been displaced. Everyone agrees that we must all work together to safeguard our environment.
Ireland's waterways are valuable assets. They are our assets. As such it makes sense for all of us to have a say in their management.
One way to do this is through the process of Catchment Management. This partnership approach ensures that all who live, work or play in the catchment have a say in how the catchment is managed.
MANAGING OUR RIVERS
FOR THE FUTURE
WHAT IS A CATCHMENT?
A catchment is simply an area of land that drains into a river or lake. We all live in a catchment, these are the places we call home, where we work and where we play. Everyone relies on water and other natural resources to exist. Did you know that 75% of Ireland's drinking water is taken from rivers and lakes, the same rivers and lakes that drain our catchments. Healthy catchments are vital for a healthy environment and economy. A healthy catchment means a healthy place to raise our children, to live, work and play. Many people enjoy our rivers and lakes for their beauty and for boating, fishing and swimming. Healthy catchments ensure biodiversity and our wildlife need healthy catchments for food and shelter.
MANAGING THE CATCHMENT
The catchments in which we live are dynamic and unique places. They are a complex web of natural resources, of soil, water, air, plants and animals. Our everyday activities can impact on these resources, ultimately impacting on our well being and economic livelihood. In order to prevent damage or a lessening of our standard of living we have to manage them correctly.
THE CATCHMENT PARTNERS
The Catchment partners are often called stakeholders and are the people who live, work and play in the catchment. Stakeholders take responsibility for the safe management of the catchment through a group called a Catchment Management Group. The Laune/Lein Catchment Management Group is one example of this.
CATCHMENT MANAGEMENT AND THE GOVERNMENT
The Catchment Management process has been adopted by the Government as one of the ways forward for safeguarding our environment. They believe it's about working together to safeguard, protect and develop our natural resources.
Around the World the processes of Catchment Management and Sustainable Development are seen as the ways to ensure that the benefits we enjoy today from our natural assets can be enjoyed by future generations.
FISHERIES AND THE
About a year ago the Laune/Lein fishery was chosen as one of the six pilot areas for catchment management by the Department of the Marine. It was selected for many reasons however it was the very evident environmental problems and decreasing fish stocks that prompted the action. Through the conscientious efforts of the catchment management group the first stage of the fisheries remedial plan has been agreed and signed. This was a truly momentous occasion and signals a new awareness for the environment. Ultimately the success of this and other catchment management initiatives lies with us all, for it is you and me who chart our course for the future.
Message From The Council Of Ireland
THE SUCCESS OF THE HUMAN SPECIES IS LIKELY TO BE JEOPARDISED IF WE DO NOT MANAGE TO ENSURE RATIONAL MANAGEMENT OF THE NATURAL RESOURCES WHICH ARE NECESSARY TO OUR SURVIVAL AND ARE THE SOURCE OF OUR WELL BEING. SUCH IS THE CONDITION WE MUST MEET IN ORDER TO AVOID SIGNING AWAY THE NATURAL HERITAGE OF FUTURE GENERATIONS.