08/06/11

08.06.11 Minister Deenihan launches Action Plan for Marine and Sea Cliff Birds

Jimmy Deenihan T.D., Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht today (Wednesday 8 June 2011) officially launched the BirdWatch Ireland Action Plan for Marine and Sea Cliff Birds in Ireland 2011-2020 at Bray Aquarium.

BirdWatch Ireland are currently working on a project, with Government support via the Environment Fund, to address some of the issues raised by a European Court of Justice ruling against Ireland in December 2007 regarding implementation of the Birds & Habitats Directives. This 10 year Action Plan is part of that project and aims to identify, through expert opinion and stakeholder consultation, appropriate measures to protect priority, migratory and dispersed birds in the wider countryside including the marine environment.

“Irelands geographic position in Europe helps explain why we have so many of Europe’s seabirds” said the Minister, “Hundreds of thousands of birds nest on Ireland’s cliffs and rocky offshore islands each year and many Irish breeding birds stay within Irish waters in the winter”.

The objectives of the Action Plan include to halt and where possible reverse declines in the population and range of marine and sea cliff bird species that are currently undergoing significant population size and/or range declines or that have in the past undergone large declines and have not recovered. Another aim is to help contribute to Ireland’s statutory obligations with respect to Marine and Sea Cliff birds and their habitats in a national and international context.

“I wish to thank BirdWatch Ireland for their work in producing this plan; the bringing together of the various stakeholders is a most efficient way of ensuring the most appropriate knowledge and expertise contributes to meeting Ireland’s obligations at national and EU level” added the Minister.

ENDS.

Media queries:Press and Information Office Tel: 087-2908193 / (01) 631 3807 / 3838 (direct) E-mail: press.office@ahg.gov.ie

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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