A report by the Marine Protected Area Advisory Group for the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Expanding Ireland’s Marine Protected Area Network was published online on Tuesday, January 26 2021 and is available for download here: https://www.gov.ie/en/publication
The Marine Protected Area (MPA) Advisory Group was established in December 2019 by the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government. This independent group of experts was invited to produce a report containing advice and recommendations that will support the expansion of Ireland’s network of Marine Protected Areas such that it is coherent, representative, connected and resilient and meets Ireland’s commitments under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, the OSPAR Convention, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity Aichi target 11 and the UN Sustainable Development Goal 14, Life Below Water amongst others.
This report summarises relevant information and current thinking about MPAs in an Irish context and intends to provide a reasoned, balanced, well-informed basis for the expansion of Ireland’s network of MPAs based on the work of the MPA Advisory Group and its engagement with key stakeholders in Ireland’s marine environment.
The next step is a comprehensive, in-depth stakeholder and public engagement process, which will begin in the coming weeks.