There is a range of national and European legislation and conventions governing the protection and/or conservation of species, habitats, networks of habitats and landscapes in Ireland. Most of this legislation is aimed at conserving wildlife and their habitats while some is aimed at preserving trees and landscapes.
In terms of Irish and International legislation the following Acts, legal instruments or Directives are the most relevant:
- Planning and Development Act 2000
- Forestry Act 1946 and review
- Wildlife Act 1976 and NPWS explanation
- Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000 and NPWS explanation
- Flora (Protection) Order 1999
- Other Legislation
- Habitats Directive
- Birds Directive
- European Landscape Convention 2000
- EU Forest Reproductive Materials Directive
National Biodiversity Plan
In addition to legislation, Irelands National Biodiversity Plan entitled Actions for Biodiversity 2011 to 2016 consists of 102 actions under a series of 7 Strategic Objectives on the conservation of biodiversity. The objectives cover the conservation of biodiversity in the wider countryside.
There are a range of designated sites in Ireland including Natural Heritage Areas (NHAs), Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Special Protection Areas (SPAs). For further details on protected sites in Ireland please click here