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Northern Ireland Environment Link Logo
 

News

 

Events

 

Mar 2019 right left

    
01
02

Pond & Woodland Management

Sunday 3rd March
Rea’s Wood Antrim
N/A

04
05
06

UN Sustainable Development Goals roundtable discussion: How can the SDGs support voluntary and community organisations’ work?

Thursday 7th March
NICVA, 61 Duncairn Gardens, Belfast BT15 2GB
Free to NICVA members

08

Butterfly Conservation NI winter work party – Lagan Meadows

Saturday 9th March
Lagan Meadows, Lagan Valley Regional Park, Belfast
Free

10
11

Unpacking the Consultations: Extended producer responsibility for packaging, deposit return and plastics non–recycled–content tax

Tuesday 12th March
Belfast Metropolitan College, Titantic Quarter, Belfast BT3 9DT
Free

Green Infrastructure and Climate Change Conference 2019

Tuesday 12th March
The Guildhall, Shipquay Place, Derry~Londonderry
See website for details

13

Energy Efficiency in Action – Policy and Practice

Thursday 14th March
The Guildhall, Guildhall Square, Derry~Londonderry BT48 6DQ
Free

Participatory Budgeting Works – What PB can do for Community Planning

Thursday 14th March
Lough Neagh Discovery Centre Conference Centre, Craigavon BT66 6NJ
Free

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17
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19

Climate Change and the Historic Environment: A view from Scotland

Wednesday 20th March
Old Museum Building, 7 College Square North, Belfast BT1 6AR
£10.00 – £15.00

CEDaR Recorders Days – Limavady

Wednesday 20th March
Magilligan Field Centre, Limavady
Free

Breeding Bird Survey training (1–day, RSPB Portmore Lough)

Thursday 21st March
RSPB Portmore Lough Nature Reserve, George’s Island Rd, Gawley’s Gate, Aghalee, Co. Antrim BT67 0DW
See website for details

BITC Charity Learning Network

Thursday 21st March
Arthur Cox, Victoria House, 15–17 Gloucester St, Belfast
£295 + VAT

22

Northern Ireland Raptor Study Group (NIRSG) Field Skills Training Workshop

Saturday 23rd March
Tollymore Outdoor Centre, Newcastle, Co. Down
£20

Knockbracken Allotments, South Belfast – Fencing

Sunday 24th March
Knockbracken Alltoments
Free

Breeding Bird Survey training (1–day, WWT Castle Espie)

Sunday 24th March
WWT Castle Espie, 78 Ballydrain Road, Co. Down BT23 6EA
See website for details

Nature Friendly Farmers’ Market

Monday 25th March
The Long Gallery, Stormont
Free

Breeding Bird Survey training (1–day, Marble Arch Caves, Enniskillen)

Tuesday 26th March
Marble Arch Caves Visitor Centre, 43 Marlbank Road Legnabrocky, Florencecourt, Enniskillen , Co. Fermanagh BT92 1EW
See website for details

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29

Breeding Bird Survey training (1–day, Oxford Island, Lough Neagh)

Saturday 30th March
Lough Neagh Discovery Centre, Oxford Island Nature Reserve, Annaloiste Road, Lurgan, Craigavon, Co. Armagh BT66 6NJ
See website for details

31
      
 

The future of farming? 13 March 2018

Environmentally Friendly Agriculture Policy Proposed in England – but what about Northern Ireland? (via Nature Matters NI)

 

Farm

Photo by R Maxwell

The Nature Matters NI campaign make the case for a functioning NI Assembly to ensure the development of agriculture policy to benefit nature, farmers and people across the UK and argue that without this in place, farming risks being left behind in the devolved countries.

By John Martin

The UK Government has published its vision for agriculture policy post Brexit in a consultation document entitled ‘Health and Harmony – The future of farming, food and the environment in a green Brexit’. The point of the consultation is to gather stakeholder opinions ahead of the Agriculture Bill announced in the Queens Speech. The Defra Secretary of State, Michael Gove, has pledged to incentivise methods of farming that create new habitats for wildlife, increase biodiversity, reduce flood risk, help with climate change mitigation/adaptation and improve air quality.

There is much to support in the proposals for England including the promise to enshrine the principle of ‘public money for public goods’ within future subsidies.  However there is one glaring issue, the proposals won’t apply to Northern Ireland or other devolved administrations because agriculture is a devolved power. With no functioning Assembly since January 2017, the agriculture sector in Northern Ireland risks being left behind as policy and legislation is developed elsewhere. Without the Assembly, new policy or legislation can’t be developed, meaning there’s no clarity on the future of agriculture policy direction for Northern Ireland.

Working towards a common approach across the UK

The Nature Matters NI campaign, which is a coalition of eNGO’s in Northern Ireland, has been calling for a common framework for agriculture policy across the UK.

Our aim of wanting farming to be good for people and nature applies everywhere across the UK. We had previously laid out our vision for a Common Framework in our agriculture policy position paper which you can find here. We are pleased to see some elements of those asks within the Defra consultation such as the ‘management of our shared resources’ and proposals to ‘ensure compliance with international obligations’ which we support.  

This section also makes reference to the economic and social linkages with Northern Ireland and Ireland, as NI is the only place that shares a land border with the EU. It also notes the importance of the Belfast (‘Good Friday’) Agreement and its establishing treaty of North–South Cooperation, of which the UK committed to protecting in the Joint UK–EU Report in December 2017. Reading between the lines, this is essentially saying each devolved government is free to produce their own policy, with some elements of cooperation decided by the Joint Ministerial Council (UK Agriculture Ministers) that are still to be revealed.

As stated previously, agriculture is a devolved competency, therefore local policy and legislation will required to ensure the NI Assembly and associated departments have the appropriate legal powers to implement something meaningful in NI. However, with the current political impasse in the NI Executive, options need to be considered for developing legislation both with and without a functioning NI Assembly.

Follow @NatureMattersNI on Twitter to keep up to date with our campaign and help us secure the best future for our environment in Northern Ireland.