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Northern Ireland Environment Link Logo
 

News

 

Events

 

Sep 2017 right left

    

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Coca–Cola Coast Care Awards, Live Here Love Here are calling for you to nominate your Coastal and Inland Waterway Hero!

Friday 1st September

Castlerock Walk Fest

Saturday 2nd September
Downhill Demesne and Hezlett House
N/A

Car Bazaar

Saturday 2nd September
Mount Stewart
Car £5, Van £10, Trailer £15

Autumn Book Fair at The Argory

Saturday 2nd September
The Argory, Moy
Normal Admission, Members Free

Bushcraft for Beginners

Saturday 2nd September
Tollymore Field Studies Centre
£35 including a packed lunch

Rea’s Wood – Removal of Sycamore Trees in Wet–woodland

Sunday 3rd September
Rea’s Wood Antrim
Free

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Ards Beach Cleaning

Saturday 9th September
Strangford Lough meet at Portaferry
No Charge

NI Environment Week – Benburb Castle

Saturday 9th September
Benburb Castle
Free

NI Environment Week – Picnic with nature at Creggan Country Park

Saturday 9th September
Creggan Country Park

NI Environment Week – The Park After Dark – Creggan Country Park

Saturday 9th September
Creggan Country Park

NI Environment Week – Walk on the wild side – Creggan Country Park

Saturday 9th September
Creggan Country Park

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NI Environment Week – Brexit: The Future of the Environment in NI

Monday 11th September
Lough Neagh Discovery Centre
Free

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NI Environment Week – Batty about bats!

Wednesday 13th September
Rathfern Community Centre, Knockenagh Avenue, Carnmoney

NI Environment Week – Get your hands dirty!

Thursday 14th September
Various
Free

NI Environment Week – Creggan Heritage Trail for 50+ groups

Thursday 14th September
Creggan Country Park

NI Environment Week – Power from the Planet – Creggan Country Park

Friday 15th September
Creggan Country Park

Hedge Fun

Saturday 16th September
Minnowburn
No Charge, Donations Welcome

Wildlife Tracking

Saturday 16th September
Tollymore Field Studies Centre
£45 including lunch

NI Environment Week – Food from the Hills, Colin Allotments Healthy Living Centre

Saturday 16th September
Colin Allotments Healthy Living Centre
£5 per person (Belfast Hills Friends discounted rate of £3)

MCS Beachwatch

Sunday 17th September
Murlough NNR
No Charge

Foraging for Wild Foods and Medicine

Sunday 17th September
Tollymore Field Studies Centre
£40

Killard Point near Strangford – Beachwatch

Sunday 17th September
Killard Point
Free

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Blue Opportunities: The Marine Economy in the NPA

Thursday 21st September
Marine Institute, Rinville West, Oranmore, Galway
Free

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Jazz in the Garden at Mount Stewart

Sunday 24th September
Mount Stewart
Normal Admission, Members Free

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Brexit: Debating the Way Forward for Agriculture and the Environment in Northern Ireland

Friday 29th September
CAFRE, Greenmount Campus, 45 Tirgracy Rd, BT41 4PS
Free

Red Squirrel Day

Saturday 30th September
Mount Stewart
Normal Admission, Members Free

Tea Blending

Saturday 30th September
Rowallane Garden
Normal Admission, Members Free

Ecosystem services

The natural world and its constituent ecosystems are critically important to human well–being and economic prosperity. These ecosystems are the ultimate source of all of our energy, resources and products, as well as disposing of all our waste. We depend upon them to produce our food, regulate our water and climate and provide a sense of cultural identity.

Ecosystem services

Ecosystem services are the benefits that flow to society from the environment. Though they are traditionally seen as ‘free’, if the same services were delivered by man–made infrastructure they would be extremely costly to the public purse. Ecosystem services make human life possible, and enhance quality of life in invaluable ways. They are commonly grouped into 4 categories:

  • Provisioning: the products obtained from ecosystems such as food, fibre and fresh water;
  • Regulating: the benefits obtained from ecosystem processes such as pollination and control of the climate and water;
  • Cultural: the non–material benefits obtained from ecosystems; for example through spiritual or religious enrichment, cultural heritage, recreation and tourism or other aesthetic experience; and,
  • Supporting: ecosystem functions that are necessary for the production of all other ecosystem services, including soil formation and the cycling of nutrients and water.

If ecosystems are to support our communities and economy they need to be healthy, resilient and adaptable to change. Damage and degradation to our ecosystems is costly and impairs the ability of these systems to deliver the range of products and services upon which people rely.

The Northern Ireland National Ecosystem Assessment is part of a UK–wide project to assess the state of our ecosystems. It is the first analysis of Northern Ireland’s natural environment and the ecosystem services it provides and attempts to place a value on those services in economic, social and environmental terms. It also provides an introduction to the use of the ecosystem approach to inform policy development and management decisions.

Read More

UK woodland provided the equivalent of £5.6 billion of ecosystem services in 2014.

The value of a tree standing provides around 30 times more in recreational benefit and carbon and pollution removal, than it would provide if cut down for timber.

Japanese knotweed, which can spread by tiny fragments, grows rapidly enabling it to out–compete our native plants. It has also been shown, in some cases, to cause damage to properties, growing through tarmac and floors. This plant alone is costing millions of pounds each year to control.

The introduction of the grey squirrel in the 19th century is one of the best known examples of invasion by an invasive species. It has the ability to carry the squirrel pox virus which is lethal to our native red squirrels.

Floating pennywort, one of the most invasive aquatic plants, was first detected in Northern Ireland in 2002.

Invasive alien species are estimated to cost the Northern Irish economy an estimated £46.5million per year.

Even though peatlands only cover 3% of the global land area, they contain approximately 30% of all the carbon on land, equivalent to 75% of all atmospheric carbon and twice the carbon stock in the global forest biomass.

Coastal wetlands in the USA are estimated to currently provide US$23.2 billion per year in storm protection services alone.

Wise use of wetlands, including the conservation and restoration of hydrological functions, is essential in maintaining an infrastructure that can help meet a wide range of policy objectives.

Some wetland areas can play important roles in flood mitigation and thereby provide an important regulating ecosystem service, since approximately 2 billion people live in high flood risk zones.

64% of lakes in Northern Ireland are eutrophic or hypertrophic.

Functioning ecosystems contribute billions of pounds to the UK economy – however, ecosystem services are not given consideration in standard financial assessments.

Pollination of Northern Ireland’s apple trees, primarily by honey bees, is worth over £7 million per year; pollination of other fruits and vegetables is worth an additional £100,000 per year.

30% of eight broad aquatic and terrestrial habitat types have been assessed as being in decline.

The UK’s population is predicted to grow by nearly 10 million in the next 20 years; this is likely to increase pressures on ecosystem services in the future.

Approximately 2 billion people in the world live in high flood risk zones.

Coastal wetlands in the USA are estimated to currently provide US$23.2 billion per year in storm protection services alone.

Drainage for agriculture or forestry turns peatlands from a carbon sink to a carbon source. CO2 emissions from peatland drainage, fires and exploitation are approximately 3 billion tonnes per year, which equates to more than 10% of the global fossil fuel emissions.