The continuing success of human society and social systems depends fundamentally on the preservation of the overall productivity, health and long term sustainability of the ecosystems and environmental services that underpin and supply many of the most basic components of human welfare such as healthy soils, clean water and clean air. These are the real assets that we have inherited and that we should hand on in good order to future generations. This is our real wealth and we are destroying so much of it often without giving it a thought.
As agreed in 1992 in Rio, the most appropriate way for human society to proceed towards sustainability is through the guidelines laid down in Agenda 21. Ireland was a signatory and yet has done very little since to implement it. The new programme for government must adopt Agenda 21 as an underlying principle for all aspects of its decision-making. Implicit in this is the need to take an ‘ecosystems approach’ when designing, planning and reviewing all plans and programmes.
To encapsulate these needs the Government must publish a National Sustainable Development Strategy by January 2010, and then ensure its application at all levels of governance.
What follows is a breakdown of the headline key areas for action by the Government. This document has been kept short for ease of digestion, but details on any of these action areas can be provided on request.
The document has been developed through the Environmental Pillar but does not necessarily represent the views of all its Members.
Environmental Pillar Propsals for the Programme for Government