The purpose of the Agriculture Working Group is to ensure that the principals of sustainable development are at the heart of agricultural policy. The group work on amendments that are needed in Irish agricultural policy and focus on areas such as Food Harvest 2020, the protection of SEA Directives, Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), and Agroforestry and Nutrition.[/tab][tab]The following work plans are in order of their priority for the Agriculture Working Group:
- Food Harvest 2020: The objective is to replace existing FH2020 policy with an amended, updated or new national agricultural policy.
- Common Agricultural Policy (CAP): This objective is to ensure the principals of sustainable development are at the heart of the implementation of the new CAP in Ireland. This will involve the examination of Agri-Environmental Schemes along with the issue of habitat loss in the context of lack of subsidies, to protect existing valuable habitat.
- Ecosystem Management System: The objective is to improve the effectiveness and communication between working groups. Planned actions are to work with other groups, in particular the Law Group, on integrating Ecosystem Management Systems into government policies.
- Agroforestry and Nutrition: The objective is to create an Irish Agroforestry Network or Association to share information and ideas. This would involve the promotion of agroforestry as a farm diversification option that could benefit small farmers who wish to retain traditional crops, cattle or sheep, using existing examples as templates.
[/tab][tab]Member Organisations and nominated persons participating in the Agriculture Working Group:
INFF – Cillian Lohan
An Taisce, The National Trust for Ireland – Jack McCarthy
Birdwatch Ireland – Alex Copeland
CELT – Bob Wilson
Irish Wildlife Trust – Fintan Kelly
Forest Friends – Dermot Deering
Coomhola Salmon Trust – Mark Boyden[/tab][/tabs]