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Issue 1. June 2009

Environmental Pillar finally launched

The Environmental Pillar was officially welcomed into Social Partnership by An Taoiseach Brian Cowen and John Gormley, Minister of Environment on April 29th, 2009. The representatives are also members of IEN. Pictured outside the Department of An Taoiseach are Michael Ewing, Karin Dubsky, Oisín Coghlan, Charles Stanley-Smith, Pat Finnegan, and Siobhán Egan The Environmental Pillar website is

Deadline for submission of Core Funding applications is looming! The deadline for return of core funding forms is Monday 15th June. They can be submitted by email to the IEN secretariat, bridget@ It is necessary to submit this form to renew membership of IEN.

International meetings!

Please let the secretariat know which international meetings your group is requesting to attend this year

How to get the funding you need! See page six for details of funding streams available to IEN members in 2009.


The IEN members’ newsletter 1

June at a Glance

Events for your Calendar

IEN members have organised a number of number of events happening in June. On Wednesday 3rd June, 2pm, there will be a directors board meeting. The transport policy steering group will meet on Friday 12th, 1pm. Three training events are scheduled for June. On Monday 8th there will be an Aarhus training day. The one day event will include sessions on each of the three Pillars, Information Participation and Justice, as well as its revolutionary Compliance Mechanism. Mara Silina, who leads the ECO-Forum actions around the Convention, is hoping to be here to give an overview. On Thursday 11th there will be a fundraising training day. This is a practical one day course which outlines the key principles which underpin effective fundraising and outlines a 9 step fundraising planning process including the discussion of a wide range of techniques and methods used to raise funds. Anyone who wishes to increase their income through developing a fundraising plan will benefit from attending. A Conflict resolution training seminar will be held on Wednesday 24th, continuing the following day. It will incorporate creative conflict; ways to reduce unnecessary conflict; and ways to resolve conflict when it occurs. The trainer will be Geoffrey Corry. All of these events will be held in Dublin. For further information contact Michael Ewing at michael@ Tel: 00353 (0)71 9667373 Mob: 00353 (0)86 8672153

Until June 10.

National biodiversity Survey

June 3. Wed

2pm - directors’ board meeting, Camden Street

June 8. Mon

Aarhus training day, Dublin

June 9. Tue

Dmitry Orlov Lecture

June 10-12. Wed The New Emergency Conference All Hallows College June 11. Thu

Fundraising training day, Dublin

June 12. Fri

Transport policy steering group meeting, 1pm, All Hallows College

June 15. Mon

Deadline for return of core funding forms by email to IEN secretariat

June 18. Thu,

Meeting with EPA. Provisionally for this date.

June 19. Fri

European Commission meeting environmental groups in Custom House, Dublin

June 24. Wed

Conflict resolution training day, Dublin. Continuing on Thursday

June 24. Wed

The Potential for Green Jobs in the Economy

On Friday 19th the European Commission will be meeting with environmental groups in Custom House, Dublin The EPA has offered to hold a meeting with environmental groups before the end of June. Groups wishing to attend should contact the secretariat. Coastwatch’s National biodiversity survey will run until 10th June for all coastal and transitional waters. Volunteers are asked to survey a chosen shore once around low tide and report on what lives there. Results will be pooled, mapped and a summary published by the end of June. For more information go to The Potential for Green Jobs in the Economy seminar will be held on the 24th June at the Gresham Hotel, Dublin. Organised by Congress with the assistance of

the Workplace Innovation Fund it is part of an ongoing project which will seek to identify the potential for new employment opportunities in this emerging sector of the Irish Economy. There is a fee of €20 for this seminar which includes lunch and all of the seminar documentation. For more information contact Congress, Feasta are organising The New Emergency Conference, which runs from June 10th - 13th, at All Hallows College, Dublin. It will discuss how to address global economic collapse, combined with crises in climate change, water and energy supply, soil erosion, and the massive over-exploitation of natural resources. This conference, marking Feasta’s tenth anniversary, will analyse the systems and the mindsets that have steered the world onto its grotesquely unsustainable current path. Discussions will focus on the new systems (financial, energy, food) and ways of thinking that are urgently required to correct the situation and bring about a rapid transition to a more secure future. Many of the ideas explored are Feasta’s. Others will be presented by international speakers who broadly share Feasta’s analysis of what needs to be done to build a truly sustainable world. Speakers include: Eamon Ryan, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources; Dmitry Orlov, author of Reinventing Collapse; Richard Douthwaite, Feasta co-founder and author of The Growth Illusion, Short Circuit and The Ecology of Money; Chris Vernon, an editor of The Oil Drum; Julian Darley, author of High Noon for Natural Gas; David Korowicz, physicist and human systems ecologist; Dan Sullivan, director of Saving Communities; Emer O’Siochru, Feasta co-Founder and director of EOS Architects; Ludwig Schuster, Living City Architects; and Bruce Darrell, co-founder of Dublin Food Growing. As part of the conference, the Dmitry Orlov Lecture will take place at the Davenport Hotel, Dublin on June 9th. For further information go to events/the_new_emergency

Don’t Forget. The IEN website has a full calendar of events. Email details of upcoming events to Danny Walsh.

Biodiversity Week celebrated by IEN members. Sixteen member groups took part in Biodiversity Week celebrations in May. Over 60 events were organised nationwide The week was launched by Trevor Sargent TD, Minister of State for Food and Horticulture, and Eanna ní Lamhna of An Taisce, at the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin.

Launching Biodiversity Week at the National Botanic Gardens. (Left to right) Trevor Sargent TD, Minister for Food and Horticulture, Eanna ní Lamhna, An Taisce, Dr. Peter Wyse Jackson, National Botanic Gardens, Dermot Carey, Lissadel House

Demonstrating outside the Oireachtas, Dublin. (Left to right) Elena Higuera (Coastwatch Spain), David Lee (Cork Environmental Forum), Melanie Gomes (Ulster Wildlife Trust), Joanne Pender (Irish Wildlife Trust), Anja Murray (An Taisce), Karin Dubsky (Coastwatch), Paul O’Donovan (Foyle Native Oyster Subcommittee)

Above: IEN members Coastwatch, Irish Wildlife Trust and An Taisce launched a campaign to save native oysters during Biodiversity week.


The IEN members’ newsletter 3

Members’ News A selection of news items from IEN members.

Climate Change Roadshow coming to a town near you... Friends of the Earth teamed up with Gavin Harte to travel the nation with their Big Ask multimedia presentation on climate change. Gavin is a high profile spokesperson on environmental and sustainability

issues in Ireland and has been for many years. The Big Ask Tour is an exciting mix of photographs, video clips, and animations which

documents the enormous influence human activity is having on our planet’s climate, the serious impacts these are likely to have on all of us, and most importantly what we can do about it. The roadshow visited Limerick, Cork, Clonakilty, Waterford, Tullamore, Galway, and Navan. See:

estimated that more than a million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals die each year as a result of plastic rubbish and discarded fish nets. Fish, birds and mammals ingest plastic; whales ingest smaller pieces of plastic with krill which is their staple diet while sea turtles and dolphins ingest plastic bags, mistaking them for jellyfish. Seals and other marine mammals become entangled by marine debris such as fishing line and fragments of trawl netting, and the plastic ringholders for six-packs of beer are lethal to seabirds. At 7pm on World Oceans Day, there will be short talks and slideshows organised by the Irish Seal Sanctuary in the Séamus Ennis Cultural Centre, The Naul, North Co. Dublin. Seal Sanctuary Education Officer Sarah Fields will introduce talks and slideshows on oiled June 8th is World Oceans Day, marine wildlife by Pauline Beades an opportunity to celebrate our from the ISS Oil Spill Advisory Did you know personal connection to the marine group, on sustainable fisheries by 90% of Ireland is environment and to marine wildlife. John Woodlock of the ISS Fisheries under water! Advisory Group and on seal The Irish Seal Sanctuary will be An estimated 90% legends and folklore by Bairbre Ní celebrating World Oceans Day of the total area Fhloinn, UCD Folklore Department. by hosting a beach clean-up in of Ireland is under There will also be live music with Balbriggan, North Co. Dublin. Later water, stretching an ocean theme throughout the that day they will organise a series many miles out into evening. of talks and slideshows with live the Atlantic, where ocean theme music in the Séamus The Irish Seal Sanctuary is currently water depths can Ennis Cultural Centre, The Naul, campaigning for the development of exceed 4,000 metres. North Co. Dublin. a National Marine Conservation and Education Centre, with an official Staff from Google Ireland will join ‘Seal the Deal’ fundraising launch coming up Irish Seal Sanctuary volunteers for a beach on the 18th of September in the Séamus Ennis clean-up from 11am to highlight the problem of Cultural Centre, The Naul, North Co. Dublin. marine debris for marine wildlife. It has been

World Oceans Day celebrations planned for North Dublin

Quarry legislation “unenforceable” Legislation designed to regulate quarries is unenforceable, according to the Ombudsman.

Under the 2000 Planning Act, quarries which were already operating were required to apply for registration. The aim of the legislation was to achieve a final decision at the end of the registration process which was as accurate, comprehensive and enforceable as reasonably possible and which minimised the environmental impacts of the quarry. For example, Cork County Council received 97 applications for the registration of existing quarries in the county by the deadline on April 27th 2005. Of these, 65 were considered valid applications. 12 were deemed to require planning permission because they were greater than 5 hectares in extent or located in a protected European site. 57 proceeded through the registration process. Public notices were published by the planning authority and submission and observations were made by the public which the local authorities were obliged to take into consideration. Conditions, including the payment of development contributions, were imposed by Councils on the operation of these quarries. However, an 18 month investigation by Friends if the Irish Environment into the failure of registered quarries throughout Ireland to meet their environmental conditions has now ended with a letter from the Ombudsman.

This letter informed the group that the Department of the Environment has informed the Ombudsman that conditions imposed under this Act are unenforceable as ‘the act did not provide a mechanism for pursuing legal proceedings for non-compliance.’ In relation to the test case in County Cork provided to the Ombudsman, the letter explained that the Ombudsman could ‘not make a finding of maladministration against a local authority if they are not in a position legally to conduct an administrative action’. The Ombudsman noted that the Department has provided no time frame for amending the legislation. A spokesman for the environmental lobby group said that ‘Residents around the country have been complaining to us about out of control quarries that are paying no heed to the conditions imposed after the lengthy registration and consultation process. ‘It now appears that the failure of this legislation, which could be corrected on the signature of a Minister, remains unaddressed by the Department of the Environment. ‘Not only has the environment been damaged by this long standing legislative failure and great hardships imposed on residents, but many millions in development levies can no longer be collected. More information at www. library/ombudsmand_reply_13_05_09.pdf


The IEN members’ newsletter 5

How to get ! the funding you need

Important Reference Article

determining the distribution method for this funding. 

Did you know that as an IEN member your group has access to six sources of funding! The secretariat manages the distribution of these funds, and can help your group secure a share of these resources once certain criteria are met.

There are six streams of funding available in 2009: Group support; Policy submissions; Attendance of meetings of governmental bodies; Attendance of Inter-governmental conferences; Attendance of International NGO meetings; Planning fund. Group support, or core funding, is the primary funding stream available to IEN members. To get a share of it members must submit their ‘Core Funding Application’ Form by Monday 15th June. This year €400,000 is available, with €50,000 of this set aside for ‘capacity-building’, which can be applied for at the end of the core funding application form.

The Attendance of meetings of governmental bodies stream consists of €25,000. This funding is allocated to representatives of groups who attend meetings of governmental bodies, such as Comhar (i.e. bodies onto which they are appointed by the government). The daily rate has been €250 until this year, and that rate is currently under negotiation with the Department of Environment (posted for comment on www. and we are currently awaiting feedback.

In order to renew your group’s membership of the Irish Environmental Network, it is obligatory to complete Section One of this form.  

2009 Funding Streams

The funding will be disbursed as soon as possible after the assessors have completed the marking.  


Group support (core funding)


Policy submissions (responses to government consultation calls)


Attendance of meetings of governmental bodies


IGCs (intergovernmental conferences)


International NGO meetings

There is €30,000 available in the Policy submissions stream. This stream supports responses to government consultation calls.  Our most recent guidelines from the Department of Environment are that in principle the Department is willing to fund written submissions to government departments (including pre-budget submissions), statutory agenices, local authorities, and Comhar. Funding would be calculated based on the quality of submissions and will cover criteria such as relevance, demonstrated research, and coherence. Funding will be capped at €3,000. Groups should submit a copy of their submissions to the secretariat, and we will let you know as soon as there is some progress on


Planning fund

€20,000 is available for attendance of intergovernmental conferences. A list has been drawn up for 2009 of all groups that have requested to send delegates to particular conferences throughout the year. As the projected demand on this fund significantly outweighs the funding available, IEN will not be able to offer the full per diem rate payable to civil servants. Estimates have been made of how much IEN can afford to pay for each trip, depending on the duration and destination. When a delegate has confirmed their interest, received government accreditation where necessary and made their travel plans, a payment is made to cover the cost of booking the travel, and an advance contribution can be made towards accommodation costs. The full contribution towards the cost of living can only be paid at the end of the year once all 2009 IGC trips have been completed (i.e. after Copenhagen) and reports filed by the attendees.  The International NGO meetings funding stream is €10,000. This fund covers attendance of environmental NGO delegates at other international meetings, e.g. of NGO networks. A provisional list has been established for 2009 of which groups are requesting funding towards attendance of which meetings.   No group will receive more than €500 towards the cost of attending a meeting, which means that the attendance of at least 20 meetings can be part-funded in a year. Travel costs can be paid upfront, and the balance is payable on receipt of a report by the IEN from the delegate.  The Planning funding stream is €20,000. Under no circumstances should funding from this stream be used to facilitate participation on individual planning applications.   

The Department of Environment has specified what criteria must met be to secure funding from this stream. The work or research to be undertaken must: (1) support the preparation of submissions to Planning Authorities in relation to their Draft Development Plans (including Local Area plans and Strategic Development Zones) and to support the making of those submissions generally, including attending associated meetings and hearings; or, (2) support the preparation of submissions to Government Departments, Agencies and Regional Authorities and to support the making of those submissions as inputs to National Planning Policy documents/strategies and regional planning guidelines; or, (3) retain expertise (e.g. college

graduates/ research students)  strictly on a short-term contract basis as required to assist the environmental NGO sector in improving its contribution in (1) and (2) above. This funding can be spent on training and upskilling members (through seminars, training events etc) as well as the required research to enable them to make such submissions and perhaps to develop a template or best practice model for engaging with key networks/ community groups and also with the Local Authorities.   For more information contact Bridget Farrell. Email: Tel: 01 4054834


The IEN members’ newsletter 7

IEN Communications One of the major frustrations of members is the overwhelming amount of emails they receive from the IEN secretariat and from IEN members in connection with ongoing projects and network announcements. This is being addressed in two ways, by setting up mail lists that cover specific topics, and by using a bulletin board forum.

Community Forum.

The community forum address is community Every member can login and take part in forum discussions. An instruction manual is now available for members who have questions about issues such as logging in, subscribing to topics, uploading files, and accessing their password. It is available as a pdf at php?id=43. Alternatively, members can go to and look for a link called “Need help using the forum?”.

About this Newsletter

This newsletter is designed and published by the Irish Environmental Network Secretariat. For information, or to submit articles please contact Danny Walsh, Communications Officer, Email: Tel: 01 4054835. IEN. 10a Camden Street, Lower, Dublin 2. The typefaces used in this newsletter have been chosen to enhance readability for those with visual impairments.


The Joint Committee Submission on Climate Change and Deadline Energy Security, chaired by Sean Barrett T.D., is a July 6th, 2009 Parliamentary Committee comprising members of Dáil Eireann and Seanad Eireann. The Orders of Reference of the Committee include a requirement “to consider the levels of power supply that can be generated from renewables and other new power supplies”. The Joint Committee now wishes to consult more widely on matters relating to meeting our electricity needs post-2020, recognising that the long-term goal is to decarbonise the electricity system in ways that would be compatible with overarching sustainable development policy. Given the pervasive nature of the issues involved and their local and national impact, the Joint Committee believes that the widest possible consultation is necessary and hereby invites written submissions from all interested individuals and organisations. A guidance note on the areas submissions should address is available on the Oireachtas website ( under the Joint Committee’s Home Page. Submissions received will be posted on the website. Submissions should be made not later than 6 July 2009 and may be emailed to: Details on this and other submissions can be found at

Consultation Calls was set up by IEN to help its members and other environmental groups to respond to Consultation calls from government and other bodies by providing a space where consultation calls and notices can be displayed.


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