Southern Regional Assembly RSES LowRes

RPO 124

Green Infrastructure a. It is an objective to promote the concept of connecting corridors for the movement of wildlife and encourage the retention and creation of features of biodiversity value, ecological corridors and networks that connect areas of high conservation value such as woodlands, hedgerows, earth banks, watercourses and wetlands. The RSES recognises the necessity of protecting such corridors and the necessity to encourage the management of features of the landscape that support the Natura 2000 network; b. Green infrastructure will be integrated into the preparation of statutory land-use plans in the Region, whichwill include identifying Green infrastructure and strengthening this network; c. All Development Plans and Local Area Plans shall protect, enhance, provide and manage Green infrastructure in an integrated and coherent manner addressing the themes of biodiversity protection, water management and climate action; and should also have regard to the required targets in relation to the conservation of European sites, other nature conservation sites, ecological networks, and protected species; d. Any future development of greenways, blueways, peatways, cycleways or walkways will include an assessment by the relevant authorities of any impacts that may arise from increased visitor pressures, in particular, on sensitive European sites and the design of the network will consider the provision of protectivemeasures on sites sensitive to disturbance/visitor pressure.

Green Infrastructure Green infrastructure surrounds and threads through our cities, towns villages and rural areas. By strategically planning where to create, maintain and expand our green infrastructure multiple benefits can be delivered to our communities. The EPAs State of the Environment Report (2016) highlights that high-quality green and blue spaces are important not just for nature but for peoples’ health and wellbeing, particularly in the context of an increasingly urban society and increasing settlement densities. Common examples are habitat provision, amenity space, walking and cycling infrastructure, recreation areas, tourism attractions and flood control through the development of greenways, blueways and peatways. Management of these spaces can also provide wider benefits to the Region, including acting as wildlife corridors, pollinator-friendly areas, air, water and noise pollution barriers, and contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation. In 2013, the EU Commission adopted an EU-wide strategy promoting investments in green infrastructure. The strategy promotes the development of a Trans- European Network for Green Infrastructure in Europe (TEN-G) on the same level as existing transport, energy and ICT networks as an efficient and cost-effective way for countries to achieve the 2020 Biodiversity Strategy targets, to fulfil commitments under the Birds, Habitats, Water Framework and Marine Strategy Framework Directives, and contribute to the goals of the Floods and Nitrate Directives. Green infrastructure should be a key concept of a local authority’s Development Plan. Additionally, local authorities should work with their neighbouring authorities to coordinate green infrastructure strategies across their boundaries. Local authorities should collaborate with appropriate stakeholders (e.g. NTA, TII, Gas Networks Ireland, Irish Water) to seek out opportunities to appropriately design, deliver and manage green infrastructure on lands containing strategic infrastructure.

RPO 125

Green Infrastructure Corridors Transport infrastructure provides potential opportunities to act as Green infrastructure corridors. It is an objective to support local authorities acting together with relevant national infrastructure providers to co- develop infrastructural management plans to enhance biodiversity.

Southern Regional Assembly | RSES


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