Tuesday, 19 October 2004

Questions (432)

Arthur Morgan

Question:

573 Mr. Morgan asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the progress made by his Department to date to fulfil the commitments on the environment contained in the common chapter of the national development plan and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25064/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government)

Within the frameworks of the national development plan and the Good Friday Agreement, my Department, together with the Department of the Environment, Northern Ireland, is taking forward enhanced North-South co-operation and joint action in a range of areas including environmental research, information and awareness raising, water quality management, waste management, environmental impacts of agriculture and the management of shared biodiversity resources. Detailed information is available in the annual reports of the North-South Ministerial Council for 2000-2003 which are available on the NSMC websitewww.northsouthministerialcouncil.org and in the Oireachtas Library.

Notable progress in 2004 includes the following: a scheme for the provision of an all-island facility for the management of waste fridges and freezers was put in place in February 2004; a cross-Border waste awareness campaign, supported by INTERREG IIIA, was launched on 14 September — the overall objective of the campaign is to reduce the volume of waste going to landfill and increase the recycling of waste materials in the cross-Border area; tenders for a feasibility study to examine paper-reprocessing capacity in an all-island context were invited on 15 September; work has recently begun on an INTERREG IIIA funded North-South project, the objective of which is to strengthen inter-regional capacity for environmental monitoring and management, to improve public awareness and participation in water management issues and to develop a number of river basin management strategies for cross-Border waters based on best practice in river basin management planning.