we set out under KKB Submission to the 4th National Biodiversity Action Plan:-
4th National Biodiversity Action Plan
Response to Draft for Public Consultation. Thank you for the opportunity to consult on the above matter. We would be grateful if the following points could be considered for future drafts.
Whole of government and whole of society approach
· Effective communication and buy-in are critical to delivering the national biodiversity strategy. Increasingly, sectors like agriculture, industry and conservation are becoming more siloed and oppositional as policy and financial pressures increase and mutual understanding decreases. In order to deliver a truly ‘whole of government and whole of society approach’ all sectors of government, business and society need to be included in the delivery of the biodiversity strategy. Effective solutions to biodiversity issues can often emerge from within a community, sector or industry when engagement is meaningful and non-confrontational.
· There is potential to introduce pilot projects that bring different communities and sectors together to deliver tangible on-the-ground solutions to specific issues in areas such as agriculture, energy and community development in a collaborative way. These pilot projects could be used to promote, not just the solution, but the collaborative process that delivered change and models conflict resolution strategies.
Biodiversity Net Gain
· The Plan should set out objectives that enable each sector to achieve Biodiversity Net Gain on new plans and projects. Mandatory BNG has recently been introduced in England and Wales and adopted voluntarily in other areas and sectors. Good quality baseline information is critical to delivering and monitoring BNG along with adequate resources within the consenting authority to review applications and long-term delivery.
· Planning and Development requiring planning permission should be linked to the achievement of good ecological status in associated water courses prior to planning approval and after completion of projects
· Community empowerment is one of the most effective means of delivering change and is necessary for societal buy-in. Bottom-up initiatives like the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan have proven successful in harnessing community energy by undertaking clear evidence-based, targeted actions on a very specific topic. Similar initiatives could be developed through organisations on the ground once they are adequately resourced to develop targeted strategies. This can can help avoid stagnation in the delivery of top-down policy.
Education and research
· It is estimated that there is as much biodiversity below ground as above ground, but soil ecology and biodiversity is often completely overlooked, outside agricultural fertility parameters. Healthy soils are critical to food production, carbon sequestration, medical treatments and a range of other services that are beginning to be recognised. This is a growing area of research in light of both the biodiversity and climate crises and would benefit from acknowledgement and support within the NBAP.
· Further emphases should be given to delivering sustainable education programmes at Junior, TY and Senior cycles to introduce ecological literacy and ensure that children and young adults have a good understanding of biodiversity issues and actions needed to protect it. Increasingly, more of us are living in urban settings and have lost connections to nature and our basic understanding of food production and other ecosystem services. There is potential to develop projects that link schools with the farming community or other individuals and groups that work with nature. While many programmes, such as Green Schools, have achieved excellent results, there is still significant potential to bring nature and sustainability into schools and the curriculum as a whole.
Resourcing and waste management
· Food production and food waste are critical issue for biodiversity both globally and nationally. Globally we waste one-third of all food produced annually. This equates to approximately 16% of habitable land on the planet. In Ireland, we waste approximately 1 million tonnes of food per annum. By changing this one issue, we could divert the wasted land resources to biodiversity use and reduce GHG emissions from production and decomposition. The Plan clearly acknowledges the devastation impacts climate change will have on biodiversity and the irreversible effects on ecosystems. Targeted programmes to engage communities on the ground to tackle specific issues around food production and waste could be considered for support within the Plan.
· An engaged society, targeted actions and adequate resources are needed to deliver an effective strategy. Funding along with people’s time and energy are all limited resources and should be spent wisely. Ineffective and wasteful spending should be identified within Departments and programmes and re-routed to bodies and programmes that can deliver. Examples of this occur in agricultural schemes where participants are financially incentivised to take actions that have no demonstrated benefits, or in some instances, they have negative effects on biodiversity. These schemes are sometimes developed without the appropriate input from relevant experts and groups that could guide a meaningful programme. In other instances, it can occur where new actions or programmes are trialled but proved ineffective, but continue to be implemented by Departments.
· Globally and nationally, we have failed to deliver on successive plans and actions to protect biodiversity. Our food, energy and consumption models are broken and need transformative change. Learning is an iterative process and mistakes are part of that process. It’s important that we build in effective review processes, learning from previous successes and failures and change course as required.
Celebration of National Biodiversity week in Kilkenny
The 24 hour Bioblitz aims to bring budding environmentalists together and led by experts and specialists groups to identify and record as many species as possible within the diverse habitats of Kilkenny’s Castle park and the Canal..
There will be a small stream citizen science species identification work shop on Friday afternoon on the canal at the whitewashed well . There will also be a tour and identification talks about the very healthy range of flora that grows on the Canal and Castles and also on the rivers habitat flora.
Also on Friday after noon there will be a guided walk and talk about the Castle parks habitats and trees and they are now being managed in the face of the Biodiversity and Climate Change Crisis.
After Tea there will be the validation of records and the all important species count which will be followed by a Dusk Chorus and much anticipated Bat identification walk at 8.45. Moth trap setting woll also be happening in the background. Due to a large anticipated demand numbers will be restricted and booking will be through eventbrite.
Saturday Morning starts of very early for the Dawn CHORUS which is not to be missed and meet up will be at the Castle gates at 4.30am.
Following Dawn Chorus identification and recording the Moth traps will be collected and brought back to the Medieval Room for identification.
After Breakfast there will be a grass land and wildflower identification walk which will be followed by a Wild Life Safari identifying pollinators and all sorts of species.
The event will Finish up after lunch which is from 1-2pm and will be followed by lat call for records between 2-3pm when our Bioblitz ends.
It is hoped that we might be vised by local or visiting ecologists and recorders who might drop in and help spot any gaps.
Bioblitz events enable participants to learn about different types of plants, animals and insects in their local environment. This can help to increase awareness of the importance of biodiversity in the local area.
This bioblitz event will encourage members of the local community and other community’s to get involved in the management and improvement of their local environment.
It will also help to gather important data on the local environment, which can be used to inform future conservation efforts.
The Bioblitz events will be a fun and educational activity for people of all ages. They can help to promote a sense of community and encourage people to get involved in environmental projects.
This event aimsto support local biodiversity by identifying areas that need special attention or protection. This can help to improve the environment for wildlife and plants in the local area.
for further information email firstname.lastname@example.org
24 Hour Bioblitz
Friday & Saturday26th/27 May
Kilkenny Castle Park and The Canal
3.00 pm Launch at Medieval Room
3.30 pm Woodland Walk to River.
4.00 pm Tree Walk, talk and Identification with Colm Mangan.
3.30 – 5.30 pm Small Stream Citizen Science. Kick Sampling and invertebrate identification and other flora and fauna identification and recording.
6.00pm Dinner Break.
7.30 pm Validation of records
8.45 pm Dusk Chorus and Bat Walk. (Eventbrite)
11.00 pm Close
4.30 am Dawn Chorus.
6.00 am Moth Trap collection and Identification.
7.30 am Moth release and Breakfast.
9.00am. Record Validation.
9.30am Grassland species identification and recording.
11.30am Wild Life Safari.
2.00 pm Last Call for Records.
3.00pm Close and de-brief.
All are welcome to come along and support Keep Kilkenny Beautiful’s celebration of Earth Day! McDonnagh Junction, Kilkenny
There will be a range of interesting presentations, the launch of the Kilkenny Climate Hero’s Challenge, entertainment for kids, colouring, Mr Picker Pal (ask the young people, they know who he is) and free giveaways of books, bulbs and keep cups.
Young ecologists who impress might be lucky enough to get a converted magnifying glass for hunting mini beasts! All welcome to come and celebrate.
Speakers schedule for Earth Day
12:00 TD Malcom Noonan:- launch of Kilkenny Climate Hero Challenge
12:10 Nicky Brennan:- Kilkenny Age Friendly Tips from the older generation
12:20 Cllr David FitzGerald Mayor of Kilkenny City:- The Path to being first Carbon Neutral City
12:40 Patrick Jackson – Picker Pals
12:50 Paddy Phelan South East Energy Agency Grants & Supports Economy
13:00 John Carley South East Energy Agency Circular
13:10 Liam O’Brien Bagenalstown SEC Journey to Energy Master Plan
13:20 Seamus Nugent Kilkenny Sport Partnership Environment & Mental Health
13:30 Fergus Horgan KLP Food Waste to Compost
13:50 Pat Boyd Keep Kilkenny Beautiful Special Project Officer – Bio Bliz
14:00 Catriona Corr Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan
14:10 Marina DeCosta Sustainable Energy Communities SEC
14:30 Maria Dollard Chairperson Keep Kilkenny Beautiful – Tidy Towns and SEC’s – complementary synergy towards SDG’s
14:50 Mijke Jansen Barrow Valley Hub SEC Solar Panel EV Charger KLP LEADER Project
15:00 Breda Maher KCC Climate Action F
What a wonderful day for Kilkenny. What a great parade!
Fantastic day. Despite the weather there was so much good spirits and camaraderie. So many kids along the route saying to their parents they had Picker Pals in their school.
A thank you to Picker Pals working to raise awareness of Keep Kilkenny Beautiful .
Thank you so much the to fantastic volunteers and their children that made the effort to come out in the bad weather and showed how tough we are and how determined to Keep Kilkenny Beautiful
you are all amazing
A fantastic result for Kilkenny City in 2022. This is a reflection on the tremendous work undertaken by our volunteers, our community, our businesses and Kilkenny CoCo. Congratulations also to Naas who took the No. 1 position in 2022.
An Taisce Report – IBAL Anti-Litter League, Survey 2, 2022
Kilkenny: Joint 2nd out of 40 towns / cities surveyed. Cleaner than European Norms.
Kilkenny is no stranger to high placement in IBAL litter league and this time around it has scored particularly well with nine out of the ten sites surveyed getting the top litter grade. Examples included the approach roads, Kilkenny Train Station (Exterior and Interior), the Main Street / Parliament Street and Market Cross Shopping Centre – there was lovely paving at the latter. The only blemish was the Recycle Bank at St. Canice’s, which was moderately littered.
N10 Approach Road: Grade A. Road surface / markings / signage were in very good order and the overall impression was of a very well presented and maintained route with no litter issues of note.
Kilkenny Train Station – Exterior: Grade A. The overall impression here as a very positive one with paving to the front of the station creating a very fresh impression. There was minimal litter, just some loose food related items and cigarette butts in the shrubs of the bushes in the garden patch and at the base of the litter bins.
Kilkenny Train Station – Interior: Grade A. A sparkling interior with spotless floor tiles, seating, litter bins and visitor information notices in very good order.
River Bank: Grade A. A lovely riverside environment which was very well presented and maintained. The pedestrian bridge was spotless. There was a virtual absence of litter along the grassy banks and associated pathways.
Derelict building by Evans Lane: Grade A. Clearly a careful eye is kept on the tall building as there was no litter directly associated with it.
Recycle Bank, St. Canice’s: Grade B. The recycle units and signage associated with the use of same were freshly presented and in good order. It wasn’t just loose litter, but items had been very deliberately discarded by the units.
Market Cross Shopping Centre: Grade A. The paving of this outdoor shopping environment was particularly attractive and creates a great impression. It was a very freshly presented and clean environment.
Main Street / Parliament Street: Grade A. This was characterised by lovely paving, planter boxes, wooden seating, stainless steel bicycle parking and some attractively presented shop-fronts. There was a virtual absence of litter throughout.
696 Freshford Approach Road: Grade A. All aspects of the area surveyed were in good order – there was no visible litter throughout.
R712 Approach Road: Grade A. (by Leggetsrath Bus. Park) A wide stretch of road with lovely tree planting along both sides. It was excellent with regard to litter, creating a very positive first impression of Kilkenny – this very high standard was sustained for all the remaining sites surveyed
Keep Kilkenny Beautiful host its first ‘Energy Expo’
KKB have coordinated with Kilkenny Sustainable Energy Community the 2022 Kilkenny Energy Expo which is to take place 27th November 2022, 2-5pm at St. Canice’s Community Hall, Butts Green Kilkenny. All are welcome.
Keep Kilkenny Beautiful are running the first of what they hope we will be regular range of events, to help people learn about how to reduce energy bills and improve the comfort of our homes.
Earlier this year as part of their work on entering the Sustainable “Doing More with Less” category in the National Tidy Towns Competition, KKB set up the first Sustainable Energy Community in Kilkenny city. With support from the South East Energy Agency and mentor Therese Curran, KKB have launched the first ‘Energy Expo’ in Kilkenny, to help citizen learn how they can reduce their bills.
A number of our KKB volunteers, who have made changes themselves, had noticed how there was a lack of accurate information about retrofitting, EV’s and other measures that can really make a difference to the bills we all face. With the support of Keep Kilkenny Beautiful, the ‘Energy Expo’ was launched.
The aim of this event is help people discover on a practical basis how they can save on energy by availing of grants for insulation measures or solar panels. St Canice’s Credit Union will be on hand to explain how they can help customers to bridge any shortfall on the cost. Some citizens are entitled to a free energy upgrade and group members will be available to advise on how to apply.
There will be some providers of services at the event to advise people what can be done and what is involved in terms of the work and timelines. KKB Chairperson noted:-
“We will have people to chat to, who have first-hand experience taking some of these new steps, experts from SEAI to give a talk and information on how to set up your own SEC in order to avail of a free Community Energy Plan for your community”.
Come along for a chat and free information from fellow citizens about how to cut back on bills this winter on 27th Nov 2-5pm in St Canice’s Community Centre, Butts Green, Kilkenny.
Savour Kilkenny has been attracting many visitors notwithstanding the changeable weather this year. This is an official green festival through waste minimisation and also increasing environmental awareness for stall holders and the many visitors attending the festival this year. Stall holders as part of the Festival Green charter have pledged to minimise waste and reduce water and energy consumption.
Local apples are being pressed. there was great crop of fruit this year in Kilkenny
Congratulations to St Brigid’s camogie Club Kilmanagh who have volunteers to assist with Keeping Kilkenny Beautiful during the event
Bolt electric bikes are now available for rent through out our city