EPA Launches its Strategic Plan 2016-2020 – ‘Our Environment, Our Wellbeing’
Introduction from Laura Burke, EPA Director General
This Strategic Plan (available in both English and Irish) sets out what we intend to achieve over the next five years in delivering our mandate and our mission to protect and improve our environment as a valuable asset for the people of Ireland. This is our fifth formal strategic plan since the EPA was established. It builds upon the success and achievements we have delivered through our previous strategies. It is being published at a time when we are seeing the signs of an economic recovery in Ireland.
Now, more than ever, it is vital that the environment is placed centre-stage at the heart of everyday decisions. Sustainable development means linking the environment, health, wellbeing and the economy.A thriving, clean environment provides the very basis for good lifestyles. This means an Ireland that has a vibrant economy, people and communities that help and respect each other, and as an essential foundation, a protected environment that is valued for itself and the benefits it provides for us to live safe, healthy lives. We must learn from the lessons of the past and ensure that economic renewal is achieved in a sustainable way and that we decouple economic growth from environmental pressures. It is in this context that we have identified the overarching theme for this Strategic Plan, “Our Environment – Our Wellbeing”. To support this theme we have identified five strategic goals that will provide a clear focus for our work in the next number of years. Through these we are committed to strengthening and enhancing our core functions, including regulation, enforcement and assessment. We are placing a particular emphasis on tackling key environmental priorities in which we have a significant role to play, including air and water quality, climate change and enhancing the radiation protection framework in Ireland.
Many of today’s environmental problems are complex and require a broader cross-sectoral and societal response. Protecting and managing Ireland’s environment is a shared responsibility involving all of us living and working in Ireland. In the EPA we are committed to playing our part and we will be expanding our influencing, advocacy and partnering roles to help achieve our mandate and vision. We will further engage the public in the protection and improvement of the environment and mobilise communities in developing solutions for more sustainable production and consumption. Clear, accurate and timely information is a vital component in raising awareness about the environment among the public and key policy and decision makers. As part of our strategic priorities we will be accelerating the development of new approaches and tools, with a particular emphasis on the provision of accessible information to allow people to make informed choices for themselves, their families, their communities and their businesses.
Laura Burke, Director General January 2016
To read the report in full click here.