Article 10 of the Constitution of Ireland1, 1937, states that “all natural resources, including the air and all forms of potential energy, within the jurisdiction of the Parliament and Government established by this Constitution and all royalties and franchises within that jurisdiction belong to the State subject to all estates and interests therein for the time being lawfully vested in any person or body.” The Constitution does not explicitely provides for environmental protection or sustainable development.
The Irish Enforcement Policy sets out the general principles that the Office of Environmental Enforcement (OEE) follows in relation to enforcement and prosecution.
The OEE delivers enhanced enforcement in two ways:
-It is directly responsible for enforcing licences issued to waste, industrial and other activities.
-It supervises the environmental protection activities of local authorities by auditing their performance, providing advice and guidance, and, in appropriate cases, giving binding directions. In that respect, the OEE is a resource for members of the public who have exhausted all other avenues of complaint.
The Irish government's strategy aims at improving the quality of life now and for future generations by: promoting and securing a high quality environment, keeping the economy competitive in a rapidly changing world, providing a strong basis for further economic prosperity and contributing to sustainable development at the global level.
The objectives are:
- Implementing the revised National Anti-Poverty Strategy, including action to meet the target to reduce consistent poverty below 2%
- Implementing the National Climate Change Strategy
- Implementing the National Biodiversity and National Heritage Plans
- Pressing ahead with the river basin district approach to water quality, including through
investment in waste water infrastructure and additional controls where necessary
- Developing a national strategy to meet the requirements of the Gothenburg Protocol and
the related EU Directive concerning trans boundary air emissions
Information on Ireland’s environmental legislation can be accessed through the Government’s official website.