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Response to Environment Strategy for Northern Ireland - Public Discussion Document

Sustainable NI welcomes the Discussion Document published by the Department of Agriculture, Environment & Rural Affairs (DAERA) seeking views on the potential scope, scale and ambition of Northern Ireland’s first environment strategy.

The Strategy will provide an opportunity to address environmental harm in a holistic way and we agree with the broad environmental areas identified in the disucssion paper. However, we note the discussion document is somewhat lacking in ambition and does not order issues in terms of relative importance and timescale.

Sustainable NI believes that the Strategy should be ambitious. It should identify short term actions, but also longer term measures beyond the next government programme cycle. We believe that reversing biodiversity loss and halting climate change should be paramount.  At the very least, the Strategy should place the strongest emphasis on these issues, as they are arguably the most time critical and far reaching in terms of impact. 

The attached document outlines our response to the consultation discussion paper, formulated through engagement with colleagues in Northern Ireland Environment Link, Local Authorities, NI Assembly and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.