Government publishes Phase I report of the Land Use Review

The Government has today published Phase I of the Land Use Review, which provides an evidence base to determine the environmental, ecological and economic characteristics of land types across Ireland. 

This preliminary review gathered evidence about stakeholders; existing policy; and environmental, social and economic characteristics of land use to date. It gives us an holistic understanding of current land use patterns to shape future polices and measures. 

The primary objective of this report is to inform Phase II of the Land Use Review, which will build on the evidence gathered. The framework to deliver Phase II has been agreed by Government and will commence in the coming weeks. It will, in consultation with all stakeholders, go on to consider the policies, measures, and actions which will need to be taken — in the context of the Government’s wider economic, social and climate objectives. 

Critically, Phase I contains recommendations about how we can improve our knowledge base, which will be essential to develop policies and measures about optimising land use in Phase II. The technical recommendations in Phase I concentrate on what needs to be put in place to enable further monitoring, mapping, and ultimately, application of evidence gathered.

The first phase of the land-use review calculates that 78% of Ireland’s land is privately owned and 8% is publicly owned. Limitations on the data meant that 14% of land could not be assigned to either category with enough certainty. 

A regional analysis of land cover shows that there are strong differences in the distribution of many land cover categories. For example, cropland and infrastructure land (e.g. urban areas and other artificial surfaces) are more dominant in the East and South-East of the country, while land cover categories most associated with high biodiversity value occur predominantly in the Border, West and Mid-West regions.

The Land Use Evidence Review Phase I Synthesis Report and associated reports are available here.   

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