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A new video has been published to mark the second anniversary of the project launch for Waters of LIFE.

The short feature contains highlights from the launch event held in Limerick on April 29th 2022.

Speakers included Malcolm Noonan T.D. (Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform), Bernadette White (Local Authority Waters Programme & Blue Dot Catchments Programme Manager), Derek McLoughlin (LIFE IP Wild Atlantic Nature Project Manager), Anne Burrill (Life Environment (Nature & Circular Economy) Seconded Head of Unit) and Anne Goggin (LIFE IP Waters of LIFE Project Manager.)

“The focus of Waters of LIFE is the project and restoration of our High Status Objective Rivers,” said Minister Noonan in launching the event.

“Ireland is amongst a small number of EU Member States who still have a significant number of those high status water bodies remaining, but we have been losing them at a really alarming rate.”

“There’s a great challenge ahead of us, there’s no doubt. But there’s also a huge opportunity. To collaborate. To work together.

“We don’t have all the answers and I think it’s critically important we learn as we go with these projects.”

Loobagh Catchment
Minister Noonan with Ecologist Cormac McConiglely and Blue Dot Programme Manager Bernie White at the Loobagh Field Trip


Bernadette White outlined LAWPRO’s vision for the Blue Dot Waters programme. Addressing stakeholders at the Deebert House Hotel, Kilmallock, Co. Limerick, she said:

“We want to collaborate with local communities to protect and improve our pristine waters so that the benefits to biodiversity, our health and well-being, our heritage and the climate can be enjoyed by current and future generations.”

Anne Burrill of the EU’s LIFE Programme was unable to attend in person but offered some insightful remarks via video link.

“You’re going beyond the general guidance that is available at the EU level and you’re using this project to find bespoke locally appropriate and tailored solutions,” she said.

“One of the key actions that we particularly like in this project is your activity to develop a results based agri-environment payment scheme.

“This is work that, if it’s successful as we trust it will be, could serve as a great model for other parts of the EU and who knows, even beyond.

“This is important because a lot of the agri-environment schemes presently administered pay on the basis of meeting requirements for doing certain types of actions.

“Here instead, what you’re doing to be piloting is a scheme where the quality of the desired environmental outcome is the basis of the payment.

“This can certainly be a win-win solution where we improve our environment, we improve our agriculture and we improve the conditions for the people who are working in the area, be it foresters, be it agricultural workers.”

“This is a highly collaborative project and this is what’s going to make it a success.

You have the involvement of local authorities, you have the involvement of workers, you have the involvement of the landowners.

“This means, you’re going to come up with solutions that really work on the ground. You’re going to come up with solutions that work for all of you – all of the different stakeholders. You can build capacity and ownership of all the people in the catchment area to make it a success.”

Project Manager Anne Goggin concluded the event saying “We’ll be looking at sustainability in terms of social sustainability, economic sustainability, cultural sustainability as well as environmental sustainability.

“I’m very much looking forward to working with you all on that in the coming years.”

Waters of LIFE will run as a LIFE IP until 2028.