By using this website, you consent to our use of cookies. For more information on cookies see our privacy policy page.

Text Size: a a
Home A-Z Index Subscribe/RSS Contact Us Twitter logo small white bird

Minister Coveney Launches Major International 3-Day Environmental Conference During Visit to Timoleague Agricultural Catchment

During a visit to the Timoleague Agricultural Catchment area in Co. Cork today, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD, launched a major 3-day international conference entitled 'Catchment Science 2011', which will take place at the Mansion House in Dublin from 14 and 16 September 2011.

Minister Coveney will make the opening address at the conference, which will be jointly hosted by Teagasc, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in the UK. The conference will feature the findings of the work carried out during the past 4 years by the Agricultural Catchments Programme. This Programme is funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and operated by Teagasc who are working closely with more than 300 farmers that are voluntarily participating in the Programme nationally. The Timoleague catchment is one of six agricultural catchments established under the Programme, varying in area from 600 ha to 2,500 ha and representing the main agricultural landscapes, soil types and farming enterprises in the country.

The Timoleague catchment is 85% grassland and dairying is the predominant land use with one of the highest stocking rates in the country. The Minister noted that "the new scientific knowledge being generated by the Programme using high tech equipment and survey data will be critical to the sustainable expansion of Irish milk and meat production from grass and therefore is critical to achieving the ambitious growth targets of Food Harvest 2020 and farmers such as those farming in Timoleague will have a leading role in achieving those targets".

Speaking to the farmers who are living within the 750 ha catchment area and participating in the Programme, the Minister said "I want to thank each of you for your participation in this Programme. The support of farmers is an invaluable resource without which the Programme just could not continue. The Agricultural Catchments Programme was established by the Department of Agriculture in order to provide the scientific evidence base needed to underpin Irish agricultural policy in the context of our obligations under the Nitrates Directive and the Water Framework Directive".

The Minister concluded his remarks by saying "I wish you good luck with the forthcoming conference entitled 'Catchment Science 2011' and I am confident that the work to be presented to the expert national and international audience there will generate important discussion on how to integrate improved management of agricultural catchments into future agricultural policy".   

Date Released: 29 August 2011