As Minister for Natural Resources, I had the honour of launching the Geoscience 2019 Conference at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin today.
Hosted by Geological Survey Ireland (GSI), the conference focused on Climate Change with GSI reporting on progress that has been made in many areas, in partnership with the public sector, private sector and research institutions.
Key areas for discussion at the conference included flooding, groundwater supply, coastal and geohazards and landslides.
GSI is taking the lead on three important strands in the All of Government Climate Action Plan – the National Maritime Mapping Programme INFOMAR, the Geothermal Energy Roadmap and the evaluation of natural resources at post-production peat extraction sites in the Midlands.
There was also a range of other programme updates, including progress made with the County Geological Audits – including Galway – and further support provided for the UNESCO Global Geoparks, including the new geopark project for Joyce Country and the Western Lakes. The geopark projects are co-funded by my Department, the Department of Rural and Community Development.
On flooding, I was particularly pleased to see that the GSI’s Groundwater Flooding Project has delivered the first draft of its maps and has developed Ireland’s first groundwater flood monitoring network. I was among those TDs who ensured the issue of turlough flooding was included in the Programme for Partnership Government in 2016 – a very important concern for our constituency, Galway East.