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NESC publishes Council Report 126: Draft Framework for Sustainable Development for Ireland: A NESC Response

Dublin, Ireland

The Council identifies revisions to improve Irelands framework for sustainable development.  At its meetings in December and January, the Council discussed Ireland’s framework for sustainable development and, today, published a written response.

The Department of Environment, Community and Local Government (DECLG) is finalising a Framework for Sustainable Development for Ireland (FSDI).  The aim is to provide for the integration of sustainable development into key areas of policy, to put in place effective implementation mechanisms and deliver concrete measures to progress sustainable development.

In report 126 the Council notes that the framework is in line with international thinking and best practice in adopting an encompassing approach to sustainable development.

The Council also identify a number of revisions which the it believes will improve what it sees as an already impressive document.

  • One set of revisions is to bring out more visibly the specific relationships between the environmental, economic and social dimensions of sustainable development in the Irish context. This will help provide the basis for a sharper articulation of a specifically Irish vision of sustainable development.  This would also help to motivate and mobilise people to value their collective natural inheritance.
  • A further revision would be for the framework document to be more explicit about different kinds of policy instrument and regulatory processes in the environmental area. This would greatly concretise what ‘implementation’ looks like in large areas of environmental policy.
  • The final revision is to focus more attention on the practicalities of effective and ongoing implementation. The Council suggest that one means of doing so is for the document to name what actually works to date in environmental policy, what doesn’t work so well to date and to suggest specific governance innovations in the environmental area.

The NESC report will be considered by the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government in its preparation of the Framework for Sustainable Development Ireland.  This framework will be revised and published in May 2012 and will be presented to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in July 2012.

Download Documents

To download the report, visit the publications section of the website.

Further information

For further information, please contact:

Dr. Larry O’Connell,
Senior Policy Analyst, NESC

Mobile: +353-86 6069758
Landline: +353-1-8146331

Note to Editors

Background to NESC
The National Economic & Social Council (NESC) was established in 1973.  Its function is to analyse and report to the Taoiseach on strategic issues relating to the efficient development of the economy, the achievement of social justice and the development of a strategic framework for the conduct of relations and negotiation of agreements between the government and the social partners.  The Council is chaired by the Secretary General of the Department of the Taoiseach.  It comprises representatives of trade unions, employer bodies, farm organisations, community and voluntary organisations, environmental organisations, key Government departments and has eight independent experts.