GREATER COORDINATION NEEDED FOR MANAGEMENT OF THE SHANNON GOING FORWARD
SHANNON WATERWAY CORRIDOR STUDY RECOMMMENDATIONS ANNOUNCED
LOG ON TO WWW.HERITAGECOUNCIL,IE AND SEE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR YOUR COUNTY
Monday 23rd March 09 : Greater coordination among all interested parties is needed for the successful management of the Shannon waterway, according to Beatrice Kelly, Head of Policy and Research at the Heritage Council.
Recognising the Shannon’s importance to so many aspects of Irish life, the Heritage Council has undertaken Waterway Corridor Studies on the Shannon, as well as for parts of the Grand and Royal Canals. These were carried out with the active involvement of Waterways Ireland, relevant local authorities and Shannon Development.
Speaking about the studies, Kelly commented that, “these corridor studies are a first step towards informing and coordinating activities and development along the Shannon. The fundamental motivation for the Waterway Corridor Studies is to encourage recognition of the significance, value and sensitivity of the waterway corridor as a geographic entity in socio-economic and heritage terms”.
“The key finding from the studies is that greater co-ordination between the many agencies involved in waterways management such as Waterways Ireland, local authorities, tourism development agencies is needed, along with a strategic approach to the management of waterways. The Waterway Corridor Studies can be used as a tool to achieve this”, added Kelly.
The concept of the Waterway Corridor recognises the interdependence of the waterway and its surrounding landscape.Each Waterway Corridor Study contains the policies, recommendations, and responsible parties that are relevant to the study area. General Recommendations outlined include;
The need for the studies to become important elements in the relevant County Development process, with the proposed policies and priorities included in the County Development Plans.
The need to include local communities to a greater extent in the strategic planning for the corridors. Not only do some communities feel excluded; they also find it difficult to access information. There is also a need for much wider communication.
The realisation of the socio-economic benefits of developing Ireland’s inland waterways.
The need for policies and guidelines for development and tourism-related projects along waterways to be developed to avoid potential adverse effects and to encourage sensitive development for the benefit of all.
In line with the principles of Local Agenda 21, Local Authorities need to provide encouragement and guidance to fishery boards, the private sector, and voluntary and community groups on how to carry out appropriate development work on the waterways and their corridors.
The newly designed Heritage Council website (www.heritagecouncil.ie) has a dedicated Waterway Corridor section which allows you to download the studies, search the database of policies and recommendations using key words, and explore an interactive map of the Corridor Studies, zooming into recommendations for your town or village.
For further media information:
Michelle Guinan, MKC Communications 01 7038604 / 086 3846630
Note to Editor:
The Heritage Council is the statutory body charged with identifying, protecting, preserving and enhancing Ireland’s national heritage. National heritage includes Monuments, Archaeological objects, Heritage objects, Architectural heritage, Flora, Fauna, Wildlife habitats, Landscapes, Seascapes, Wrecks, Geology, Heritage gardens and parks, and Inland waterways.
Established under the Heritage Act 1995, and operating under the aegis of the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government, the Heritage Council provides advice to the Minister, and partners and networks with Local Authorities and a wide range of other organisations and individuals to promote Ireland’s heritage.
Since 2002, the Heritage Council has conducted five waterway corridor studies or management plans for the Shannon in partnership with Waterways Ireland and relevant local authorities.. A Waterway Corridor is wider than the waterway, taking in the physical landscape, the towns and villages and their associated activities, including farming and tourism. The aim of the waterway corridor concept was to examine all these aspects in relation to the Shannon, consulting with people locally and nationally to draw up a series of recommended actions intended to protect the unique character of the Shannon corridor and encourage appropriate development. Together the Studies total over 1850 pages of research, analysis and recommendations for the sustainable development of the Shannon and sections of the Grand and Royal Canals. The studies are available on www.heritagecouncil.ie
Michelle Guinan, Senior Client Manager
The Archway, 4 Lower Pembroke St,
T: 00353 1 703 8604
F: 00353 1 678 8331
M: 00353 86 3846630