IWDG represented on two Offshore Steering Groups

17th Dec 2014

The IWDG have been invited onto two important offshore steering groups which will shape development and environmental issues in the offshore environment over the next few years.

The current Irish Offshore Strategic Environmental Assessment (IOSEA) is the fifth such assessment of the impact of offshore oil and gas exploration within the Irish EEZ. IOSEA 5 is co-ordinated by consultants ENVIRON UK on behalf of the DCENR. Dave Wall and Simon Berrow have been invited onto the IOSEA Steering Committee which had its first meeting in mid-November. The purpose of the IOSEA 5 is to assess any potential impacts on the marine environment associated with activities conducted under petroleum exploration and production authorisations in the IOSEA5 area which includes  in the ipcoming Atlantic Margin Licensing Round.

Simon Berrow has also recently been invited to represent the Environment Pillar on the Steering Committee of the Offshore Renewable Energy Steering Group (ORESG). The Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan (OREDP) provides a framework for the sustainable development of Ireland’s offshore renewable energy sector with the ORESG has established to oversee the implementation of the OREDP. This group will have its first meeting in the new year.

These appointments reflect the status and regard the IWDG have built regarding our interest in Irelands’ offshore environment. The IWDG have been surveying whales and dolphins in Irelands’ offshore waters since 2004 and have built an extensive database to support conservation priorities and influence managers. The IWDG launched an Offshore Atlas of Marine Mammal Distribution in Irelands Offshore Waters last summer (2013).

To assist in IWDG involvement in these roles, the IWDG through financial support from the Irish Environment Network, have commissioned an IWDG policy document on Marine Oil and Gas and Renewable Energy Development.  This document prepared by Dave Wall on behalf of the IWDG will be finalised before Christmas.