Dáil Éireann - Volume 610 - 15 November, 2005
Written Answers. - Environmental Policy.
Mr. Sargent Mr. Sargent
651. Mr. Sargent asked the Minister for the  Environment, Heritage and Local Government if in the monitoring process for the national development plan there are specialist units in respect of the environment horizontal principle as there are for the social inclusion horizontal principle in the form of both the Office of Social Inclusion and the Combat Poverty Agency. [34202/05]
Mr. Roche Mr. Roche
Mr. Roche: Under the national development plan-Community Support Framework, NDP-CSF, an environment co-ordinating committee was established to promote environmentally sustainable policies for the programmes and measures comprehended by the current NDP-CSF. The committee meets regularly and its terms of reference require it to, first, act as a forum for the promotion of environmentally sustainable policies and practices among Departments, implementing agencies, social partners and others involved in the NDP-CSF, with particular emphasis on the development of monitoring methodologies and mechanisms to facilitate the achievement of environmental objectives; second, review the environmental and environmentally related policies underpinning non-co-financed and co-financed investment under the NDP-CSF and the environmental impact of that investment; third, promote the environment horizontal principle in the implementation of the selected measures approved by the operational programme monitoring committees at their spring 2004 meetings; fourth, consider in respect of the various measures selected for priority monitoring and reporting, the reports on the environmental horizontal principle presented to the spring operational programme monitoring committee meetings, the comments thereon, if any, of those committees and any significant environment related issues arising therefrom; and fifth, report and make recommendations as appropriate to the NDP-CSF monitoring committee on the performance and impact of the selected measures on the environment.
The membership of the committee includes representatives of all the managing authorities for the operational programmes, implementing Departments, social partners, environmental non-governmental organisations, NGOs, Comhar — the National Sustainable Development Partnership — and the Environmental Protection Agency. Representatives from the CSF evaluation unit and the European Commission, DG Environment and DG Regio, also attend in an advisory capacity. Other parties may attend as observers. Recent examples include representatives from the national parks and wildlife service, the National Roads Authority and the Department of Environment in Northern Ireland. The committee includes officials from my Department which also provides a secretariat for the committee. I am satisfied that the current structure,  membership and terms of reference of the committee leave it well placed to discharge its functions fully and effectively.
Dáil Éireann 610 Written Answers. Environmental Policy.