A final report on the first phase of the National Land Use Review is expected to be completed in the third quarter (Q3) of this year, according to Environment, Climate and Communications Minister Eamon Ryan.

The Program for Government has committed to a land use review following a request from the Green Party.

It aims to ensure that optimal land use options inform all relevant government decisions.

The review is jointly overseen by the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC) and the Department of Agriculture, Food and Sea (DAFM).

An update on the progress of the project was recently requested by Senator Victor Boyhan from Minister Ryan. The Independent Representative urged that the review be completed as soon as possible.

Land Use Review

The first phase of the review, “evidence gathering,” is managed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

It started in the second quarter of 2021 and focuses on four aspects of land use: people, policy, indicators and suitability.

“The EPA also has a central role in establishing the evidence base to help determine an appropriate approach to land use in Ireland, including the environmental, ecological and economic characteristics of land types,” said said Minister Ryan.

The first phase of the review included a national call for expert testimony to facilitate the process.

By the closing date of February 4, 24 different organizations had submitted 299 pieces of evidence.

“These submissions and evidence gathered through commissioned research will inform the final report scheduled for this third quarter,” the minister added.

Once this stage is complete, a second phase of the review will begin, which will examine the policies, measures and actions in the context of the government’s broader economic, social and climate goals.

It will also link the evidence collected to government policies and frameworks such as the Climate Action Plan, The Woodland Project and the National Planning Framework.