Ireland's Biodiversity Awareness Campaign



Take Action - Agriculture

Effects of Agriculture on Biodiversity 

Action to Protect Biodiversity 

Farmers, Combat alien species

Who can I ask for help?

Effect of Agriculture on Biodiversity & Why Protect it?

Effect of Agriculture on Biodiversity

There are a number of factors that directly or indirectly link to the impact agriculture has on Biodiversity, these include:

Source: Impacts of Agriculture schemes and payments on aspects of Ireland’s heritage (1999).


Why should I protect Biodiversity?

There are many environmental, economic, ethical and social reasons why you should be concerned with protecting biodiversity on your farm. The following are some of those reasons.


The raft of legislation that is now in place at both a European and a National level makes it compulsory for you to protect and enhance biodiversity to some extent. The main pieces of legislation that apply to agriculture are The Local Government (Water Pollution Act) 1977 & 1990, The Nitrates Directive and Good Agricultural Practice for Protection of Waters Regulation 2006. Failure to comply with legislation that is in place may result in fines, disruption to your farming operations and cost of rehabilitation for damage done. It is therefore imperative that you are aware of obligations.


Designation of Special Areas of Conservation, Natural Heritage Areas and Special Protection Areas means that there may be areas on your land that are of particular importance to biodiversity and have been afforded special protection under European and domestic legislation. The system of farming therefore is usually different here and prescribed to protect the biodiversity. It is therefore important that you are fully aware of any designations on your farmland and that your agricultural practices in these areas are in line with those prescribed.

Protect the local natural heritage

For many farmers the land that you farm today has been part of your family’s heritage for generations. The ecosystems that make up your farm are part of your natural local heritage and should be protected in order to ensure its survival.


Meet the expectations of consumers and local community

More and more there is demand from consumers and local communities for farmers to carry out their activities in a manner that is sustainable and protective of all aspects of the environment. Consumers are demanding a high standard when it comes to food and many are turning to organic produce. Likewise local communities expect farmers ‘the custodians of the landscape’ to protect and enhance the local biodiversity.


©2007 Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government