Green spaces 'need to be mapped out'
GREEN spaces including woodlands, coastlines and city parks should be mapped and protected before planning permission is granted for new developments, says a leading body.
A new report from the sustainable development council, Comhar, says a green infrastructure policy should be used to develop and protect wildlife and open spaces.
Launching the new research report, 'Creating Green Infrastructure for Ireland', the group said Ireland's ecosystems were worth about €2.6bn to the economy each year.
Dr Cathy Maguire, director of research at Comhar, said biodiversity was declining because its value was not reflected in decision-making by business and government. "Development has been a major driver of habitat degradation and biodiversity loss in Ireland," she said.
Green infrastructure is a network of green spaces that help conserve natural ecosystems and provide benefits to people. They include woodlands, coastlines, flood plains, city parks and street trees.