National Land Evidence Forum (Update)

AIE Request


(i) The Forum shall consist of members from Central Statistics Office; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications; Environmental Protection Agency; Geological Survey Ireland; Heritage Council; National Parks and Wildlife Service (Department of Housing, Local
Government and Heritage); Office of the Planning Regulator; Ordnance Survey Ireland; Teagasc; and other key relevant land use authorities as may be co-opted to the Forum.

(ii) Where a department or agency has responsibility for a range of functions relevant to Land Use, representatives from the various divisions should be nominated as appropriate to technical working groups as may be established.

(iii) Members nominated to the Forum should have relevant experience and policy interest in land use and landcover.

(iv) Representatives from other public authorities, academia and other relevant experts may be invited to attend and participate at Forum meetings from time to time.

(v) Members of the forum must act as the point of contact for this forum for their organisation: they must update colleagues on the outcomes of meetings and actively seek input or comment from colleagues where required to feed back to the forum

Access to Land Use Forum Documents

All key information and documents relating to the Forum shall be made available on an online area, including Terms of Reference, meeting agendas and minutes, membership list, contact information, working papers, etc.

Access to the portal shall be restricted to Forum members and other key relevant nominated staff.

Note: it’s arguable that this restricted portal on land use will be subject to the Open Data Directive, and to FOI/AIE. Potential followup Open Data request, awaiting response on open access to Illegal Dumps Register


There will be an EU statistical regulation governing statistics on Ecosystem Accounts, by 2026. This is an annex to the existing regulation. Going through legal process first. Crucial reference year is 2024 – this is why the landcover map is of such relevance to CSO. It means that CSO will be required to update extent of 12 different ecosystem types every 3 years. TH is an observer on the taskforce for ecosystem accounting, examined 12 main levels of extent, some discussion on delineation of urban areas which needs to be resolved. Marine extent is included, marine services to be confirmed. CSO will continue working with EPA and OSI etc to ramp up the level of detail and precision on extent and change over time each 3 years.

CSO published Grassland and Croplands extent and measures/condition yesterday. Next up is Freshwater Ecosystems, which the EPA have done a lot on so CSO will be liaising with EPA in due course.

The updated regulation will specify the indicators and the data will be drawn from Copernicus and ESA data


Teagasc are involved in TerrainAI (

– Land use history for 20 sites with flux towers going back to 1990’s.
– National bare soil in winter data.
– Permanent ancient pasture (not ploughed since 1990).
– Drainage status (artificial installed or not installed)
– Biomass production for grasslands
JD noted need to align to the LULUCF regulations and work programme


MF: GSI took high resolution water data coming from Tellus and analysed it by land cover type, Nitrate and Phosphorus levels were significantly higher in intensive agricultural areas than in non-agricultural land uses.

Published on GSI website:

FB asked about forest impacts – MF confirmed there weren’t significant impacts on nutrient levels from forestry but that could be explored in more detail in future Tellus phase


PK: land cover production has slipped beyond end of year, pushed out to end Q1 2022

FOR asked for input on new item added under the land use evidence review, on forest suitability, for input from the group on what is already available here.

FB noted a few items, and agreed to send follow up links:
– Research work has already been done on suitability
– National Forestry conference
– New licensing regime for forestry having an impact
– Indicative Forest Statement

SG also added that Niall Farrelly did the first map for planting, which took terrain, elevation and soil into account. The Economic section in Teagasc have studied the economic drivers for forest planting.

MK noted that a lot of faith is put into tree planting as a climate action measure and it is important to have the balanced science to guide action in this domain

SouthEast, as this is the most complete area for the landcover map

Note: CSO conference on Agriculture 10th December (Use of Administrative Data in Agriculture)

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