DAFM promotes the protection of the agricultural environment, particularly the quality of Irish watercourses, through the following activities:
These schemes also aim to promote broad environmental objectives to protect biodiversity and combat climate change.
The Agricultural Catchments Programme is funded by DAFM and run by Teagasc. The aim of this programme is to monitor and evaluate how effective Ireland's National Action Programme is at protecting waters against pollution by nitrates from agricultural sources.
DAFM administers the Nitrates Derogation system under the Regulations, which provide intensive farmers with a higher limit for livestock manure application, subject to certain conditions.
Further information on the Agricultural Catchments Programme can be found on www.teagasc.ie and details of the Nitrates Regulations are available on www.agriculture.gov.ie under the headings Rural Environment/Nitrates.
The Nitrates Directive requires EU Member States to identify surface freshwaters and groundwaters, which exceed or could exceed a concentration of 50 mg of nitrate per litre, and also to identify surface waters, which are eutrophic or could become eutrophic, that is, enriched so much that they become polluted.
The intensification of agriculture has resulted in a dramatic reduction in the number of plant and animal varieties being cultivated. Work is not in progress to ensure that varieties do not become extinct.
What is biodiversity and why is it in the news? This lesson outlines the concept of biodiversity and summarises the steps that are being taken locally and globally to enhance biodiversity in rural and urban environments.
The checks and procedures regulating the production, processing and distribution of food ensure that it is safer today than ever.
This lesson is about diet: the need for a balanced diet, the effects of having a poor diet, the part played by agriculture and how this has changed, the function of cereals and what the food pyramid is all about.
Agriculture’s most significant contributions to global greenhouse gases are due to methane (8.6%) and nitrous oxide (5.5%). In fact agriculture is the most significant source of these gases. While agriculture itself contributes relatively little to CO2 levels, changes in land use make a much greater contribution (12%).
The subject of this lesson is the function of protein in human biology. It outlines the production process by which proteins, including therapeutic human proteins are made. Nutritional sources of protein are also covered.