Write a short paragraph on any geological heritage.
This report ensures Waterford is active at the forefront of geological heritagewithin Ireland, as it is only the eighth county to commission such an auditwithin the scope of the county based Heritage Plan. It will hopefully encourageother local authorities to follow what is now a tried and trusted methodology.In the absence of significant political and economic resources available to therelevant bodies for geological heritage conservation as Natural HeritageAreas (NHA) at a national level, it represents a significant level of progress indefining and safeguarding Ireland’s geological heritage.It also represents a significant commitment on the part of the Local Authorityto fulfil its obligations to incorporate geology into the spectrum ofresponsibilities under the Heritage Act 1995, the Planning and DevelopmentAct 2000, Planning and Development Regulations 2001, and the Wildlife(Amendment) Act, 2000 and the National Heritage Plan (2002). TheGeological Survey of Ireland (GSI) views partnerships with the localauthorities, exemplified by this report, as a very important element of itsstrategy on geological heritage (see Appendix 8).The Irish Geological Heritage Programme (IGH) in the Geological Survey ofIreland complements other nature conservation efforts of the last decade, byassessing Ireland’s geodiversity, which is the foundation of the biodiversityaddressed under European Directives on habitats and species by thedesignations of Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) and more recently on anational scale by the introduction of Natural Heritage Areas (NHA) as thenational nature conservation method. As a targeted conservation measure toprotect the very best of Irish geology and geomorphology it fills a void whichhas been there since the abandonment of the Areas of Scientific Interestscheme, listed by An Foras Forbartha in 1981.The IGH Programme does this by identifying and selecting the most importantgeological sites nationally for designation as NHAs. It looks at the whole ofIrish geology and geomorphology under 16 different themes. A fundamentalapproach is that only the minimum number of sites necessary to demonstratethe particular geological theme is selected. This means that our first criterionis to identify the best national representative example of each feature or majorsequence, and secondly any unique or exceptional sites. The third criterion, ofany sites of International importance, is nearly always covered by the othertwo.Designation of geological NHAs is by the GSI’s partners in the Programme,the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) currently operating within theDepartment of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. Once designated anygeological NHAs will be subject to normal statutory process within theWaterford Planning Department and other relevant divisions. However,management issues for geological sites are generally less, andsomewhat different from many ecological designations. The followingsection considers these issues.