This week on Ours to Protect, show producer Ethna Quike chatted to Patrick Dunphy, Climate Action and Sustainability Advisor with Teagasc, based here in Kilkenny about The Sign Post Programme, aimed at addressing Climate Action amongst the farming community.

What is The Teagasc Signpost Programme: Twenty-one dedicated advisors are in place across the country, with the aim of helping farmers to contribute to the emissions target reduction set for our industry. 

The programmes aims to achieve early progress in reducing gaseous emissions from Irish agriculture and also:

It will also act as a test bed for on-farm carbon sequestration measurements so that this can, in time, be taken into account by the EPA in the national Greenhouse Gas inventory. It is a collaborative programme, led by Teagasc and includes all relevant industry partners and state bodies such as Bord Bia.

Programme Objectives

  1. Lead and support the transition of Irish farming towards more sustainable farming systems;
  2. Contribute to the agricultural sector efforts to reduce agricultural emissions in line with national policy objectives, specifically support the transition of Irish farming towards more sustainable farming systems specifically to reduce emissions by 22 Р30% 
  3. To reduce ammonia emissions by 1% below 2005 levels in the 2020 to 2029 period and by 5% from 2030 onwards;
  4. Ensure that there are no unintended consequences of attempts to reduce agricultural emissions and that progress is made in both improving water quality and enhancing biodiversity;
  5. Promote farming practices and systems which can improve margins and the overall sustainability of farming systems;
  6. Build national capability and capacity (both of Irish farmers and those supporting them) to undertake the changes required;
  7. Be a trusted knowledge source and broker, facilitating the alignment of programme partners and the strengthening of existing and new programme collaborations.