An EU funded ecological project to map the natural resources of the border counties of Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Cavan, Monaghan and Louth was launched yesterday. The project, named ‘Tellus Border’, is the latest phase of a project ‘The Resource and Environmental Survey of Ireland’ (RESI), which was originally conceived by the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI), the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland (GSNI) and the British Geological Survey in the late 1990s. Valued at €5m, it is funded primarily by the INTERREG IVA development programme of the European Regional Development Fund, which is managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), and partially by the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government and Northern Ireland’s Department of the Environment.
The project seeks to provide top-level geological information to ensure sustainable use of Ireland’s natural resources. It is intended to be a comprehensive and integrated geophysical and geochemical survey of the whole island of Ireland with the objective of providing state-of-the-art geo-science information to inform government development decisions. The Minister for Natural Resources, Conor Lenihan outlined that “over the next three years extensive survey work will be carried out in Ireland’s border counties providing important background information on geology, stream water quality, and potential pollution sources, which will help to inform the work of a number of different partners including my own Department.” Dr. Patrick O’Connor, acting Director of the Geological Survey of Ireland stated that “tangible benefits to the economy of the border counties” would be expected from the project.