The Local Authority Prevention Network (LAPN) was established by the EPA in 2009 as part of the National Waste Prevention Programme (NWPP). It was built upon on an initial Local Authority Prevention Demonstration Programme (LAPD) 2006 – 2009. CTC have been programme advisors to LAPD and LAPN since their inceptions.
The aim of the programme is to support local authorities to develop sustainable solutions for their regions in Ireland’s move towards a low-carbon and circular economy. Since 2009 every local authority (all 31) in Ireland has been involved in LAPN. The programme continues to grow – in 2019 alone, €273,000 of funding supported 24 local authorities to implement 58 local initiatives.
Local authorities have a vital role in tackling climate change and are keen to do so. Through LAPN local authorities are supporting County Development Plans, Climate Action Plans, the National Waste Prevention Programme, National Waste Policies, Regional Waste Management Plans, UN SDGs and the Circular Economy.
Through LAPN the Irish government offers funding and support to tackle issues such as water conservation, food waste prevention, single use plastics, energy efficiency, material efficiency, reuse, repair for reuse and hazardous waste prevention.
LAPN works with many partners and sectors of society such as: local authorities themselves, communities, businesses, farmers, Tidy Town groups, festival/event organisers, the hospitality sector, the food sector and schools.
The programme is knowledge driven and provides a safe space and online tool (Basecamp) for local authorities to discuss issues and share solutions. This facilitates capacity building and networking for the environmental awareness officer (EAOs) involved.
The programme facilitates surveys, training, workshops, discussions, information sharing through websites (localprevention.ie and greenyourfestival.ie), advertising and awareness raising, toolkits, guidebooks, booklets, schools packs, shared procurement and use of materials and guidance. CTC is at the heart of all these activities. Each year the programme has a plenary where best practice is shared and people can discuss local and national issues.
There are many success stories in LAPN such as:
- LAPN has been greening the national Fleadh Cheoil festival since 2010
- The National Green Healthcare Programme came out of LAPN projects in Monaghan in 2009 and Cork County in 2010
- The national Smart Farming Programme came out of an LAPN project in Monaghan
- The national repair directory and repairmystuff.ie came out of LAPN projects in Kilkenny and Monaghan
- Local authorities work with many Tidy Towns committees and the EPA has supported the Tidy Town Special Award for Waste Prevention since 2014