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    National Ecosystem Monitoring Network (NEMN)-Design: Monitoring Air Pollution Impacts across Sensitive Ecosystems
    Under the EC National Emissions Ceiling Directive (NECD 2016/2284), EU member states are required to monitor (Article 9) and report (Article 10.4) air pollution pressure and impacts on ecosystems that are representative of each country’s freshwater, forest, natural and semi-natural habitats. Ireland developed the National Ecosystem Monitoring Network (NEMN) in 2018, with the first data submission on 1st July 2019. In response to recommendations from the EC, Ireland is seeking to improve its NEMN. In this document, we propose methods for monitoring air quality and ecosystem parameters, and for selecting sites to be included in NEMN to improve representative coverage across sensitive habitat types and major pollution gradients. The air pollution impacts of interest are in the first instance those relating to the substances for which reduction commitments are set in Annex II to the NECD (i.e. SO2, NOX, NMVOC and NH3), that is those contributing to acidification and eutrophication of ecosystems, and as precursors of ozone damage to vegetation growth and biodiversity changes. The development of the NEMN is intended to be an iterative process, with incremental improvements over time. The existing network is composed of International Co-operative Programme (ICP) Forests and Waters sites operated under the Air Convention (UN-ECE CLRTAP) and Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC), respectively. The existing network structure is based on that of ICP Forests, which is composed of two networks with different monitoring intensity, Level II and Level I.
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