This Act provides the Department of Environment for Northern Ireland with powers to establish and manage protected areas including nature reserves and national parks. It also establishes the Committee for Nature Conservation. The Department may acquire land or enter into a management agreement with land owners for this purpose. This legislation also allows for acquisition of land by the Department. In addition, it states that bylaws can be created to protect such nature reserves. The Order also makes provision for the establishment of marine nature reserves. Byelaws can be made to protect both nature reserves and marine nature reserves.
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The United Kingdom has historically played a leading role in developing parliamentary democracy and in advancing literature and science. At its zenith in the 19th century, the British Empire stretched over one-fourth of the earth's surface. The first half of the 20th century saw the UK's strength seriously depleted in two world wars and the Irish Republic's withdrawal from the union. The second half witnessed the dismantling of the Empire and the UK rebuilding itself into a modern and prosperous European nation.