The Irish Government has signed a sister park agreement between Wild Nephin National Park in Co Mayo and Yosemite National Park in California. 

The five-year agreement will enable international cooperation between the two parks to support their shared goals in nature conservation and promoting national and cultural tourism. 

The agreement will also facilitate information exchange, collaboration, and sharing of good practices in a number of areas, including community engagement, cultural and visitor service management, forestry and fire management, wilderness and dark sky management, and climate change.

US Ambassador to Ireland Claire Cronin joined Minister for Nature Malcolm Noonan at Wild Nephin National Park on Friday for the signing of the five-year agreement. 

The agreement was signed Friday by Catriona Ryan, Director of National Parks and Nature Reserves at the National Parks and Wildlife Service, and Cicely Muldoon, Superintendent of Yosemite National Park. 

Speaking at the ceremony on Friday, Noonan said the agreement would create "exciting opportunities" for both parks. 

"While they may differ in size and geographical features, the challenges they face in Wild Nephin and Yosemite are really very similar. These include balancing nature conservation with visitor impact, preserving our ecological and cultural heritage, controlling invasive species, and educating new generations," Noonan said on Friday. 

"This agreement marks another connection in the shared history of Ireland and the USA and has a special meaning here in Co. Mayo. It is also a reminder that the challenge of protecting biodiversity is both a local and a global one." 

Cronin said she was especially happy to celebrate the sister parks agreement to mark the 100th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Ireland and the US. 

"These two parks are treasures of natural beauty and biodiversity. This partnership strengthens our commitment to conservation and highlights the deep historical ties between Co. Mayo and the United States," Cronin said.