20 March 2020
By Bryan Smyth
We may be living in a post-Brexit society, but the relationship between Ireland and Wales remains stronger than ever as scientists in both countries work together on projects of shared importance.
Researchers in UCC and Wales are collaborating on three newly launched environmental projects, which focus on the shared natural heritage between our two countries and our joint responsibility to preserve it. Receiving over €6 million worth of funding from the EU’s European Territorial Co-operation (ETC) programme, the three projects emphasise the advantage of cross-border handling of shared concerns, linking projects and tackling shared interests to benefit ecosystems, communities and businesses on both sides of the Irish Sea.
The projects are handling major issues of climate change, regional tourism and water pollution in new and creative ways by drawing on the strengths of both partner countries:
- BRAINWAVES – grows duckweed in agricultural waste water to produce animal feed while reducing coastal and freshwater pollution.
- LIVE – is capitalising on the natural and cultural heritage of the Llŷn peninsula in Wales and Iveragh peninsula in Ireland to create an Eco-Museum which will boost sustainable, year-round eco-tourism opportunities in coastal communities.
- ECHOES – will study the population and habitat of two species of water bird to better understand how climate change will affect them.
Speaking about the importance of a combined effort when it comes to the focus of the BRAINWAVES project, UCC researcher Prof Marcel Jansen said, “The availability of copious amounts of cheap, chemical fertilisers can’t be taken for granted any longer, and novel techniques are required to enhance the environmental sustainability of modern agriculture across the board. In Europe as a whole we have duckweed as a neglected source of high quality protein, and excellent potential as a feed additive.”
For more information on these projects, please see the website of the Environmental Research Institute https://www.ucc.ie/en/eri/