27 April 2023
By Elaine Murphy
What: West Cork Communities – Environment & Climate Action Seminar
When: 24th April 2023 | 9.30 pm – 5.00 pm
Where: CECAS – Centre of Excellence for Climate Action & Sustainability, Myross House, Leap, West Cork
Issues relating to climate change and the environment were discussed and solutions were identified and shared at a daylong seminar which was organised and hosted by SECAD Partnership, Avondhu Blackwater and Comhar na nOileán in CECAS in Leap, Co Cork.
Speakers from community groups along with interested individuals came together to discuss their projects, and the challenges they have encountered in their search for sustainable and regenerative solutions. The day was about listening but also getting the story out about all the good work that is going on around West Cork
The day was also about sharing knowledge and during the morning, presentations on the Sustainable Communities and the Wildwork biodiversity projects in South and West Cork were shared along with reflections on the challenges faced by people living on our offshore islands. In addition, details were shared about Community Water Biodiversity Training from North Cork and from environment and climate projects from our Finnish EU project partners.
Christopher O’Sullivan TD, Cork South West, Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Environment, Climate Actions and Biodiversity delivered the keynote speech during the morning session and emphasised the importance of agencies and local authorities engaging in a social dialogue with local communities. He congratulated all the groups who are working on projects that promote climate action.
Amelie Krug, Policy Officer from ECOLISE, joined via Zoom to speak about the Community Led Local Development (CLLD) and the Green New Deal which commits Europe to becoming a climate neutral continent by 2050.
Davie Philip of Cultivate.ie and Cloughjordan Ecovillage facilitated the afternoon session where groups working throughout West Cork shared their stories about how they have encouraged people to get involved, how they have found funding, prepared plans and got their projects off the ground and most importantly how they involve everyone in the community, especially the ones who are hardest to reach.
The day can be best summed up using the Finnish work Sisu which refers to the characteristics of stoic determination, tenacity of purpose, grit and resilience – the traits demonstrated by all groups and individuals taking part today.
This seminar is developed as part of an EU funded, LEADER Transnational Co-operation project, in conjunction with partner development companies in Finland, France, North Macedonia and Moldova.