April 2018 eZine

7th May 2018
Please note the AGM has been postponed to Sat Sept 8th. See below.

Bat Walk and Talk, Town Park Letterkenny

Local Association Event
Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Meet at The Vestry,St Conal's

Start time 8 p.m. Find out all about bats at the guided nature walk and talk on Tuesday May 8th. We meet in the Vestry at St. Conal’s at 8 p.m. for a talk on bats. We then go for a twilight walk in the Bernard McGlinchey Town Park and the grounds of St Conal’s. Sonic Bat Detectors will be used to identify different species of bats as they hunt on the wing. Bats are the world’s only flying mammals, fascinating creatures. Our guide is Aengus Kennedy of Nature Northwest, a frequent guest on Highland Radio and an expert nature guide.

Everyone Welcome. Suitable for all age groups. It is free. No need to book

Cost An Taisce Members: 
free
Cost Non Members: 
free

Climate Change

Local Association Event
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
The Goat, Goatstown @ 8:00 pm

Talk by Fr. Sean McDonagh, well known environmentalist and President of An Taisce.

Cost An Taisce Members: 
€4
Cost Non Members: 
€5

Biodiversity Week

Local Association Event
Thursday, May 17, 2018
Kilkenny - Jenkinstown Wood

Food for Thought

Independent Event
Friday, May 18, 2018
GMIT Castlebar, Westport Road, Castlebar

Food for Thought/Lón Intinne: Conversations on Cultural Resilience

by Feasta, Afri, Cultivate, Food Sovereignty Ireland and Teacht Aniar

Date and Time: Fri 18 May 2018 10:30 – 16:30 IST

Location: GMIT Castlebar, Westport Road, Castlebar

Description

Twenty years have passed since Richard Douthwaite and a small group of like-minded thinkers founded Feasta - the Foundation for the economics of Sustainability. Against the backdrop of Afri’s Famine Walk on Saturday 19th, this innovative event is intended to explore today’s challenges both in Ireland and globally, in conversation and through culture using the Great Hunger and Richard’s legacy as backdrops, including solidarity with the global social justice movement, the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, climate action and food sovereignty.

A strand in Irish exploring ecological parallels in culture and language will be facilitated by Teacht Aniar - (Beidh fáilte ar leith roimh chainteoirí na teanga agus leagan Gaeilge le fáil ó planxty@eircom.net).

The event will be followed by a "Celebration of Cultural Resilience", at Blousers (Walshes) in Westport, with conversation, music and the spoken word, from 20.00 to 23.00.

Please note:

Participation at the events are free of charge, however, participants must pay for their own catering.

Registration for Conversations on Cultural Resilience in GMIT is essential.

The events take place on the eve of the annual Afri Famine Walk Sat. 19th May 2018.

Organised by Feasta in association with Afri, Cultivate, Food Soverignty Ireland and Teacht Aniar.

Cost An Taisce Members: 
€0
Cost Non Members: 
€0

Nature Walk, Ards Friary Trail, Co Donegal

Local Association Event
Saturday, May 19, 2018
Ards Friary Car Park, near Creeslough

Nature Walk – Ards Friary Trail Come and enjoy a guided nature walk on Saturday May 19th at 11 a.m. We meet at the Ards Friary Car Park. Our walk will be around the headland with its spectacular views and vistas. We will explore nature in many types of habitats such as species rich grassland, heath, woodland, rugged seashore and beaches. Our guide is Aengus Kennedy, Nature NorthWest, a Donegal nature guide of many years’ experience and a frequent visitor to national schools for nature talks and promoting Green Schools. Everyone is welcome, admission is free, no need to book. Suitable for all age groups. This an event for Ireland’s National Biodiversity Week. (By kind permission of Fr. Richard of Ards Friary)

Cost An Taisce Members: 
free
Cost Non Members: 
free

Free Guided Nature Walk

Local Association Event
Saturday, May 19, 2018
Meeting point - Ards Friary Car Park

Biodiversity Week

Local Association Event
Saturday, May 19, 2018
Kilkenny - Hedgerows at Mothel Lane

Nature Walk – Culdaff and its Beach, Co Donegal

Local Association Event
Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Meet at Culdaff Beach Car Park

Come and enjoy a guided nature walk on Tuesday May 22nd at 7.30 p.m. We meet at the Culdaff Beach Car Park, beside the Culdaff Football Club. We will explore the rich and varied wildlife of Culdaff, the adjoining roadsides and the seashore. Our guide is Aengus Kennedy, Nature NorthWest, a Donegal nature guide of many years’ experience and a frequent visitor to national schools for nature talks and promoting Green Schools. Everyone is welcome, admission is free, no need to book. Suitable for all age groups. This walk is organised by the Donegal Association of An Taisce in conjunction with Culdaff Tidy Towns.

Cost An Taisce Members: 
free
Cost Non Members: 
free

Nature Walk – Culdaff and its Beach, Co Donegal

Local Association Event
Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Meet at Culdaff Beach Car Park

Come and enjoy a guided nature walk on Tuesday May 22nd at 7.30 p.m. We meet at the Culdaff Beach Car Park, beside the Culdaff Football Club. We will explore the rich and varied wildlife of Culdaff, the adjoining roadsides and the seashore. Our guide is Aengus Kennedy, Nature NorthWest, a Donegal nature guide of many years’ experience and a frequent visitor to national schools for nature talks and promoting Green Schools. Everyone is welcome, admission is free, no need to book. Suitable for all age groups. This walk is organised by the Donegal Association of An Taisce in conjunction with Culdaff Tidy Towns.

Cost An Taisce Members: 
free
Cost Non Members: 
free

The Liffey in the City - wildlife of our city's river

Local Association Event
Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Dublin Civic Trust at 18 Ormond Quay upper, Dublin 7

Celebrate National Biodiversity Week with An Taisce kindly hosted by Dublin Civic Trust at 18 Ormond Quay upper, Dublin 7

Tuesday May 22nd 1pm.

The Liffey in the City - wildlife of our city's river; illustrated talks with

Niamh Fitzgerald - Birdwatch Ireland
Dr. Julian Reynolds, Zoologist ( Trinity College )

Cost An Taisce Members: 
Free
Cost Non Members: 
Free

Free Guided Nature Walk

Local Association Event
Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Meeting point - Culduff Beach Car Park

Greening the City and Urban gardening

Local Association Event
Friday, May 25, 2018
Dublin Civic Trust at 18 Ormond Quay upper, Dublin 7

Celebrate National Biodiversity Week with An Taisce kindly hosted by Dublin Civic Trust at 18 Ormond Quay upper, Dublin 7

Friday May 25th 1pm

Greening the City-the importance of city trees an illustrated talk with Dr. John A. McCullen, OPW

Urban gardening- go green in the City; workshop with Rebecca Jeffares landscape historian.

All welcome free admission.

Cost An Taisce Members: 
Free
Cost Non Members: 
Free

AGM postponed to Sept 8th 2018

7th May 2018
Report

Dear member, it has recently been decided to change the date of the AGM, which will now be held in The Tailors'Hall on Saturday 8th September.

The change has been made to facilitate further discussions with those members of the Education Committee who have proposed establishing a new company to take over the running of the projects currently undertaken by An Taisce’s Education Unit.

Getting this right, in the best interest of An Taisce, is obviously no easy task and despite continuing discussions there is still a way to go before the Board can make any recommendations to a general meeting. It is hoped to conclude these discussions as soon as possible and that this possible divestment can be a topic for debate at the AGM, hence the delay.

The usual notice of meeting will be sent by post as usual three weeks prior to the meeting.

Minister Naughten's cop out on throw away cups

26th April 2018
Press Release

The plague in Ireland of throw away single use coffee cups with separate plastic lids and increasing unrecycylable waste and litter, is sent to continue.

Environment Minister Denis Naughten has copped out on effective action which requires ending throw away containers and promoting carry around personal permanent use cups.

Instead the Minister’s proposal is the have "Biodegradable" cups. This does nothing to address the resource waste of single use containers. It means perpetuating of a continuing waste mountain. Without a levy, the littering of the country will continue, if not worsen.

“Biodegradable“ breakdown is only effective in controlled waste management conditions. Cups and lids, even if placed in litter bins, let alone flung across the countryside and getting into the marine environment will continue to have a long term impact.

Cafes and shops providing take away cups and the service providers involved will continue to evade responsibility for the waste and litter they create.

However, An Taisce does recognise that the Minister is considering levies on many single use plastic items, including non-recylable cups. Does he realise that biodegradable cups are not recyclable.

Ends

For further information, contact:
Ian Lumley, An Taisce Advocacy Officer: +353 1 454 1786
Charles Stanley-Smith, Communications, An Taisce. Tel: +353 87 241 1995
email: publicaffairs@antaisce.org
An Taisce The National Trust for Ireland
www.antaisce.org

Notes

About An Taisce

An Taisce is a charity that works to preserve and protect Ireland's natural and built heritage. We are an independent charitable voice for the environment and for heritage issues. We are not a government body, semi-state or agency. Founded in 1948, we are one of Ireland’s oldest and largest environmental organisations.

Green News

7th May 2018
Report

Green News - A great source of Irish Environmental News

http://greennews.ie/

While reporting of environmental issues in the Irish media landscape has grown steadily in recent years, environmental stories are still more likely to hit the cutting room floor rather than the front pages.

The Green News aims to change this dynamic by putting environmental news front and center, from the likes of pollution and renewable energy to climate change and wildlife conversation.

Our dedicated team will continue to put out hard news stories on a daily basis, while also looking in-depth at long-term environmental issues across the country.

We will also look at the more positive side of environmental news in Ireland, highlighting projects, movements, and organisations working to improve our relationship with the natural world.

Please get in touch if you have a story to tell, to report wrongdoing in your community, or think there is an issue that needs to be urgently put under the public spotlight.

The Green News is supported by the Irish Environmental Network (IEN) and the Environmental Pillar. (An Taisce is a member of both)

Please support FIE's Climate Case

7th May 2018
Report

Friends of the Irish Environment have had an international launch of their climate case today in Bonn, at a side-event at the UN climate talks.

An Taisce is asking its members to support this iniative, our fellow campaigners at Friends of the Irish Environment (FIE) have filed an historic climate change lawsuit against the Government, and we need your help to spread the word!

Video clip: https://www.facebook.com/climatecaseire/videos/187957321849444/
Website: https://www.climatecaseireland.ie/

Sign the petition to tell the Government that the Climate Case is in your name. https://www.climatecaseireland.ie/become-a-supporter/

Ireland’s per capita emissions are among the highest in the EU. Overall, emissions in Ireland are set to have increased by almost 10% between 1990 and 2020. This is way out of step with the big cuts in emissions that the Government itself has acknowledged are necessary to help stop dangerous climate change. It’s especially alarming that the Government is failing to act with the required ambition when the consequences of climate change, like ex-Hurricane Ophelia, are already hitting home. That’s why FIE is taking the Government to court.

The case is inspired by global climate litigation, including a landmark case in which Dutch citizens successfully sued their Government for climate inaction, and is the first of its kind in Ireland. It will be heard by the High Court within the next year and will be building on FIE's milestone establishment in 2017 of a Constitutional right to an environment consistent with human dignity.

Suggested tweets

Dear @campaignforleo, #ClimateCaseIreland is also in my name www.climatecaseireland.ie

  • Ireland has among the highest per capita carbon emissions in the EU, and they’re still rising. That's why I support #ClimateCaseIreland www.climatecaseireland.ie
  • I want Ireland to do its part to stop dangerous climate change. I support #ClimateCaseIreland www.climatecaseireland.ie
  • Groundbreaking #ClimateCaseIreland: @climatecaseire is holding the Government of Ireland accountable for its climate inaction. www.climatecaseireland.ie

It is always good to add to the pressure on the government to act on climate change - seeing as science and safeguarding our future haven't made them swing into action - and this groundbreaking legal case take by FIE is a key opportunity.

An Taisce welcomes Third Report and Recommendations of the Citizens’ Assembly

18th April 2018
Press Release

The publication today of the Third Report and Recommendations of the Citizens’ Assembly – ‘How The State Can Make Ireland A Leader In Tackling Climate Change’ [1] is warmly welcomed by An Taisce. We commend the Hon. Mary Laffoy for her skilled and even-handed chairing of the Assembly, which An Taisce attended last November as observers.

Having been assigned the task by the Houses of the Oireachtas of examining Ireland’s response to climate change and after careful deliberation guided by a broad panel of experts, the Assembly agreed a series of 13 strong and unequivocal Recommendations. In most cases, these were overwhelmingly endorsed.

The clear message from the Citizens’ Assembly is that, when clearly informed about climate risk and climate action, the Irish public is deeply concerned at the huge risks to our shared future posed by climate change, and believes the government response to date to have been wholly inadequate. The Assembly’s Recommendations go light years beyond any equivalent political response from any of the main parties to date.

The Hon. Mary Laffoy has today laid the Assembly’s Report & Recommendations before both Houses of the Oireachtas. The gauntlet has been thrown down by the citizens of Ireland, via the Assembly, and the demand is for urgent, serious and sustained action right across all sectors of Irish society and our economy to tackle climate change.

John Gibbons, Spokesperson for An Taisce’s Climate Change Committee stated “An Taisce calls on our politicians to step up and rise to the challenge of meaningful climate action. Denis Naughten, our ‘Climate Action’ minister, has often said he wants to listen to the public and to bring the public with him in tacking climate change. 'People cannot be commanded, they must be consulted. Society cannot be changed by diktat', according to Mr Naughten.”

He continued “The people have now been consulted, and they are demanding action far beyond anything Mr Naughten or his Cabinet colleagues have so far proposed. The time, Minister, for sheltering behind the phrase ‘public consultation’ is over. The citizens have spoken.”

John Gibbons concluded “Now that our politicians fully understand the will and the mood of the public for strong action, An Taisce joins with other NGOs in calling for the speedy establishment of a dedicated Oireachtas Committee to take the recommendations in the Report forward and translate them into concrete actions.”

ENDS

For further information, contact:
John Gibbons, An Taisce Climate Change Committee: +353 87 233 2689
Charles Stanley-Smith, Communications, An Taisce. Tel: +353 87 241 1995
email: publicaffairs@antaisce.org
An Taisce The National Trust for Ireland
www.antaisce.org

Notes

  1. https://www.citizensassembly.ie/en/News/Publication-of-Citizens-Assembly-Final-Report-on-How-the-State-can-make-Ireland-a-Leader-in-Tackling-Climate-Change.html

About An Taisce

An Taisce is a charity that works to preserve and protect Ireland's natural and built heritage. We are an independent charitable voice for the environment and for heritage issues. We are not a government body, semi-state or agency. Founded in 1948, we are one of Ireland’s oldest and largest environmental organisations.

Report from CAN Europe

7th May 2018
Report

Phil Kearney of An Taisce Climate Change Committee attended the CAN Europe General Assembly -

Please find below a brief account of the CAN Europe General Assembly (GA) and workshop on National Energy and Climate Plans (NECP) which was held in Brussels on April 17th - 19th. Jenny (Christian Aid) and Jerry (SCC) also attended. Thanks are due to Jenny for promoting the idea of attending the GA.

Perhaps the most significant outcome is the offer from CAN to come to Dublin in the relatively near future and to run a 1-day capacity building workshop on whatever topics we choose. (I will work on this with Jenny & Jerry).

My purpose in attending the GA was twofold - informing myself about climate policy and activism at the wider European level and considering whether An Taisce/ATCC should apply for formal membership. As far as the latter is concerned, I am firmly in support of AT/CC joining and will be bringing a proposal to this effect to An Taisce.

CAN were very welcoming and happy for me to attend in an observer capacity. This gave me access to all elements of the GA and associated events. It was extremely well run and involved plenary and small group sessions on an array of topics. See programmes of GA & workshop attached.

The NECP workshop included presentations from a number of countries on their preparation for their NECPs including Sweden (which has already prepared a first draft), France, the Netherlands and the UK. These countries are light years ahead of Ireland in terms of ambition in some respects.

There were presentations (unfortunately not recorded) from Christiana Figueres (ex-UNFCC Exec Sec.) and Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, prominent Belgian climate scientist and long-term IPCC author, who recently failed to become its chair. He was elected to the CANEurope Board at the GA.

The attendance was much wider than the EU with strong delegations from Turkey (where a rooftop solar revolution was reported in the wake of new legislation in Jan 2018) and the Western Balkans where CAN has full-time staff located.

A meeting with the Irish Permanent Representative, Pat Fenton, also took place. Jerry and Jenny attended. I was unable to make it due to a hitch in my travel arrangements. Apparently Pat delivered a long monologue giving the standard line that the previous EU targets for Ireland were far too ambitious and blaming the Green Party for same.

It was also very good to meet with other Irish activists in Brussels - Molly Walsh of FoE and James Nix of T&E. Both are major resources.

I want to acknowledge the financial support from IEN in covering my travelling expenses by ferry and train to Brussels. I encourage others to consider attending this very stimulating and informative event. It is twice per annum and the next one is in October (22nd-24th).

Best,

Phil.

Looking for Volunteers - Do you live anywhere near Tailors' Hall

2nd April 2018
Report

Do you live in Dublin anywhere near The Tailors’ Hall?

We urgently need voluntary help to assist when we have events on in The Tailors Hall. (including for our AGM) It might be make tea and coffee, it might be to help set up and cover the registration desk, it might simply be to be available to answer queries and to ensure security and fire safety precautions are observed.

Most of the events are extremely interesting: conferences and seminars usually on planning or the environment amongst others.

If you would like to help please contact Judy Osborne vicechair@antaisce.org

Would you like to get more involved?

2nd April 2018
Report

Dear Member,

Would you like to get more involved?

The AGM is not until 8th September but we are already beginning our preparations, booking a speaker, etc. It is at the AGM that some Council members are elected. Some come as delegates from our local associations but an equal number (minus one) are nominated.

Do you know anyone who might be interested in coming onto our Council? We are looking for people, young or older, who would get involved in one of our committees and volunteer to do some of the work that needs to be done.

The climate committee is already very active but we have other committees too. There is the natural environment committee that works with our Natural Environment Officer Elaine McGoff and assists and advises when necessary and where possible helps prepare policy. The built environment committee is not currently functioning but needs resuscitating. We need professional expertise, possibly planners or academics but also informed members to pick up issues where they arise and maybe also helps with policy such as the Energy Policy or Rural Housing Policy that this committee worked on with Ian Lumley and Doireann ni Cheallaigh in recent years.

We also have a Properties Committee that needs more professional or committed people to help coordinate the management of our properties. Now chaired by Trish O’Connell MA. We also urgently need to re-establish the Tailors’ Hall Committee specifically to help look after our magnificent HQ which takes up a lot of precious staff time. This will more likely, but not necessarily, come from a Dublin member – some of the work will be practical maintenance or helping at events though there are also policy matters to discuss.

Finally, and this is only for people with proven experience, we have an audit and risk committee. Currently most this work falls on the shoulders of our treasurer but help is needed.

If you know of anyone who might fit this bill please contact Judy Osborne vicechair@antaisce.org

Dirty Diesels Dumped in Ireland

29th April 2018
Press Release

As other EU countries propose increased restrictions on toxic polluting diesel cars, Ireland is now a dumping ground for imports from the UK.

Other countries either have or intend to introduce restrictions on dirty diesels within their cities and urban centres as the Nitrous Oxides they emit are dangerously compromising air quality.

A Society of the Irish Motor Industry report[1] has shown that the number of new car registrations this year is expected to be 8.6% lower than 2017 at 120,000. Whereas the number of used car imports is projected to grow by 15% to reach 107,470.

75% of these imports are over 4 years old and thus the majority are older dirty diesels.

Ian Lumley, Advocacy Officer of An Taisce stated “This confirms the concern that a failure in Ireland to take action on restricting use of air quality polluting diesel vehicles in urban areas, is making Ireland a dumping ground for the dirty vehicles that other people don’t want.”

He continued: “This trend will continue and worsen unless fuel tax adjustment and other measures including controls in high pollution level areas are taken.”

Ends

For further information, contact:
Ian Lumley, An Taisce Advocacy Officer: +353 1 454 1786
Charles Stanley-Smith, Communications, An Taisce. Tel: +353 87 241 1995
email: publicaffairs@antaisce.org
An Taisce The National Trust for Ireland
www.antaisce.org

Notes

[1] http://www.simi.ie/News.html?NI=24124547

About An Taisce

An Taisce is a charity that works to preserve and protect Ireland's natural and built heritage. We are an independent charitable voice for the environment and for heritage issues. We are not a government body, semi-state or agency. Founded in 1948, we are one of Ireland’s oldest and largest environmental organisations.