Clare to play host to seminar on sustainable management of designated sites
County Clare will play host to a seminar on biodiversity management, which will consider the important issue of the management of designated sites. A large European delegation will attend the event, which is being held in the Falls Hotel, Ennistymon, Co Clare from Tuesday until Thursday.
The seminar is part of an initiative of the European Commission introduced in 2011, to help Member States manage designated sites through an exchange of experience and best practice, and to assist in setting priorities and enhancing co-operation. The first Atlantic seminar took place in the Netherlands in 2012, and Ireland will now this week host the second seminar in County Clare.
Over 100 delegates will be in attendance from the nine member states of the Atlantic region; namely Ireland, the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Portugal and Denmark. Representatives from the European Commission will be in attendance, alongside representatives from the nature conservation agencies, farming organisations, eNGOs, regulators, researchers and practitioners.
The event will recognise the work underway in Ireland in partnership by a variety of stakeholders, but also will focus on the challenges facing both Ireland the other member states. Delegates will visit the Aran Islands, the west Clare coast, the central Burren, the wetlands of Coole and finally the Slieve Aughty mountains along the Clare-Galway border to understand the challenges and complexities of these unique and varied landscapes.
Speaking in advance of the event, Minister Heather Humphreys commented:
“This conference will provide an opportunity to showcase the beauty and natural assets of this unique part of Ireland and it will also provide delegates with a chance to learn from their European counterparts on how biodiversity can best be managed.
“I believe through co-operation, partnership and trust building, and with the correct supports and advice, designation can provide numerous new opportunities across the farming, tourism, local development and education sectors. The protection of nature and archaeology can coexist with the sustainable development of these designated sites.
“I wish the visiting delegates the best of luck in their endeavours and I hope that they enjoy and find inspiration during their time in Ireland. I also would like to thank the staff of my department for hosting this thought-provoking event.”