Action for Biodiversity Conference - 1 May 2013 - Press Resease

2 May 2013

PRESS RELEASE                                   Tuesday, 07 May 2013


Dundalk abuzz for biodiversity this Bealtaine


More than 160 people from right across the island of Ireland and beyond gathered in the Crowne Plaza hotel, Dundalk on Wednesday 1st May to learn about and discuss “Working Together for Biodiversity”. The conference was organised by ‘Action for Biodiversity’, a project part-financed by the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund through the INTERREG IVA Cross-Border Programme managed by the Special EU Programmes Body.


The conference was timed to coincide with Ireland's Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the meeting of the EU Heads of Nature in Dublin this week. This enabled the organisers to get not only a regional and national overview of successful models of working for biodiversity but also to attract speakers from the EU including Dr Micheál Ó Briain from the European Commission’s Environment Directorate who  gave the keynote speech.


The aim of the conference was to learn from some fabulous examples of thriving projects such as BurrenLife in County Clare, which is widely recognised as one of the best practice examples of a community-led biodiversity project in the country.  Participants also learned of some of the many successful ways to engage with the business community to promote the environment. The flourishing and multi-award winning ‘Action for Biodiversity’ project, now in its third year and involved in nearly 100 practical projects across the East Border Region, was also showcased.


Doing practical projects, however successfully, is only one element of the project; letting people know what you have done and enthusing them is another and the conference organisers were delighted to secure two eminent speakers in this field. Futerra Communications, whose message is “Love not Loss”, argued that the way to change people’s minds and enable them to take action is not through stories of environmental devastation but through tales of success and wonder. Communication was also the focus of the speaker from ‘Dialogue Matters', a consultancy based in the UK, which aims to move environmental conflicts from a win/lose situation to focus on co-operative and creative problem solving


The conference attracted participants from North and South, from local authorities, environmental charities and non-governmental organisations, from education and business and many members of the general public. Through the insight of excellent speakers and lively question and answer sessions, the conference explored how collaborative work and positive engagement with communities can help to spread the message that Working Together for Biodiversity is worthwhile, and will benefit people, places, nature and livelihoods over the long-term.




For further information Contact:

Mrs Abby McSherry

Action for Biodiversity Project Officer

Newry and Mourne District Council

Monaghan Row


BT35 8DJ


Tel:        028 (or 048 from the South) 3030313031 ext 3121



Notes to Editor:

About Action for Biodiversity:

Action for Biodiversity is a three year Project which aims to develop and successfully deliver a regional and cross-border Biodiversity Framework for the region.

The framework will engage councils, businesses and communities with the Biodiversity process, will raise awareness and produce and implement plans for the protection of priority habitats and species.

The project will also demonstrate a clear and measurable link between a strong and vibrant economy and a protected and enhanced environment.

The project will clearly demonstrate that a healthy, species rich environment is also one which supports healthy communities.

AfB won the ‘Most Interactive’ award in the National Heritage Week Awards 2012 for its Fabulous Foraging event in Carlingford

AfB won the ‘Best Biodiversity’ award at the Sustainable Ireland Awards in 2012




The Special EU Programmes Body is a North/South Implementation Body sponsored by the Department of Finance and Personnel in Northern Ireland and the Department of Finance in Ireland. It is responsible for managing two EU Structural Funds Programmes PEACE III and INTERREG IV designed to enhance cross-border co-operation, promote reconciliation and create a more peaceful and prosperous society. The Programmes operate within clearly defined areas including Northern Ireland, the Border Region of Ireland and Western Scotlan

The INTERREG IVA 2007-2013 Programme is worth €256 million and aims to address the economic and social problems which result from the existence of borders. It has two distinct priority measures to create co-operation for a more prosperous and sustainable cross border region. 

For more information on the SEUPB please visit



About EBR:

East Border Region Ltd (EBR) is a Local Authority-led organisation which comprises ten Local Authorities namely; Newry and Mourne, Down and Banbridge District Councils, Armagh City and District Council, Craigavon, Ards and North Down Borough Councils in Northern Ireland and Louth, Monaghan and Meath County Councils in Ireland.

 EBR was established in 1976 to promote innovative, cross border economic development in the areas of agriculture, Industry, Commerce and Tourism and to improve the living conditions and employment prospects of those living in the region. EBR was awarded the role of Implementing Body in the Ireland/Northern Ireland INTERREG IIIA Programme 2000-2006 and as a result successfully implemented approximately €25 million to genuine cross border projects across the region. To date the EBR has been successful in securing approximately €15 million from the INTERREG IVA Programme. The Committee is a truly democratic, representative, transparent, multi-skilled, cross-border organisation.

For more information on EBR please visit


  • Monaghan
  • LCC
  • MCC
  • Newry, Mourne and Down District Council
  • Ards and North Down Borough Council
  • Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council