East Border Region Biodiversity Project Scoops Top Prize!

12 September 2012

Members from the East Border Region Action for Biodiversity Project attended last night's prestigious Annual Sustainable Ireland Awards held in the Ramada Hotel, Belfast and were delighted to be announced as winners of the "Biodiversity project of the Year".

Funded by the European Union's INTERREG IVA Cross Border Programme, Action for Biodiversity is a three year project which commenced in 2011 and covers the ten local authority areas in the East Border Region. The main aim of the project is to engage Councils, Businesses and Communities in the biodiversity process by raising awareness and producing and implementing plans for protecting priority habitats and species.

Three biodiversity project officers are employed through the project. Since commencing in post the Officers have been working tirelessly to overcome the inconsistency in the way biodiversity is regarded across the region. Some local authorities currently have little provision for their wildlife resources while others are forging ahead with implementing Biodiversity Action Plans. The important learning from his project is that the Local Authorities support each other and each makes a step change towards protecting the Biodiversity in our region.

Since its inception the Action for Biodiversity project has trained Local Authority Elected Members and Officers on protection of Biodiversity, completed an attitude survey amongst the general public, developed a dedicated Communication Plan, hosted a variety of awareness raising events, delivered local and regional projects on the ground and are in the process of publishing the very first regional Biodiversity framework on the island of Ireland.

Speaking at the Awards Ceremony Cllr Gerald Mallon, Vice Chairman of East Border Region welcomed this recognition for the project. "I am delighted to be here tonight to accept this Award on behalf of the East Border Region Action for Biodiversity project. I know the Project Officers and Steering Committee have been working extremely hard to raise the profile of Biodiversity throughout the region and it is hearting to see their efforts recognised here tonight. We can't underestimate how important projects like this are in order to ensure we create a richer and more diverse environment which is protected for generations to come".  

Ms Golda Burrows, Manager of the Sustainable Ireland Magazine praised the project "the Awards judges were impressed by how East Border Region had brought together a number of other parties to deliver a unified approach to raise awareness and enhance biodiversity conservation.

The project has involved people new to the concept of biodiversity, has provided the required training to increase knowledge of the subject, involved literally hundreds of local residents across a vast catchment area and has made great strides in demonstrating the importance of protecting our natural environment".

The annual Awards is organised by the Hillsborough based publishers of Sustainable Ireland, 4Square Media, and is now widely regarded as the premier event in the Irish Environmental, Waste Management and Energy sectors, attracting entries, support and sponsorship from all the leading players across the industry.

The Action for Biodiversity Officers are currently working on the development of their interactive project website . The website will be launched in the coming weeks and will highlight the development of the project and future activities so watch this space!

Photo caption above: (from l to r) Mr Noel Thompson BBC, Cllr John V Farrelly EBR, Mr Marcus Malley Craigavon Borough Council, Mrs Sharon Digby EBR, Mr Anthony McCloy, McCloy Consulting, Ms Shirley Clerkin Monaghan County Council, Cllr Gerald Mallon Vice Chairman EBR, and Ms Golda Burrows Sustainable Ireland at the Sustainable Ireland Awards Ceremony held on Wednesday 12th September at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast.

Photo caption below: (from l to r) Cllr John V Farrelly, Ms Shirley Clerkin Monaghan County Council, AFB Project Staff Ms Carmel Brennan, Mr Ron Murray and Mrs Abby McSherry and Cllr Gerald Mallon pictured at the Sustainable Ireland Awards Ceremony.

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