Stories and Conversations for a Healthy and Low-Carbon Galway City

September 12th, 2017

As part of the Convergence Festival 2017, the annual sustainable community festival hosted by Cultivate, two public events are planned for Galway citizens to join in and engage with discussions on how we can act collectively to address the challenges (and opportunities) which we now face in relation to climate change and health.

The first is to be held on Thursday 21st September, at the PorterShed, from 7.30pm – 9.30pm. This free evening event aims to inspire more engagement in community-led initiatives, social enterprises, well-being projects, and the protection of the local environment.

A keynote presentation will be given by Paul Allen, a Director at the Centre of Alternative Energy in Machynlleth in Wales, and editor of the Zero Carbon Britain Report, who will share the lessons learned and explore with the audience how we might empower citizens and catalyse change.

Further presentations will be made by representatives of local Galway projects which are focused on sustainability, local well-being, climate action, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),

These groups include Galway City Community Network, Post-Carbon Galway, An Áit Eile, and Collaborative Ways Forward – a collective of groups working in conjunction, which includes Transition Galway, Third Space and other organisations.

Galway City Community Network (GCCN) is a network of community, voluntary and environmental organisations active in Galway City, while Collaborative Ways Forward works on projects in conjunction with organisations in the areas of Food, Housing and Energy.

An Áit Eile (AEE) is an organisation that supports and promotes grassroots culture from the west of Ireland, by advocating for an independent community and cultural space for Galway city.

Post Carbon Galway is a cross -sectoral project set up to accelerate a local pathway to a greener, healthier, low carbon Galway, while working collaboratively to tackle climate change, biodiversity loss, diversion from fossil fuels, community health and well-being, and to promote sustainable development in Galway City and County.

The overall aim of the evening is to impart to the general public a deeper understanding of the common ground and actions that might enable more local initiatives and promote increased citizen engagement.

The second event takes place on Friday 22nd September 2017, when NUI Galway, together with partners at the Institute for Lifecourse, are set to host a new conference, ‘Climate Change and Health: The Challenges and Opportunities’.

This one-day event, although ticketed, is open to all, and aims to raise awareness of the issue of climate change and health to a wide stakeholder group in Ireland, while facilitating the networking of stakeholders who have an interest in and a responsibility with respect to climate change and health.

The conference will feature diverse local and international speakers and will be of interest to researchers, students, policymakers, and members of civil society organisations and NGOs working in the intersecting areas of climate change and health.

Climate change expert speakers currently invited include: Dr Nicholas Watts, Executive Director, Lancet Countdown: Tracking Progress on Health and Climate Change; and Joni Pegram, Senior Policy and Advocacy Advisor, UNICEF UK.

Also attending will be speakers John O’Neill, Principal Officer, Dept. of Communications Climate Action & Environment, Govt. of Ireland; and Dr. Ina Kelly, Consultant in Public Health, HSE. Additional speakers will be present and are to be confirmed.

Event organisers hope that the conference will help generate momentum to establish advocacy positions and actions in response to the threats and opportunities posed by climate change focusing on developing countries and Ireland.

The conference has been organised in partnership with the Irish Forum for Global Health, the Development Studies Association of Ireland, the Health Services Executive, the Ryan Institute, Trocaire, the Irish Forum for International Agricultural Development, Cultivate, and Galway City Community Network, with support from Irish Aid.

The conference will be held at Institute for Lifecourse and Society, Upper Newcastle Road, NUI Galway, from 10:30am – 4:00pm. For ticket prices and more information on the conference, see here.

‘CONVERGENCE 17’ is coordinated by Cultivate – supported by Galway Green Leaf, the EPA, plus Galway City Council and the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment as part of the LA21 Environmental Partnership Awards. For full details and booking, contact: mailto:convergence@cultivate.ie

About the Author

Dan Connell

Daniel is a journalist and contributor to Green News, whose focus is on marine conservation and environmental issues. He holds a BSc (Hons) in Marine Science from NUI Galway.

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