Tuesday October 20th, 2020 Water Blog

Happy 30th ENVIRON


ENVIRON – Ireland’s longest running environmental science conference is opening today. This conference has been running for 30 years. It has been supported by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Environmental Sciences Association of Ireland.  Each year, usually around Easter one of the Irish universities or institutes host the event.  This year the focus is, not surprisingly, on the climate and biodiversity emergency. The conference is gone online because of COVID-19 but there is still a huge interest and great quality talks and discussion sessions. It was due to take place in Spring but was postponed.  The result was a really super event with lots of fruitful engagement through the online platforms. This is the new way we attend and participate in conferences.

Ireland has a wealth of expertise in environmental science and a huge range of research activities with national and international collaborations. The collaboration and international dimension means that we are globally relevant – because the environment is a global concern. A focus on climate and biodiversity is strong among many research teams, with leading scientists involved in international panels. Ireland also has a history of environmental movements – groups who focus on trying to influence change for a better environment in Ireland.

We see this with the terrible floods in Cork.  The repeated problems of flooding in the river Lee has brought local action groups together to pressure local authorities and politicians to put measures in place protecting  businesses and homes. For many years Cork has been severely impacted by floods and Galway experienced unprecedented floods earlier this year. We are told that these events are likely to become a more frequent occurrence. The picture [1] shows the Yangtze River burst its banks in the spring of 1931, flooding an area twice the size of Ireland.

[1] https://www.historyireland.com/volume-25/misean-sa-tsin-china-mission/

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