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'Invisible Assets: Biodiversity, Health & the Environment' Seminar

Invisible Assets Seminar October 2008

Guest speakers and chairpersons at the free ‘Invisible Assets’ biodiversity and health seminar held in Ionad Cois Locha, Dunlewey in October 2008. Front row (left to right): Cliona O’Brien (The Heritage Council), Conor Kretsch (COHAB Initiative), Duncan Stewart (architect and TV presenter), Paul Cunningham (RTÉ) & Ann Marie Crosse (Health Service Executive). Back row (left to right): Neil Rutherford (Health Service Executive), Mary Scally (Health Service Executive), Richard Douthwaite (Feasta), Suzanne Skevington (World Health Organisation), Paul Carr (‘Young Minds’) & Steve Barron (Institute of Public Health).

 

About 200 people attended the free biodiversity and health seminar organised by the Health Service Executive and the County Donegal Heritage Office, Cultural Services, Donegal County Council in Ionad Cois Locha, Dunlewey in October 2008. The aims of the seminar were to raise awareness of the importance of biodiversity and health to our quality of life, sense of place, well-being, economic development and sustainability, and to highlight the interconnections between health, biodiversity and the environment. The seminar also sought to encourage greater integration of health and biodiversity policies and strategies at local, regional and national levels with the preparation of the second National Biodiversity Plan and the new National Environment and Health Action Plan.

 

The seminar pack included a letter of welcome from John Gormley T.D., former Minster for the Environment, Heritage & Local Government, who noted that there is “a growing body of evidence which clearly links the state of our natural environment with human health and well being. Environmental degradation impacts on our communities and maintaining a healthy natural environment is vital for our continued well-being and sustainable development.” Guest speakers included Duncan Stewart (architect and TV presenter of 'About The House' and 'EcoEye'); Richard Douthwaite (Feasta: The Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability), Gary McFarlane (Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, Northern Ireland), Conor Kretsch (COHAB [Cooperation On Health And Biodiversity] Initiative), Suzanne Skevington (Director of the World Health Organisation Centre for the Study of Quality of Life) and Steve Barron (Institute of Public Health). Chairpersons included Paul Cunningham (Environment Correspondent, RTÉ), Cliona O'Brien (The Heritage Council) and Jacky Jones (Health Service Executive - West). The seminar was an action of the County Donegal Heritage Plan (Action 4.12).

 

An Action of the County Donegal Heritage Plan

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