Donal McCormackChairperson Community Gardens of Ireland
Dónal McCormack is chairperson of Community Gardens Ireland, a volunteer national organisation who support community growers, promote community gardens and actively advocate for more allotments and community gardens in Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Maria YoungAdministrative Coordinator of Cork Food Policy Council and Green Spaces for Health
Maria Young is the Administrative Coordinator of Cork Food Policy Council and Green Spaces for Health. Her specific areas of interest are in providing platforms for discussion and action around the climate crisis, protecting our natural environment and ecosystems, promoting self-sufficiency in an urban setting and sustainability. She is particularly keen on community growing food initiatives and in locating more growing areas in Cork City.
The role of local authorities in enhancing cultivated biodiversity through food policy
Main objectives of the workshop
- Present to Irish municipalities the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact as the international space for cities working on local policies for sustainable and healthy food systems.
- Understand the food policy actions that can be implemented and the municipal level in Ireland and the UE to enhance the use of cultivated biodiversity, organic seeds and organic breeding in food systems.
- To generate synergies among cities food policy governance structures and civil society organisations working on the agroecological food system transformation.
Short description of the workshop
The support to cultivated biodiversity, and organic seeds and breeding from municipal food policies is needed to build sustainable, healthy, fair and local food systems. These elements should not be only present in policies for food production but also in food distribution, diets, social and economic equity, governance and food waste policies.
These type of actions are quite innovate and not very usual. For its development a comprehensive approach is needed. Ireland has developed unique policies related to biodiversity. For example, it has and Ireland’s National Biodiversity Action Plan in response to the biodiversity crisis and follows up on a Programme for Government commitment to ensure that all local authorities have a sufficient number of biodiversity and heritage officers among their staff complement. The work of the biodiversity officers is to put biodiversity front and centre of local authority operations .
In the workshop we will generate an space for collective reflection and discussion among municipal responsible and other stakeholders, in order to 1) assess the Irish already existing actions and 2) to generate possible and concrete strategies and connexions with ongoing processes at the local and global level.