As part of her work with CoDesRes in Iveragh Eleanor Turner our Work Package 3 lead on Community Transition will be investigating how local communities can engage with the Sustainable Development Goals, with a specific focus on SDG 15: Life on Land.
Eleanor had already contributed to the TY CoDesRes programme and now that spring is upon us Eleanor will be out on the ground this coming spring meeting some of the community members already active in the area and showcasing the great work our communities have already achieved in protecting and conserving important habitats and biodiversity. Here’s what she has to say about SDG 15 and what it means to all of us.
SDG 15 Life on Land focuses on the conservation of mountain ecosystems, the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, reducing the impact of invasive alien species on land and water ecosystems and taking urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitat.
But what do you think when you read those three words? “Life on Land.” It’s easy here in our beautiful part of the world – the Iveragh Peninsula - to conjure up images of mystical fog covered mountains, sandy beaches, fast flowing mountain streams, birds, bees, trees and those things you find outdoors that make you stop and stare in wonder.
But I don’t want you to think of all those things for now. I want you to look in the mirror. Take a good look at what you see. A human being, a living, breathing being.
You are Life on Land.
Yes, the UN breaks this SDG down into objectives and targets. Water quality of freshwater ecosystems, restoration of upland habitats, afforestation and desertification are priorities they discuss. It’s hard in all that language to see yourself. But if you look closely, you are there. You, in fact, are the most important part.
The SDG’s provide a roadmap towards a better future for governments to signpost with directives and policies and insufficient funding, but you are the one that will walk that road.
Don’t believe me? Think for a moment about the people you know in your family, your townland, your parish. How many farmers or fisherman do you know? Who organises your environmental group or Tidy Towns group? Maybe it’s you. Now, tell me who does the work for them that impacts on the SDG targets we talked about early? That’s right, largely you do it yourselves.
As part of my work on WP3- Community Transition for CoDesRes I am focussing on SDG 15 and will be working with communities around the Iveragh Peninsula to identify how they are addressing global targets on a local scale and how they can implement actions for better outcomes in some of these areas. In my own village of Caherdaniel, I have already been working with the Caherdaniel Japanese knotweed group. And, in Waterville, I have worked with the Waterville Lakes and Rivers Trust. As Spring arrives and work outdoors begins again in earnest, I’ll be keeping you up to date in future blogs.