Cross Border Biodiversity Project Launched

Nature Knows No Boundaries With Cross-Border Biodiversity Project. On Monday 20th June 2011 a major new cross border biodiversity initiative to promote wildlife and nature throughout Down District and across the whole of the North East of Ireland was launched in Downpatrick. Action for Biodiversity is a three-year project that will develop and successfully deliver a regional and cross-border biodiversity framework for the East Border Region. The framework will engage councils, businesses and communities in the biodiversity process, will raise awareness as well as producing and implementing plans for protecting priority habitats and species. Action for Biodiversity will clearly demonstrate that a healthy, species-rich environment is also one which supports healthy communities. It will also demonstrate a clear and measurable link between a strong and vibrant economy and a protected and enhanced environment. Nine other local authorities in addition to Down District Council will participate in this project. These ten authorities make up the East Border Region and include: Down, Newry and Mourne, and Banbridge District Councils, Armagh City and District Council, Craigavon, Ards and North Down Borough Councils in Northern Ireland as well Louth, Monaghan and Meath County Councils in the Republic of Ireland. [caption id="attachment_25144" align="alignleft" width="400" caption="Abby McSherry, project officer for Action for Biodiversity."][/caption] Funded by European Union’s INTERREG IVA Cross Border Programme, Action for Biodiversity will help Down district to develop, promote and implement a practical, achievable commitment to biodiversity. The Chairman of Down District Council, Councillor Dermot Curran said that this was an important milestone in the development of Down’s biodiversity. “Biodiversity is the lifeblood of our nation. It is our life support system, providing countless benefits from clean air, to clean water, flood defences and climate control to our people, and all for free,” he explained. “Through this project we will involve the people of Down district in learning about the wonderful resource we have and how simple measures can protect it for generations to come”. A new Action for Biodiversity project officer, Abby McSherry, has been appointed to cover Down and Newry & Mourne districts along with County Louth in the south. Speaking at the launch, Abby said that nature knew no boundaries. “A trout doesn’t know which side of a human border it is on. A hare will cross local authority limits in ignorance. And yet the practical protection offered to these species, the way their habitats are cared for and even the knowledge of their importance is highly dependant on where they find themselves,” she enthused. “This worthwhile project seeks to create Ireland’s very first regional biodiversity framework. It will help to create a richer and more diverse environment, which will be highly attractive to the people and businesses of the region. The image of the region for tourists will also be enhanced,” Abby continued. For further information on the Action for Biodiversity project contact Abby McSherry on or telephone 028 3030313100 ext 3121 (07703 717791 FOR AFTER HOURS)