NI Environment Link - Latest News http://www.nienvironmentlink.org/news/ NI Environment Link en-gb http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Andi Topping info@nienvironmentlink.org (NI Environment Link) info@nienvironmentlink.org (NI Environment Link) <![CDATA[ Green Key launches in NI]]>  

Green Key is an internationally recognised eco–certification for the hospitality sector, thereby boosting the local tourism and hospitality industry and championing sustainable best practices.

Green Key is one of five programmes run under the auspices of the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) and will be locally operated by Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful. The eco–label is currently available in 56 countries across the globe and boasts over 2,700 certified establishments, making it the largest eco–label in the hospitality industry. Green Key criteria are recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council – a key indicator of environmental quality assurance – in an otherwise often unregulated market for eco–labels. Green Key is available for hotels and hostels, small accommodations, campsites and holiday parks, conference centres and restaurants.

Dr Susann Power, Operations Manager at Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful and Green Key National Operator states: “A Green Key stands for an establishment’s promise to its guests that by opting to stay with such an establishment, they are helping to make a difference on an environmental and sustainability level. Researchers at the University of Québec have demonstrated that customers generally perceive eco–certifications as favourable and that customer satisfaction levels increase when a hotel has adopted sustainable operations and has been awarded an eco–certification. Green Key is thus a real opportunity for hospitality businesses in Northern Ireland to target those discerning visitors.”

Finn Bolding Thomsen, International Green Key Director at the Foundation for Environmental Education explains: “Green Key is a well–proven and recognised international programme for establishments in the hospitality industry. More and more establishments wish to work with its sustainability efforts, so Green Key is experiencing a growth in number of participating establishments and number of countries with awarded establishments. I am very happy to see the programme now also being launched in Northern Ireland so that interested businesses can obtain local support from Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful for the implementation of Green Key.”

Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, a member of the Foundation for Environmental Education, is ideally placed to operate Green Key locally, already managing the Blue Flag, Seaside Awards, Green Coast Awards, Green Flag for Parks, Green Business Award and Eco–Schools and EcoCampus as well established ecolabels in the province. The charity is committed to providing guidance and support for businesses, schools and destinations to reach their full sustainability potential.

Hospitality businesses interested in learning more about Green Key and how it can help them boost their green credentials should contact Dr Susann Power at susann.power@keepnorthernirelandbeautiful.org or on 028 9073 6920, or visit www.greenkey–ni.org.

Read the full press release here…

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Tue, 16 Jan 2018 15:53:43 +0000 http://www.nienvironmentlink.org/news/Green-Key-Launches-in-NI
<![CDATA[ Iceland chain to go plastic free]]> (via BBC News)

Garbage

Iceland says the move will affect more than a thousand own–label products.

New ranges will be packaged using a paper–based tray, rather than plastic.

It follows recent outcries over the packaging of cauliflower “steaks” and coconuts, and Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet programme, which showed vivid images of plastic pollution.

Prime Minister Theresa May has called plastic waste “one of the great environmental scourges of our time”.

The UK uses 3.7 million tonnes of plastic a year, according to trade organisation Plastics Europe, and recent changes in China have made it more difficult to process.

Nigel Broadhurst, joint managing director of Iceland, explained the typical ready meal was packaged in a particularly bad way.

“It is currently in a black plastic tray. That black plastic is the worst possible option in terms of toxins going into the ground and the ability to recycle that product,” Mr Broadhurst said.

Read more via BBC News…

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Tue, 16 Jan 2018 15:01:05 +0000 http://www.nienvironmentlink.org/news/Iceland-chain-to-go-plastic-free
<![CDATA[ 25 Year Plan for NI environment]]>  

squirrel 

As the UK Government today published its long–awaited 25 Year Plan for the Environment, a coalition of environmental NGOs is calling for a similar long–term strategy to protect the environment in Northern Ireland.

The 25 Year Plan for the Environment was launched today during Theresa May’s first major speech on the environment and sets out how the UK Government will deliver on its manifesto commitment to leave the environment in a better state for future generations. However, the environment is a largely devolved matter and so the plan primarily focusses on measures for England.

Nature Matters NI, a joint campaign of leading environmental NGOs, is calling for a similar long–term plan for the environment in Northern Ireland. As part of a wider NGO coalition covering the UK as a whole, we are also calling on the four nations to work closely together in developing a joint vision for our shared natural heritage.

Emily Hunter from the Nature Matters NI campaign said:

“While there is room for improvement, the UK Government’s 25 Year Plan is an encouraging step forward for the environment, but we now need the same long–term planning for Northern Ireland. We don’t want to be lagging behind the rest of the UK when it comes to protecting the environment and it is vital that we continue to work together as we leave the EU given that nature does not respect borders.

“Northern Ireland has a unique and beautiful environment that is home to over 20,000 different species, including many threatened species such as the red squirrel and the cryptic wood white butterfly. However, we have seen greater loss of biodiversity than any other region of the UK.  It’s clear we’re not doing enough to protect this precious wildlife so we need a bold and ambitious plan for Northern Ireland that ensures future generations will be able to continue to enjoy this unique and special environment.

“There’s an economic imperative here too: a healthy environment can help the economy by providing vital services such as flood defence and carbon storage. If we keep exploiting our environment with no long–term strategy, we will just be leaving future generations to pick up the cost. 

“We want to see farm payments that reward and incentivise nature–friendly farming practices so the decline in biodiversity can halted and reversed. We want adequate investment and management of our most important designated wildlife habitats. We want to see a clean air strategy that addresses the 500 deaths we have each year in Northern Ireland due to air pollution. We want a completed network of protected areas in our seas and a sustainable fisheries management system that will help to deliver a healthy marine environment. We also want an ambitious plan, backed up by legislation, to deal with the plastic pollution that is choking our seas.

“With the right political will, we can set out a positive plan for the future of Northern Ireland’s environment and show how we can genuinely have a ‘Green Brexit’.”

Contact:
Emily Hunter
Nature Protection Policy Officer
RSPB NI
Telephone: 028 9069 0852
E–mail:
Emily.Hunter@rspb.org.uk

ENDS

Notes:

25 Year Plan for the Environment

A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment sets out how the UK Government intends to deliver a ‘Green Brexit’ and achieve its manifesto commitment of leaving the environment in a better condition that when we inherited it.

The plan includes some measures relating to international commitments that apply UK–wide, but the majority of the plan relates to devolved areas and will apply only to England.

Headline measures proposed in the plan include:

  • Development of a sustainable fisheries policy
  • Development of a new Northern Forest
  • Eliminating avoidable plastic waste by 2042 by extending the 5p carrier bag charge and encouraging supermarkets to introduce plastic–free aisles.
  • Developing a Strategy for Nature setting out how we will meet our international biodiversity commitments
  • Designing and delivering a new environmental land management system
  • Helping more children engage with nature through a Nature Friendly Schools Programme

Nature Matters NI (@NatureMattersNI)

Nature Matters NI is a public–facing campaign of the NIEL Brexit Coalition, a wide range of organisations and individuals dedicated to securing the best future for our environment post–Brexit. Nature Matters NI comprises organisations such as the National Trust, NIEL, RSPB NI and Ulster Wildlife representing approximately 100,000 members in Northern Ireland.

Created in response to the threats posed to environmental legislation and protections by leaving the EU, the campaign is advocating along three major strands: Nature and Environmental Protection; Agriculture and Land–Use Policies; and Marine and Fisheries Policies.

The following organisations are currently involved in the Nature Matters Nature and Environmental Protection campaign working group:

  • Buglife
  • Butterfly Conservation
  • Climate NI
  • Friends of the Earth
  • NI Bat Group
  • Northern Ireland Environment Link
  • Northern Ireland Marine Task Force
  • RSPB NI
  • The National Trust
  • The Woodland Trust
  • Ulster Angling Federation
  • Ulster Wildlife

Read the full press release here…

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Thu, 11 Jan 2018 16:58:21 +0000 http://www.nienvironmentlink.org/news/25-Year-Plan-for-NI-environment
<![CDATA[ Farming for the next generation]]>  

Farm

 

For anyone wondering what the focus of this year’s Oxford Farming Conference might be, it was The Archers provided an answer just before Christmas.

Brian Aldridge asked his step–son, Adam, whether he might be attending the conference. Adam replied wearily. ‘I think I’ll give it a miss this year. It’s probably going to be all about Brexit. I get enough of that at home.’

I know how he feels.

I suspect everyone in this room knows how he feels.

And, of course, I’ll say something in a moment about the specific opportunities and challenges for agriculture on leaving the European Union.

But if we’re going to make the most of those opportunities and overcome those challenges it’s critical that we recognise that there is much, much, more that is changing in our world than our relationship with the EU.

As we saw in the presentation at the beginning of this session, the world’s population is growing at an unprecedented rate, with a worldwide migration from rural areas to cities and a growth in the global middle class which is driving demand for more, and better quality, food.

Read more via GOV.UK…

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Fri, 05 Jan 2018 12:34:41 +0000 http://www.nienvironmentlink.org/news/Farming-for-the-next-generation
<![CDATA[ NIEL Membership Brochure]]>  

  NIEL

 

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Tue, 21 Mar 2017 12:12:12 +0000 http://www.nienvironmentlink.org/news/NIEL-Membership-Brochure