Minister of State Deenihan launches the KerryLIFE project
Minister of State, Jimmy Deenihan, TD, launched the KerryLIFE project today in Glencar, Co. Kerry.
The key objective of this demonstration project, which is worth €3.8 million to the local economy, is to support two local communities to restore populations of the critically endangered freshwater pearl mussel in south Kerry. The project will work closely with local communities and stakeholders in the farming and forestry sectors to deliver sustainable land use management for the conservation of the pearl mussel. This approach will ensure local knowledge is central to the development and selection of the conservation measures to support the mussel. It is estimated that approximately 50 farmers across the Glencar and Blackwater areas will participate in the project, which will last until 2019.
A team of four people, based in the Glencar Community Centre have been working full-time on the project since the beginning of the year. Farm and forest management plans are presently under preparation and their implementation will commence later this year.
The KerryLIFE project is a partnership project being coordinated by the Department of Arts, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Forest Service, Coillte, Teagasc, Pobal and South Kerry Development Partnership. Further information on the project which is being co-funded by the European Union under the LIFE programme, is available on the project’s website, www.kerrylife.ie
Minister Deenihan said: “In a few days’ time, the Taoiseach will go to New York to represent Ireland at the United Nations summit meeting on Sustainable Development Goals. Ireland has been proud to lead global work on these goals during the past year. It is really appropriate for us, therefore, to be launching work here in Kerry which contributes to our own sustainable development. The natural environment is critical to our quality of life and we want to develop in a sustainable way, ensuring that we take the necessary steps to protect our natural habitats.“
The Minister thanked the farmers, landowners, schools and communities of the Blackwater and Glencar area for their support and co-operation and the project team for their work.