The 'Get-Involved' local community collaborative initiative is well under way across the country. It's now in its second year and more focussed on specific local green economy issues, where people come together to take more ownership of their destination and local environs.
I believe, we're now on the cusp of a widespread positive network transformation that will build resilience in Ireland's local communities and enable them to flourish.
Our 'Eco Eye' team are very committed to this new grass-roots movement. Throughout our current TV series, we show examples of real local action, where we feature inspiring projects of community finalists in the 'Get-Involved' nationwide competition.
These include, community groups engaged in home energy retrofit clusters, those that focus on producing local renewable fuel, or local food produce for local needs. It includes others that focus on protecting their local natural habitats, river catchments or develop 'eco-tourism' in their local environs. The 'Get-Involved' projects are growing in quality and expanding, as more and more local householders, farmers, small green businesses and schools come together to create their own local collaborative ventures, where they clearly see its benefits unfold.
'Get-Involved' is spearheaded by the local weekly newspapers across the country.
They recognise the opportunities it creates for local communities, where it saves people money, keeps hard-earned money in local circulation, which is currently being drained away from their local economies.
Local communities are very reliant on imports of fossil fuels for energy and for food produce. Many of these products are feasible to produce and cost-effective to be grown locally for local needs.
Last year's Get-Involved competition awards will be presented on February 26, possibly at Charleville Castle, Tullamore and is sponsored by SEAI.
It shows promising examples and sets effective standards and guidelines that are feasible and easily achieved by any new start-up community.
This initiative will certainly stimulate a new co-operative 'bottom-up' movement, with a focus on innovative, green enterprises.
This will benefit local communities and build resilience against future energy or food shortage shocks, by creating a greater level of local self-sufficiency. This will lead to thousands of new rewarding livelihoods, especially for co-operative enterprises that enable young people to flourish close to their native locality, rather than having to migrate.
'Get-Involved' also focuses on creating community groups that protect and enhance natural habitats, eco-systems and river catchments in their local environs. It's clearly a no-brainer and a 'win-win' all around.
In our current Eco Eye TV series, we feature some very successful and inspiring 'Get-Involved' community projects that could easily be replicated across Ireland.
We so far have featured three episodes, which comprise: The Impacts of Climate Change. The Value of Nature. The Benefits of Forests, Timber and Wood fuel for Heating.
Our next 'Eco Eye' is Tuesday, January 27, on RTE 1 at 7pm.
The topics of our next three are Greening our Electricity & Wind power, Water quality of private wells, upgrading septic tanks & protecting our river catchments and the Impacts of Climate Change on global food production and if there's a role for GMO crops. Most of our programmes are relevant to local communities, farmers and householders in rural and urban areas.
For more information, you can contact your local newspaper, and you can access our previous Eco Eye episodes on: www.earthhorizon.ie - click on Eco Eye 13