Derry to host important circular economy conference
16 March 2022
Local people are being encouraged to attend a special conference next week aimed at exploring new and innovative approaches to reducing and preventing waste and the promotion of the circular economy.
The Northern Ireland Resource Network (NIRN) conference, Voices and Vision for the Circular Economy in Northern Ireland takes place in the Playhouse on 24 March.
Supported by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), the conference brings together speakers from a wide range of sectors including governmental departments, local authorities, social enterprise, community organisations, NGOs, private sector and funders.
Speaking ahead of the event, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Graham Warke, said it presented a valuable opportunity to explore alternatives to the current linear approach to waste disposal. “Council has been leading the way when it comes to taking a proactive approach to developing environmental strategies that are insightful and impactful and we support the good work that is being done through the N. Ireland Resource Network. It’s appropriate that the conference is taking place here in the city next week, and we will have the opportunity to showcase the progress to date on the Green Infrastructure Plan for the City and District.
“We all need to do more to reduce waste and prolong the life of our resources and this event provides an opportunity to tap into the expertise of a range of other organisations with the same environmental objectives. We need to take a joined up approach to effectively fast track the transition to a circular economy and ensure that everyone is on board when it comes to implementing the changes that will make a significant difference to our environmental future.”
DAERA Minister, Edwin Poots, will open the conference with a pre-recorded video address and guest speakers will include Andy Rees, OBE, Head of Waste Strategy for the Welsh Government speaking on their ‘Beyond Recycling’ strategy, and Michael Cook, CEO of Circular Communities Scotland, bringing the Scottish perspective to the conference post COP26. Claire Downey, Policy Director of the Rediscovery Centre, will share their activity on Dublin as European Circularity Hotspot 2023, and NIRN members will highlight reuse and repair activities already taking place in Northern Ireland.
Council’s Head of Environment, Conor Canning, said: “We have been working hard as a Council to increase our capability to reduce, reuse and recycle and the NIRN conference will really build on that momentum. As the first local Council to formally adopt a Zero Waste approach we are pleased to align ourselves with NIRN to share learnings and strengthen the network of partners working towards a sustainable future.
“We are all aware of the significant economic, environmental and social benefits, but we have the opportunity to hear from a range of leading industry figures about the additional opportunities to refine our approaches as a Council, to ensure we are conserving and utilising all our environmental resources to the best of our ability.”