Recently appointed Cool Planet Champion, Bernard Joyce, will give a lunchtime presentation on how climate change is impacting on us and how best we can respond here in Mayo. The presentation will take place on Tuesday, February 19 in Room P002 from 1pm to 1.45pm.
Joyce says: "Climate Change is one, if not the biggest potential problem facing life on this planet. While the vast majority of people in Ireland have heard about 'global warming' or 'climate change' in some form or other, overall there is very little understanding of what it’s about - and even less information on how climate change directly affects them.
"The problem is it’s a complex issue, that needs to be made simple – it simply gets lost in translation! The challenge is how can we expect the citizens of Ireland to make positive behavioural changes (many which benefit themselves ) when most of the public just don’t get it?"
Cool Planet Champions is Ireland’s first national programme designed specifically to explain climate change in simple, understandable and colloquial terms. Following a call-out the programme has nominated over 60 volunteers from all over Ireland and trained them (to best international standards ) to spread the word in their local communities and to help educate, inform and inspire change.
Ballyvary man Bernard Joyce has been appointed as Cool Planet Champion for Mayo for 2019. Bernard is well known in the community and environmental circles. He and his wife Zane have been working as environmental educators for a number of years, as environmental Heritage specialists with the Heritage in Schools scheme and he regularly hosts courses at the family’s native woodland at Ballyvary, which was awarded the second place in the 2015 RDS All-Ireland Forestry for Biodiversity.
Bernard was the Communications officer with Mayo Foróige from 2016 to 2018, is a coach with Ballyvary Hurling GAA Club, and Ballyvary Blue Bombers. He is a founder of New Paradigms Sustainability Consulting, which is based at the GMIT Innovation Hub in Castlebar. He is presently completing an MSc in Management for Sustainable Development at Dublin City University and has delivered training for GMIT and Mayo Education Centre in outdoor/nature education for pre-school leaders and primary teachers at the GMIT’s Green Campus, Outdoor Classroom.
GMIT Mayo was the first Institute of Technology in the world to be awarded the status of Green Campus by The Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE ) and An Taisce in 2011. The aims of the GMIT Mayo Green Campus project are to raise awareness of environmental issues and to take practical actions under the Green Campus themes.
Cool Planet Experience (CPE ) in partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA ) took the decision to look for champions at grassroots level. Vicky Brown, CEO of the CPE added: "Seeing and talking with people that you can empathise has a much bigger impact on you personally and how you live your life. We’ve given our Champions the tools they need to really get understand this topic and enabled and empowered them to pass on that knowledge and to those in their communities, through a myriad of means, to make a real and discernible difference."