The Irish Loop is justifiably proud of its Irish heritage and wears its green with pride. But can the region become “green” in another way: Can the Irish Loop become a leader in sustainable development? What do the citizens of the region need to do in order to create jobs without destroying the region’s pristine nature? How can governments, volunteer groups, business people, families and ordinary citizens work together to create a sustainable region? Can collaboration help solve issues dealing with waste management, alternative energy, resource management and other issues?
These are some of the questions that will be addressed at a public lecture organized by Memorial University on the evening of Thursday, Nov. 8, at the Celtic Rendezvous in Bauline East. The lecture begins at 7 p.m. and admission is free.
Dr. Bruce Gilbert, a former executive director of the Conservation Corps of Newfoundland and Labrador, and now a partnership consultant with Memorial University’s SafetyNet organization, will lead the discussion. According to Dr. Gilbert, creating a sustainable region is a complex and long-term process.
“All of society must be involved in this process, and that means that collaboration and partnership are the orders of the day,” Dr. Gilbert said. “But collaborating can be frustrating and difficult if not done right. There can even be too much collaboration! So we need to strike the right balance.”
Dr. Gilbert will be accompanied by an expert panel composed of Dr. Steve Bruneau of Memorial University’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, who will discuss alternative sources of energy, and Harold Mullowney, the president of the Irish Loop Development Board and deputy mayor of Bay Bulls, who will talk about the role of municipal government in sustainable development.
The presentations will be followed by a discussion session with the audience, where the issues can be debated in detail. The evening will close with a reception hosted by Memorial University.
The evening is organized by Memorial University’s Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development. The centre has a mandate to create forums where important issues of public policy are debated in an open and non-partisan manner. This event is a unique opportunity for citizens of the Southern Shore to think about sustainable development and to engage in a discussion with experts in the field.
The following day, the Harris Centre and the Irish Loop Development Board will hold a day-long workshop to identify new collaboration opportunities between Memorial University and local organizations. It is hoped that between 20 and 30 new opportunities will be identified where the faculty, staff and students of Memorial will be able to work with local leaders to help develop the economy and improve the quality of life of the Southern Shore.
This workshop is open to the public, and a special invitation is extended to organizations dealing with the fishery, cultural heritage, social development, economic development and labour market development. Municipal councillors and employees, as well as government officials and representatives of non-governmental organizations are especially invited to attend. There is no cost to register, however pre-registration is required. Meals and coffee breaks will be provided by the Harris Centre.
The workshop will be held at the Celtic Rendezvous, beginning at 9 a.m. and concluding at 4:30 p.m.
For more information about the evening session and the day-long workshop, contact the Irish Loop Development Board at (709) 438-2898 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The media are invited to the evening event on Thursday evening and the workshop on Friday.