On Saturday 3rd December, the National Biodiversity Data Centre was one of several partner organisations who attended the launch of a new GAA Green Club Toolkit.
This online toolkit provides simple advice for the implementation of sustainability actions at clubs across five areas: Energy, Water, Waste, Biodiversity and Travel & Transport. It will be freely available to all GAA, LGFA and Camogie Association units and members.
The National Biodiversity Data Centre helped develop the biodiversity branch of the toolkit as an expert partner to the Green Club programme, drawing on the the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan guidelines for pollinator-friendly management of sports clubs.
What is the GAA Green Club toolkit?
The Green Club toolkit is the culmination of two years of collaboration between the GAA and the local authority sector, led by the County and City Management Association (CCMA).
Phase 1 of the GAA Green Club programme saw the participation of over 30 clubs from across 17 counties all over the island of Ireland. These trail-blazing Green Clubs established Green Teams, carried out club audits and engaged in exciting sustainability partnerships and projects. The experience and input of the Phase 1 Green Clubs led to the development of the Green Club Toolkit.
An additional 75 Clubs from across the 32 counties will be selected to participate in Phase 2, which will run from 2023 to 2024. The Toolkit, which offers clear and practical advice to clubs on how to engage in green and sustainable actions, contains applied and engaging case studies from the Phase 1 Green Clubs.
The National Biodiversity Data Centre contributed to the Toolkit as an expert partner
The National Biodiversity Data Centre was one of the expert partners across the island of Ireland who contributed to the development of the toolkit. Other partners included the The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, Action Renewables, the Local Authorities Water Programme, Irish Water, NI Water, the Regional Waste Management Offices, RSPB NI, the National Transport Authority, the Road Safety Authority, Keep NI Beautiful and Sustainable NI.
The clubs who participated in Phase 1 were thanked at the launch for their contribution to the development of the Toolkit, with each club presented with a plaque in recognition of their participation.
GAA President Larry McCarthy said at the launch:
“The GAA is a games organisation but it is also an organisation built on our commitment to the communities that our clubs represent. This Green Clubs Toolkit will support our members to ensure that our extensive network of facilities at club and county level are equipped to follow best practice across the five pillars of Energy, Water, Waste, Biodiversity and Travel and to ensure we play our part as community leaders in environmental sustainability. After two years of hard work I want to thank all the organisation who collaborated on this initiative and look forward to the Green Club Toolkit being put into action by clubs at home and abroad.”
“The GAA Green Club Toolkit is an invaluable tool that identifies practical local solutions to a global challenge.”
Eamon Ryan, Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications was quoted as saying:
“The Department of the Environment, Climate, and Communications is delighted to support the GAA in its Green Club Programme. The GAA is at the heart of every community and parish in the country. Climate change is often seen as a global challenge but it’s very much a local challenge, something that we can all do something about – right here, in our parish, in our clubs.”
“The GAA Green Club Toolkit is an invaluable tool that identifies practical local solutions to this global challenge. It works because it doesn’t section climate action off – it stitches it into every day life, every day sport, every day community development and enrichment. I look forward to following the positive impact that the Green Club Programme makes in clubs and communities across Ireland”
“You don’t need loads of space to help biodiversity. Every club, no matter how small, can take make a difference”
Kate Chandler, Communities and Engagement Pollinator Officer for the National Biodiversity Data Centre, said:
“The National Biodiversity Data Centre is delighted to be an expert partner in the GAA Green Club programme. The new Green Club Toolkit is an easy way for clubs to access simple, evidence-based advice and support across five thematic areas of sustainability.
We have been thrilled to work closely with the GAA to develop the biodiversity branch of the Toolkit, and to see all the amazing work for biodiversity that has been taking place in clubs during Phase 1. You don’t need loads of space to help biodiversity. Every club, no matter how small, can take make a difference, and help create an island where pollinators and other wildlife can survive and thrive.
We would like to thank the GAA for the opportunity to contribute to the programme, and all participating clubs for the actions they are taking to help pollinators and biodiversity. We’re really looking forward to watching the Green Club programme develop into its next phase, and continuing to lend our support as an expert partner.”
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