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Causeway Coast and Glens

Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre Launches New Virtual Arpillera Exhibition on Children’s Rights

The Arpillera Voices for #Childrens Rights exhibition will run from March 15th – May 30th online at www.roevalleyarts.com.

Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre will host a powerful new virtual exhibition from today (March 15th) charting global progress on the journey to realising children’s rights.

‘Arpillera Voices for #ChildrensRights’ is a collaboration between Conflict Textiles, Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre and Fundació Ateneu Sant Roc and builds on previous collaborations over the past 10 years.

Through the medium of brightly colored patchwork pictures known as arpilleras, the exhibition highlights the path to recognising children’s rights, particularly relating to family life, play, education, health and protection from violence.

Asking the vital question, ‘How can we embrace a culture of children’s rights?’, the two phase exhibition opened at Fundació Ateneu Sant Roc in Badalona, Spain on November 10th 2020, marking the 30th anniversary of the UN General Assembly adoption of both the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, and the Convention on the Rights of the child.

The second phase sees the exhibition moving to Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre to coincide with spring, which traditionally heralds the return of outdoor play for children.

The exhibition will also inspire the creativity of primary pupils thanks to a partnership with Balnamore Primary School and teacher Catherine Martin. This project focusing on the right of children to play will start on April 19th and will culminate in a virtual exhibition of the artwork created by the pupils.

The Arpillera Voices for #Childrens Rights exhibition will run from March 15th –  May 30th online at www.roevalleyarts.com. It’s also part of the live archive of Conflict Textiles where it will be available to view here

Causeway Coast and Glens

Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s centenary civic gift continues throughout 2021

centenary civic gift

Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council wants to remind people about its centenary civic gift initiative.

A bespoke coin will be presented to all residents of the borough, along with businesses or organisations, who celebrate their 100th birthday in 2021 as part of Council’s programme of events to mark 100 years of Northern Ireland.

The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Richard Holmes, explained: “Several presentations have taken place since the beginning of the year and Council is keen to identify as many eligible recipients as possible.

“If you know someone who will reach the age of 100 this year, please let us know so we can mark their birthday or anniversary in this unique way.

“The coin has been designed to commemorate Northern Ireland’s centenary and we want to celebrate this significant occasion by recognising our oldest residents and institutions.

The scheme applies to all centenary birthdays and anniversaries from January 1st 2021 until December 31st 2021.

If you want to nominate an eligible recipient then email mayorsoffice@causewaycoastandglens.gov.uk or ring 028 7034 7010.

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Causeway Coast and Glens

Rathlin Island’s Ambitious Carbon Neutral Plans

Minister Edwin Poots meets with Kate Burns on Northern Ireland’s first and only commercial seaweed farm. Photo Credit: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Minister, Edwin Poots MLA has visited Rathlin Island to see its wide variety of seabirds and hear of the Island’s ambitious plans to become carbon neutral.

During his visit, Minister Poots met with representatives from The Rathlin Development and Community Association who have a strong ambition for the Island to become carbon neutral and have been exploring a number of renewable energy options.

The Association is a partner in the Clean Energy for EU islands project, which aims to provide a long-term framework to help islands generate their own sustainable, low cost energy; resulting in reduced energy costs and greatly increased production of renewable energy; better energy security for islands, which will be less reliant on imports; improved air quality, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and less impact on islands’ natural environments, as well as the creation of new jobs and business opportunities, boosting the islands’ economic self-sufficiency.

Welcoming the Island’s ambitions, Minister Poots said: “I am delighted to visit Rathlin and meet with the local community. I admire Rathlin’s strong ambition to reduce emissions and become carbon neutral, this is aligned to my vision for Green Growth and climate action and I very much welcome the Island’s efforts to realise this goal.”

Minister Edwin Poots with Chief Fisheries Officer Mark McCaughan and Principal Scientific Officer Colin Armstrong viewing the thousands of seabirds comprising razor-bills, guillemots, fulmars, kittiwakes and puffins. Photo Credit: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Rathlin Island is also Northern Ireland’s most important seabird colony and in summer the sea cliffs and sea stacks provide nesting sites for a variety of seabirds, including nationally important colonies of guillemot, razorbill and kittiwake.  Northern Ireland’s largest populations of puffin also breed among the grassy slopes of the cliff ledges. During his visit, the Minister enjoyed a boat trip to observe the puffins and other iconic seabirds at their nesting site. The protected breeding seabird colonies are considered to be at risk, due to a number of external factors including milder winters and the lower availability of small fish.

Much of Rathlin Island and the seas around it are protected areas and while this restricts some activities, the Rathlin community is keen to recognise that the development and promotion of Rathlin tourism and environmental products is key to growth of the island economy.

Commenting on this, Minister Poots said: “I recognise the issues that Rathlin faces, both from external and internal factors, and I remain committed to working with the local Community, RSPB and other partners to deliver collaborative community led-projects that provide long term protection for the Island’s seabirds and, importantly, supports community recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“My Department has provided funding of £38,000 over the past year for environmental activities on Rathlin, including £8,000 to RSPB for a community engagement officer and £30,000 to Causeway Coastal and Glens Heritage Trust to develop a seabird recovery project for the Island. This funding has enabled them to work with the Rathlin community on the development of projects to protect and restore seabird populations on the island.  It has also enabled Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust to work with Rathlin farmers on other environmental projects, including the management of geese on farmlands.”

Minister Poots meets with chairman of Rathlin Development and Community Association, Michael Cecil to hear about the island’s long term goal go Carbon neutral and test emerging renewable technologies on the Island. Photo Credit: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

The seas around Rathlin are rich in biodiversity and is an important Marine Protected Area featuring reefs, sea caves, sandbanks, seals, various bird species, deep-sea habitat, maritime cliffs and geological structures. This includes kelp, seagrass and maerl that are natural carbon stores, often referred to as blue carbon habitats, and considered to be as important as peatlands.

Concluding, Minister Poots said: “Rathlin Island and the seas surrounding it provide significant economic opportunities and it is important that these are explored and developed whilst maintaining the environmental ethos of the Island and ensuring the views of the Rathlin community are considered. The seas around Rathlin are rich in biodiversity and effective management of the marine protected area will protect and enhance these for future generations. I very much appreciate the work of the RDCA and the positive approach they have taken to working with nature.”

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