Brainstorming Bertra - International Experts to Share Ideas on the Future of Bertra Strand

Bertra Strand, Co. Mayo. Photo NUI Galway.
Sep 26 2019 Posted: 10:47 IST

NUI Galway’s School of Geography and Archaeology will host an event to kickstart local climate action that threatens the long-term future of Bertra Strand in Co. Mayo. The event is being run by the EU Aelclic Project on Tuesday, 1 October at The Tavern, Murrisk, Co. Mayo at 7pm.

Located on the southern shore of Clew Bay, Co. Mayo, Bertra Strand and its dunes are in a precarious state. It has been pounded by a series of storms in the past decade with dire consequences. These and other pressures, especially climate change, threaten its long-term future. An integrated vision is needed for the future welfare of the whole coastal landscape, where the natural environment is inextricably linked to that of the local communities of Murrisk, Lecanvy and Belclare. To kickstart local climate action this event is being run by the EU Aelclic Project.

Ongoing coastal erosion and flooding, a perceived lack of integration in planning and management to-date, and local jobs into the future are issues that have been identified in the area. Dr Kevin Lynch, School of Geography at NUI Galway, says: “We must capitalise now, on the surging political consciousness of climate-related threats that coastal communities have been highlighting for years. Locally led actions supported by responsible authorities can drive real change, if citizens act now.”

The event will hear of international experiences from Professor Enzo Pranzini (University of Florence), Professor Bas Pedroli (Wageningen University) and Dr Maura Farrell (NUI Galway). Discussing good practices from Ireland and abroad it will demonstrate that solutions do exist that can be beneficial to the communities and the natural environment at the same time. The outcomes of the event are expected to be, a greater awareness of possible solutions and a solid commitment from those interested to work together to take action.

In light of the recent school climate strikes it would be a particularly opportune time for younger concerned citizens to come along and have their voice heard. The event is free and open to everyone. There will be four 5-minute talks by the visiting speakers, with plenty of time for questions. This will be followed by an opportunity to speak to the experts over refreshments.

The EU Aelclic Project is engaging local communities and stakeholders, local and national authorities and the academic community in a joint approach to managing and planning for this valuable landscape in the face of climate change, see

Running parallel to the project work, Mayo County Council has developed a climate adaptation strategy for the county (see Climate Ready Mayo report on

For more information about the event contact Dr Kevin Lynch, School of Geography, NUI Galway at or phone 091 495779.


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