Call for a Global Approach in Addressing the Climate Crisis from Mayo Changemakers
Our global world is more local than we think, and a worldwide approach such as the Irish meitheal tradition will be essential in addressing the climate and biodiversity crisis. That was the central message running through an innovative climate gathering held in Ballina on May 30th.
Speaking at the event, His Excellency Ambassador Michael Mubea of Kenya spoke of his country’s place on the front line and its global consequences. ‘Climate change is an emergency which calls for urgent collective global action. The least contributors will unfortunately be most affected.‘
‘Nature is very unforgiving of our mistakes, and I urge you all to be that agent of change to protect our environment’ Ambassador Mubea encouraged delegates. His address highlighting the strong relationship that exists between Ireland and Kenya, and the unique bond between Kenyan and Mayo farmers who breed the same cows, thanks to animal donations in the 2000s. Torn between giving food to their families and their animals, Kenyan farmers face an unenviable dilemma in handling the impacts of climate change that are the result of actions in the global North.
Ambassador Mubea’s address was part of Mayo’s first diaspora gathering themed on climate change and biodiversity. Taking place in Ballina, the event brought together those with Mayo connections working globally to address climate change and the biodiversity crisis. Also speaking at the event was Vice Admiral (Rtd) Mark Mellett, a Castlebar man, who emphasised that ‘the issue at hand is a people issue. It is essential for us to bring together governments, civil society and enterprise to help solve the greatest challenge of our society.’
The day’s discussion explored themes including leadership in local and global communities, innovation and research, as well as a showcase of Mayo Changemakers and the work they are doing on the global and local stage in addressing the climate and biodiversity crisis.
The Mayo Changemakers network is a new Mayo diaspora network in development by The Mary Robinson Centre that seeks to bring together like-minded Mayo people working at home and abroad in addressing the climate and biodiversity crisis. Mayo’s global diaspora is estimated at 3.5million people, and its national and overseas diaspora associations are some of the strongest and most active diaspora engagement groups, well connected to home and eager to support, connect and celebrate the green and red where they can.
Building on these strong connections and that strong sense of belonging to a shared space, The Mary Robinson Centre’s ultimate objective is to create a global network of Mayo people working, studying and researching in this space for collaborative and knowledge sharing opportunities across the world.
This event is a first step in building the Mayo Changemakers network. The event showcased Mayo people in leadership in local and global communities, and those who are trailblazers in research and innovation, developing solutions for the climate and biodiversity crisis. As part of the event, we showcased the work of our Mayo people in a Changemakers showcase, in addition to beginning the important conversation of how we can work together in supporting the global goal of carbon neutrality.
Mayo Changemakers was a partnership between The Mary Robinson Centre and Mayo County Council’s Climate Action Office, with support from Atlantic Seaboard North CARO. The event was part of Home to Mayo, a festival in the Global Irish diaspora engagement programme, delivered by Mayo County Council in partnership with Fáilte Ireland.
The event also recieved national coverage in The Irish Times – you can read the article here.