Upcoming events

Upcoming Gathering!

Connecting Through Our Shared Landscape

When: May 11th, 11am – 4pm

Where: Taughmaconnell Hall, South Roscommon

Book your ticket here!


Explore a unique hidden landscape that has shaped our history, myths, folklore and our connection to the land over thousands of years. Join us for a guided tour of the karst landscape of South Roscommon, and discover the plants and animals that live here.


Karst is a landscape that is characterised by caves, sinkholes or dolines, fissures and underground streams. It has developed over millions of years and has been shaped by water. The karst landscape of South Roscommon provides us with drinking water, as well as supporting unique wildlife that has adapted to live only in this landscape. Humans too have adapted to the landscape, and the limestone area has been home to people who have farmed in a way that is special to this area.


This landscape is of national importance not only for it’s geology and biodiversity, but for it’s cultural significance.


Join the Irish Environmental Network and the Uí Máine Kingdom Group this May 11th to discover this magical landscape, celebrate our connections to the land, and explore what actions we can take to protect this unique habitat for future generations. Meet others who work and share the interest in biodiversity and natural history. Share experiences of your work, find out what actions are being taken at a local level, and rejuvenate your spirit. Learn more about how you can take action for biodiversity and climate on a policy level, and hear from our line up of speakers.


This free event will consist of a biodiversity and herbal walk along a river in the karst landscape of South Roscommon with our lead guide, Paula Sharkey, as well as speakers before and after the walk. We begin at 11am on Saturday May 11th. Lunch and refreshments included.


We are delighted to announce our keynote speaker, Dr Brendan Dunford. Brendan is an Environmental Consultant from a farming background. He is a founder of the ‘Farming for Nature’ initiative which aims to acknowledge and support farmers across Ireland who want to protect our natural heritage. Brendan also co-founded the Burrenbeo Trust, and led the award winning BurrenLIFE Project as well it’s successor, the pioneering ‘Burren Farming for Conservation Programme’. He currently manages the new ‘Burren Programme’.


We are thrilled to announce Brendan as our Keynote Speaker for the event, and thank him for his time and expertise.


More speakers to be announced!


Book your ticket here, or email catherine@ien.ie for more information.     



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Previous events

Below are the videos and resources from previous training and events. Not all training sessions are recorded, so make sure you hear about future events by joining our mailing list here.



Biodiversity Gathering

November 2022

This years annual gathering from the Irish Environmental Network focused on biodiversity, and coincided with the Citizens Assembly on Biodiversity Loss.

The topics for this in person event were chosen to follow on from our Autumn webinar series, so see our recordings from that series if you’re looking for other topics related to biodiversity.

What is Biodiversity – An introduction with Dr. Ursula King

Our first speaker for the day is the wonderful Dr Ursula King, who gave an introduction to biodiversity. She is a long time member of Dublin Naturalists Field Club, whose expertise on biodiversity has been adopted by the All Ireland Pollinator Plan. Ursula has a background in horticulture and later in botany at Trinity College, and a Phd in Plant Genetics. She currently teaches plant science and ecology, and is also active in her local voluntary groups such as community gardens.

The Secret World of Fungi in Ireland – Maria Cullen

Our second speaker is one of Ireland’s leading mycologists, Maria Cullen. She is the Director of Woodlands of Ireland and The Organic Centre in Leitrim, and the current Chairperson of the Society of Irish Plant Pathologists. With a degree in Natural Sciences and an MSE in Mycology, she shares some of her knowledge on mushrooms and fungi of Ireland.

Hedgerows and Biodiversity – Eamonn McLoughlin

Our final speaker for the day is Eamon McLoughlin, Director of the Hedge Laying Association of Ireland. Eamon is one of only five or six registered hedgelayers in Ireland. He has been laying hedges for two decades, and working to educate landowners and politicians on the importance of hedgerows for nature. A farmer himself, his small farm is the venue for hedgelaying competitions and courses. He introduces some of the plant species found in hedgerows, and the practicalities involved in laying a hedge.

Lunchtime Biodiversity Webinar Series

Autumn 2022

As the Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity Loss meets this Autumn, we are bringing people together through a series of lunchtime webinars to hear from the experts on what is causing biodiversity loss, what is being done to address the crisis and what we can do as individuals and communities to get more involved.

Introduction to Biodiversity

The webinar series is kicking off with ‘An Introduction to Biodiversity’ with Pádraic Fogarty.

Pádraic Fogarty is a Campaign Officer with the Irish Wildlife Trust and the Environmental Pillar representative on the National Biodiversity Forum.

Freshwater Biodiversity

Our Autumn Biodiversity Webinar Series continues with ‘Freshwater Biodiversity’ with Dr. Elaine McGoff.

Dr. Elaine McGoff is the Natural Environment Officer with An Taisce. With a PhD in Freshwater Ecology, Elaine’s work focuses on advocating for the full implementation of environmental law into planning, licensing, and policy development. She currently sits on the National Biodiversity Forum, the Water Forum and the Project Woodland forestry policy group.

Native Woodlands and Biodiversity

This episode brings you Jim Lawlor, Director of the Native Woodland Trust. He shares his extensive knowledge of Irish native woodlands, what they once were, what they are now, and what we need to do to get them back.

Our Marine Biodiversity

The webinar series continues with ‘Our Marine Biodiversity’ with Donal Griffin & Regina Classen. They introduce some of Ireland’s marine biodiversity, and talk about the Fair Seas campaign which is advocating to protect 30% of Ireland’s marine territory.

Donal Griffin is the Marine Policy Officer for the Fair Seas Campaign. With a strong background in marine biology and ecology, Donal also has a wealth of policy experience from the UK, including coordinating a coalition of environmental NGOs focusing on MPA management and implementation.

Regina Classen is a marine conservation biologist with strong interests in ecosystem restoration, climate change and sustainable aquaculture and fisheries science. She is a Marine Policy and Research Officer with Irish Wildlife Trust.

Bogs and Biodiversity

The webinar series continues with ‘Bogs and Biodiversity’ with Nuala Madigan. Nuala Madigan is the CEO of the Irish Peatlands Conservation Council.

Nuala has over 15 years of education, training, curriculum development and workshops which focus on the rich and varied biodiversity of our bogs.

Farming and Biodiversity

The webinar series continues with ‘Farming and Biodiversity’ with Oonagh Duggan. Oonagh Duggan is Head of Policy and Advocacy with Birdwatch Ireland, working towards a better future for birds and their habitats.

Oonagh sits on the National Biodiversity Forum as well as the CAP Consultative Committee.

Health and Biodiversity

In this episode we will hear about Health and Biodiversity, from Patrick Earls of Irish Doctors for the Environment.

Patrick is a doctor currently working as a GP in Dublin. He has a background in environmentalism having worked with Greenpeace for many years when living in the UK. On returning to Ireland he was delighted to discover and join Irish Doctors for the Environment who highlight the interdependence between human and planetary health. He is also involved in a nascent campaign called Urban Tree Revival which is campaigning to increase biodiversity and tree canopy in Ireland’s cities.

Local Authorities for Resilient Communities:

The UN SDGs as a Roadmap to Recovery Post Pandemic

July 2020

In 2015, Ireland, along with every other United Nations Member State, made a commitment to deliver on the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are the world’s best plan to build a better world for people and our planet. They are integrated and indivisible and balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental, as well as the rights of this and future generations. They are a call for action to promote prosperity while protecting the environment and leaving no-one behind.

Local Authorities have a key role in ensuring that we live up to our promise.

This webinar series, held on the 20th & 24th July 2020, invited Local Authority councillors to consider the value of the SDGs in the context of the current pandemic, and identify key actions that can be taken at a local authority level to ensure the SDGs form the foundation of all recovery efforts.

Click here for the series report: SDGs for Local Authorities Report August 2020 Final

Keynote by Senator Alice Mary Higgins on the SDGs & Local Authorities

Building Resilient Communities:

The SDGs as a Roadmap to Recovery Post Covid 19

May 2020

The online webinar series aimed to provide an opportunity for Public Participation Networks, as well as members of the Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs) & Strategic Policy Committees (SPCs), to consider the value of the Sustainable Development Goals as a blueprint for building resilient communities as we move out of the Covid 19 crisis.

This series took place across three days, from the 26th – 28th May 2020 from 2.30-4pm. Over 260 participants from 26 counties took part across the three sessions and there was representation from every municipal district in the country.

The series was facilitated by Davie Philip of Cultivate in partnership with the Irish Environmental Network as part of the Make Europe Sustainable for All project.

Click here for the Series Report, which includes:

  • links to video recordings of the sessions,
  • a summary of documents & resources shared,
  • links to the presentations
  • a summary of both the presentations & inputs in the Chat and
  • a summary of actions.

National Marine Planning Framework consultation

May 2020

The Draft National Marine Planning Framework consultation closed on April 30th 2020. The webinar below introduced the Framework and explored points made in the submissions of SWAN and Coastwatch. These videos may be useful in future consultations.

Introduction to the National Marine Planning Framework with Conor McCabe

Conor McCabe joins us from the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government to deliver an introduction to the National Marine Planning Framework.

Input from SWAN – with Cormac Nolan

Cormac is the Policy Officer of the sustainable Water Network. He joins us to give his insight into the points that SWAN are concerned about in their submission.

Input from Coastwatch – with Karin Dubsky

Karin joins us from Coastwatch to go through some of the points that you may wish to consider in your own submission.

Climate for Councils – Climate and Biodiversity Action Workshop

December 2019

The objective of this workshop was to initiate the development and implementation of policies and actions, at Local Authority level, that will respond to the Climate and Biodiversity Emergencies. The day hosted presentations from expert speakers focusing on the challenges that Ireland is facing, and looking at the actions that local authorities can drive in their constituency. Round table discussions asked attending councilors to share best practice, challenges, and possible solutions to the collapse of biodiversity, and to climate adaptation and mitigation. Below are the presentations from the day.


From Karen Ciesielski, CEO of Irish Environmental Network.

Climate Change and Biodiversity Loss – The closely linked nature of the 2 emergencies

Anja Murray, Ecologist, Policy Analyst and Broadcaster

Anja Murray – View and download the presentation here.

The Biodiversity Emergency

Padraic Fogarty, Ecologist and Author.

Local Authorities and Biodiversity

Bernie Guest, Heritage Officer

Bernie Guest – View and download the presentation here.

Getting Real on Climate Crisis – Local Leadership on Climate Action

Tara Shine, Environmental Scientist, Change by Degrees

Tara Shine – View and download the presentation here.

Local dimensions of the National & Local Biodiversity Action Plans – are they sufficient and will they be delivered?

David Dodd, Environmental Scientist, Climate Action Regional Office

David Dodd – View and download the presentation here.

Reports: Outcomes from workshops

Summary of Workshop Outcomes on Biodiversity.pdf

Summary of Workshop Outcomes on Climate Change.pdf

Feedback from participants at the Climate and Biodiversity Workshop

Climate Action Training

November 2019

From National to Local – How to use the National Climate Action Plan in local work

This workshop is hosted by Simon O’Rafferty, who has been working on an EPA funded project which focuses on examining the design of policy interventions for sustainable behaviour change. Simon will break down the national plan, and show how it can be used to direct your own work, and where community groups and projects can work alongside national plans to strengthen both local and national work.

Simon O’Rafferty – Climate Action Plan and Communities presentation.


Re-wilding and Biodiversity

Hosted by Pádraic Fogarty, Campaign Officer at the Irish Wildlife Trust and author of ‘Whittled Away’, the tale of Ireland’s fast disappearing nature and what can be done about it. Pádraic will be sharing his experience of wildlife in Ireland and the concept of re-wilding.

Padraic Fogarty – Biodiversity and Rewilding presentation.

Climate Action Training

Workshops: Climate for Wellbeing, Hosting Climate Conversations in your Community, Climate and the Local Elections.

March 2019

1) Climate for Wellbeing

As our climate changes, so must our communities and councils adapt to future-proof practices. One way to impact this adaptation is through the Wellbeing Statements for each Public Participation Network. This workshop, hosted by Michael Ewing of the Environmental Pillar, will explore how you can engage for climate through this documents creation. The Wellbeing Statement in each Local Authority District will be a guidebook for the work of the Public Participation Network and the creation of local policy in the future, as it aims to reflect what the community wants the future of their county to look like. We will be joined by Helen Howes of County Wicklow PPN, who has organised the creation of a very successful Wellbeing Statement in Co.Wicklow. Ensure that our environment is included in your counties Wellbeing Statement by knowing how to give your input, and how to lead others to give theirs.

Michael Ewing – View and download the presentation here

Helen Howes – View and download the presentation here

2) Hosting Climate Conversations in your Community

Conversation is key to creating more awareness on climate issues. People have always learned and shared through stories, and it is through good story telling and good communication that knowledge and best practice will take root. We are delighted to have Gary Tyrrell from An Taisce with us for this event to host our third workshop of the day.  He will host a workshop on the practicalities of hosting climate conversations with family, friends and larger groups, and exploring the importance of storytelling in communicating.

Gary Tyrell – Climate Conversation presentation

Gary Tyrell – Communications & Action Presentation

3) Climate and the Local Elections

This workshop will be focused on enacting change for climate through the local and EU elections. David Healy, Green Party Councilor for Fingal, will discuss what it is that local councilors can achieve. We will discuss different ways that you can engage with local councilors about environmental issues, and methods for reaching more people. This workshop includes a step by step guide on how to organise a local hustings hosted by Niall Sargent, editor for the Green News, and will explore other creative ways to engage people for climate in the local election process.

Functions of council pdf

David Healy – local authority presentation

Niall Sargent – How to grab some attention presentation