LCDC meeting notes by environmental representative Cornelia Wahli – 14th April 2021


Clare LCDC (Local Community Development Committee)

Meeting – Wednesday, 14.04.2021 @ 15:00 pm

Meeting Notes from PPN Environmental Representative, Cornelia Wahli


PPN Reps Present:   Niamh O’Callaghan, Hillary Tonge, Mary O’Donoghue, Cornelia Wahl

  1. Minutes for meeting dated 24.02.2021


  1. LCDC Membership up-date:

4 LCDC members completed their 2-term membership:

  • Mary O’Donoghue                Clare PPN Rep for Social Inclusion
  • Helen Downs                       Business Sector – Shannon Chamber of Commerce
  • Andrew Dundas                   Agriculture Farming Sector
  • Margaret Slattery                Clare Youth Service

3 new members proposed for LCDC membership and proposals adopted

  • Margaret O’Brien Business Sector     Ennis Chamber of Commerce
  • Thomas Lane                                     Agriculture Farming Sector
  • Brian McManus                                  Clare Youth Service
  1. LCDC 2020 – Annual Report

Presented by Deirdre Power

Greater emphasis on visual presentation of report with more photos and graphics

  1. Clare PPN Presentation

Presented by Cornelia Wahli, Clare PPN Environmental Representative and included the following:

  • Outcomes from the recent pilot project run by Clare PPN on the topic of

‘Climate Action Plan and Fund’ for the Department of the Environment, Climate Action and Communications

in summary included the following concerns and hopes of Clare PPN member groups in broad terms:

  1. Centre-stage given to the environment instead of being placed at the end of reports, discussions and decisions
  2. Public information campaign about the current state of the environment requested
  3. Local level solutions
  4. Coherence between government departments nationally, regionally and locally
  5. Designated biodiversity office and officer
  6. Nature based solutions
  7. ‘Organic Clare’ brand and culture change

Two examples of the type of actions which could emerge from LCDC were chosen from above concerns and hopes from the pilot project:

  • Organic Clare
  • Proper hedgerow maintenance


  • On the question of main issues in the current Local Economic and Community Plan 2016 – 2021 in regard to Climate Change Actions, the conclusion was that Climate Change and Biodiversity featured lightly only and only toward the very back of the document
  • On the question of main solutions in the current Local Economic and Community Plan 2016 – 2021 in regard to Climate Change Actions, the conclusion was that ‘Actions’ and ‘Current Benchmark’ information could be listed in Section 1, demonstrating their importance at the start of the document.
  • On the question of how the issues may feed into the remit of the LCDC, the conclusion was that the solution lies in the opportunity to harness the strength of the LCDC which lies in its diversity of organisations and people with richness in experience and expertise, working together and coherently (See: Appendix)
  • On the question of identification of main issues or solutions that could be worked into the upcoming LECP review, the conclusion was
  • ‘No more business as usual’ however ‘no need to re-invent the wheel when existing visions are harnessed as guiding light’. (See: Appendix: Visions – Clare PPN, Operation de-Plastification and LECP)
  • ‘Green spectacles for green solutions’ – ‘United Nations Sustainable Development Goals’ (See: Appendix)
  • looking through a different lens for a completely different approach for the document itself and for finding solutions may be of good service
  • ‘Centre-stage’ needs to be given to a healthy environment with rich and dynamic biological diversity in all LCDC and SPC decisions
  • A different attitude to land, air, water and all forms of biology is needed for local communities to thrive
  • For environmental action to thrive, local, individual, group and community based initiatives with ‘high nature value and land use’ require ‘core funding’ from simple and easily accessed ‘matched environmental funds’

It was concluded in the presentation that, based on the Clare PPN pilot project outcomes, for an effective Local Community Development Committee and for an effective Local Economic and Community Plan, Climate Action and Biodiversity need to be given centre-stage in all decisions and all of the time.

To follow up:       One committee member mentioned the Organic College.  It would be interesting to follow up on this comment with that committee member

  1. AOB

The ‘Community Wealth Building – the Preston Model’ was briefly introduced with the suggestion of having a presentation on the topic for the next LCDC meeting in July 2021

One committee member suggested to open up this presentation to a wider audience, maybe through Clare PPN, which was received positively

Next meeting: 28th July 2021





Clare PPN Overall Wellbeing Vision Statement for County Clare:

Clare is a county that values, protects and restores its unique landscape, environment and biodiversity

  • where sustainable livelihoods are prioritised for this and future generations
  • where citizens, migrants, ethnic minorities and people of all abilities, age groups and genders can reach their potential in an atmosphere of support, respect and inclusion
  • where Local Government is open, transparent, accountable and committed to reducing poverty and marginalisation within the County

Our vision is for a County to be part of and a County to be proud of                                                    Source: Clare PPN Wellbeing Statements

Clare PPN Environmental Aspects of Wellbeing Vision Statement for Clare:

  • Clare’s unique natural environment, biodiversity and heritage are valued and protected Land use and farming are organized in a way that produces affordable, nutritious food, protects the environment and gives food producers a decent living
  • Sustainable farming and organic food production for local sale are supported
  • People are educated and encouraged to grow their own food
  • Our electricity is generated from renewable sources
  • Policy favours community-owned wind energy and micro-generation, and all projects have community consent
  • All homes and public buildings are energy efficient
  • Car dependency has been greatly reduced through investment in public transport, cycling and walking routes
  • Consumption and waste are reduced through use of shared resources
  • Re-use and recycling are encouraged
  • Biodiversity is protected and promoted through the planting of native broadleaved trees, banning harmful pesticides and herbicides, reduced use of chemical fertilisers and public green spaces being left un-mowed
  • People are empowered to take responsibility for their environment through education and initiatives such as community clean-up days and community gardens The climate and biodiversity crisis are front and centre in all local authority policy and strategy documents                                                                                                                                                                             Source: Clare PPN Wellbeing Statements

Operation de-Plastification’s Vision for County Clare

An Organic, Chemical-free and GMO-free County Clare is able to solve and combat a wealth of serious and damaging environmental threats, such as

  • water pollution, air pollution, soil pollution
  • species extinction, habitat loss and loss of biodiversity

Many of today’s extreme and alarming environmental ails can be cured with the simple but courageous decision of declaring County Clare Organic, where open pollinated organic heirloom and heritage seeds with their more robust properties and greater adaptability to changing environmental conditions are grown and saved.

Declaring County Clare Organic is a move toward sustainability which allows for a harmonious and creative collaboration between government, farmer, grower and citizen with a nature-centred approach and solution to climate change and the soil, water and air pollution crisis.

Going Organic is an opportunity for Clare County Council to show real leadership, foresight and future proofing for its citizens and equally for its fauna and flora as well as for its air, water and soil. Furthermore, such a brave step would help other Irish counties and other nations to follow suit in turning an environmental challenge into an amazing opportunity.

With the unfolding of the pandemic and the consequent shift to a new reality and normality, Organic Clare sparkles like the jewel in the crown, like a beacon that heralds a sustainable future for our generation as well as future citizens promising clean water, clean air and clean soil.

Taking action now can stem back the flood of despair that is sure to follow if remaining on the trodden path …. “become the change that you want to see in the world today” (Gandhi)

Source: Operation de-Plastification, 15.11.2020

Submission for Clare County Development Plan

LECP Vision

A County that ….

  • for all its people, nurtures an ethos of wellbeing, social inclusion and creativity
  • cherishes and sustains, for future generations, its environmental inheritance
  • fosters entrepreneurship and provides quality employment
  • offers cutting-edge research and development challenges, while providing education and training opportunities that are inspirational and accessible

Source: LECP 2016 -2021, p. 2 and p. 3




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