Today Monday, 21st May 2012, marks the 20th Anniversary of the EU LIFE Programme across Europe. Happy Birthday LIFE. Since 1992, LIFE has co-financed over 3,500 LIFE projects, contributing approximately €2.5 billion to environmental and nature conservation projects. It also marks the 20th Anniversary of the Habitats Directive and the establishment of the Natura 2000 Network.
To mark this key milestone in Ireland, MulkearLIFE is hosting a big celebration today in Annacotty, Co. Limerick on the banks of the Mulkear River. The events include the official launch of the ‘Mural of LIFE’ at Annacotty and the unveiling of related habitat work on site by the Minister of Finance, Mr. Michael Noonan TD. The work on this important High Nature Value (HNV) river site is a partnership between MulkearLIFE / Inland Fisheries Ireland, Limerick County Council and Annacotty Tidy Towns.
Members of the MCV and Annacotty Tidy Towns Committee (Image: Ruairí Ó Conchúir)
It has involved thousands of hours of voluntary input over the last nine months from local residents including a major clean-up of the site over the week-end. It is a great example of an effective local partnership for conservation of an important Natura 2000 site. Today is a celebration and acknowledgement of all that effort.
MCV members remove Himalayan Balsam at Annacotty (Image: R. Ó Conchúir)
MulkearLIFE will also announce the full list of prize winners in MulkearLIFE’s amateur photo competition ‘Exploring Biodiversity on the Lower Shannon SAC’ which has been a remarkable success with hundreds of entries received. The winner of the Annacotty Tidy Towns art competition run in local national schools will also be announced as part of today’s events.
The ‘Mural of LIFE’ being painted by school students (Image: R. Ó Conchúir)
Finally, to top it all there will be a big birthday party to celebrate LIFE @ 20 in Annacotty village. The event will be attended by local school students, local residents and a range of project partners and local dignitaries.
Today’s celebrations are open public events. If you would like to attend, and to help us with numbers, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 061 300 238. The events take place today, Monday 21st May @ 12.15 in Annacotty village, under the bridge. We sincerely hope that you can join us make this event.
The work of MulkearLIFE to restore the Lower Shannon SAC for Atlantic Salmon, Sea Lamprey and Otter is an EU funded LIFE project (€1.75m over five years till January 2014) and a partnership between Inland Fisheries Ireland, Limerick County Council & the Office of Public Works with significant co-financing from the National Parks & Wildlife Service.