Pobalscoil na Tríonóide

Biodiversity and Conservation

Biodiversity and Conservation

Fáilte to our student-led blog centered around Biodiversity and the Conservation of biodiversity. Our blog posts will endeavor to do two things: raise awareness about biodiversity and conservation around the globe; and update our readers on what we are doing here in Pobalscoil na Trionóide to play our part in combatting this environmental crisis. Most recent posts will appear first.



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“If we surrender to earth’s intelligence, we could rise up rooted like trees” – Rainer Maria Rilke

Recently, a community lead project to plant over 7,000 trees across the East Cork region including 15 Micro Woodlands and 10 Micro Orchards was launched and following this, we in Pobalscoil na Trionóide have started planting native species of trees on the grounds of our school, with the goal of planting 1000 trees by the end of 2021, a goal that was originally meant for this year, until we were interrupted by, well, the global pandemic. However, here at Pobalscoil, we’ve made the best of a bad situation and continued to work towards our environment-saving goal.

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Students and staff all across the school have emersed themselves in the project, starting with Mr. Coles’ TY Horticulture class who were busy on the 18th of November planting our new orchard. Following this, many of our students have been quick to sign up to contribute as the school leans towards a more bio-diverse environment. The first of the school’s new apple orchards was planted in November around the back of the school, near the water tank and are bringing more life already with hope of a prettier and bee friendlier garden growing everyday, helping to expand the school’s flora and fauna. We will be one of 15 mini orchards being planted in East Cork. Follow this link to find out more.

Trees being planted include indigenous Irish trees such as apple, oak, ash and hazel. Yew trees are due to be planted also as a nod to the origin of our towns name, Youghal or Eochaill, meaning Yew Wood as Gaelige.

Proinsias Ó Tuama, founder of the East Cork Biodiversiy Networking Programme who is leading the project said:

“With the engagement of Pobalscoil na Trionoide, as the first of our schools to plant the trees, it re-iterates the project’s roots in education and helping to mitigate against the Climate Crisis. Our thanks to principal Seamus O’Ceallachain, his team and the students for their participation. We look forward to working with more schools and community groups and continuing the planting the remaining trees across East Cork”.

Kieran Quinn from Youghal Credit Union said:

“It is wonderful to see this fantastic project come to life with the participation of the students and teachers planting the trees - the grounds of Pobalscoil na Trionoide will become a haven for flora and fauna to be enjoyed by all, we delighted to be part of such an innovative community project”.

A ten-year-old evergreen tree (such as an evergreen oak or yew tree) absorbs 14 kg carbon dioxide per year, so 178 evergreen trees would absorb 2.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide! Broadleaf trees like our native oak, ash, birch etc. grow slower than this so it would take more broadleaved trees to achieve the same result. Over a lifetime of 100 years, one tree could absorb around a tonne of CO2.

This is just the first step taken by our school to making a substantial positive impact on our environment and its biodiversity and we are looking forward to many more projects to come. Keep an eye on this blog for regular updates.

Ní neart go cur le chéile


What is Biodiversity and why is it Important?

We are all aware of climate change and the suffering environment, but most people don’t fully understand what biodiversity means and why it is vital we protect it. In this blog post I will do my best to explain what biodiversity is, how it affects our day to day lives, why it is so important that we protect it and biodiversity in Ireland.

The definition of biodiversity is the variety and variability of plant and animal life in the world or in a particular habitat. Biodiversity brings together the different species and forms of life. It is the most complex feature of our planet and is also the most vital. Professor David McDonald from Oxford University said, “without biodiversity, there is no future for humanity.” Experts now say that loss in biodiversity is the same level of crisis as climate change because they exist in tandem. Biodiversity is also considered to have intrinsic value which means each species has the right to exist even if they have no value to humans.

Economically, many peoples’ livelihoods heavily rely on biodiversity such as farmers and fishermen. Without the ecosystems and biodiversity in the oceans, fishermen would essentially be unemployed. Ecologically, biodiversity provides clean oxygen for humans and animals, it provides clean water for most living things, it provides important medicines such as Aspirin and it provides us with food. Do you like fishing, hiking or birdwatching? Well, each of those hobbies rely on biodiversity. My point here is that biodiversity affects almost every aspect of each and every one of our lives which is why it is so important that we conserve and protect it. We will be exploring each of these concepts in a lot of detail in future posts.

Loss of biodiversity and the failure to adequately conserve it is a global crisis – a crisis that connects us all. What is happening in other countries in relation to biodiversity and conservation affects us here in Ireland, and what we do here affects countries and people all over the globe. In this first post, we’ll keep it local. In Ireland, we rely massively on biodiversity, more than you may realise and in ways that you might not think. For example, the River Shannon is one of the last remaining relatively untamed rivers in Europe. The River Shannon and areas around it are very rich in biodiversity which causes it to be quite a tourist attraction. In fact, many aspects of tourism in Ireland rely on biodiversity. One of the most noteworthy examples is the Ring of Kerry and the destinations along the way. The biodiversity and landscape along the Ring of Kerry is very much unspoiled which attracts hundreds of people each year. Without this biodiversity there would not be as many tourists which means less money for the country and of course reduction or extinction of many plants and animals.

I hope I have been able to sum up what biodiversity is and why it is important to us and that you now have a better understanding of why we need to protect it. This is the first post of many on a range of topics in relation to biodiversity and conservation so keep an eye on this blog, so you never miss anything.

Míle buíochas.

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