Dr Christine Doherty, Derry City and Strabane District Council's biodiversity officer.
A senior official from Derry City and Strabane District Council is to speak at Ireland's leading sustainability conference next week.
Dr Christine Doherty, the local authority's biodiversity officer, will travel to address the National Sustainability Summit taking place in the Citywest Hotel on January 29-30 January.
The event will include contributions from some of Ireland’s leading sus- tainability experts and innovators.
The theme of Dr Doherty’s address will be “Rethinking Green Spaces,” an area in which Derry City and Strabane District Council has been leading on with the recent publication of their pioneering Green Infrastructure Plan.
Speaking ahead of the event, Dr Doherty noted the local authority had led the way in transforming the way its green spaces are used.
“Transforming and valuing our local green spaces to benefit people, our economy and environment is a key priority for Derry City and Strabane District Council, which is outlined in our cutting edge Green Infrastructure Plan,” she said.
“We are the first local authority in Northern Ireland to produce a Green Infrastructure Plan and associated action plan which highlights the significant positive health implications of spending time in green spaces, the critical role ecosystem services play for mitigating against climate change, as well as the potential opportunities they offer for businesses to create jobs locally, for example, through expanding our greenway network.
“We are currently in the process of assessing the monetary value of our green spaces through the creation of a Natural Capital Account in partnership with Vivid Economics and The Carnegie Trust.
“This pioneering research will show the benefits of living close to a park or green area, which increases the value of property as well as providing a community space for people to socialise and exercise.
“The results highlight that green areas provide significant mental and physical wellbeing value as well as recreational benefits and improvements to the air that we breathe.”
The National Sustainability Summit aims to enable visitors to keep up-to-date with the latest trends, innovations, best practice and new technological solutions available.
The event will address areas such as optimising water usage, renewable energy, sustainable packaging, waste minimisation and moving towards a circular economy.
It will also highlight how the power of data and technology can be harnessed to achieve more transparent supply chains.
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