COVID- 19: A Wake Up Call For A New Economic Order – Our Spring of Hope or winter of despair

After COVID-19: Business-as-usual and “normal” life is not an option.

By Tom Roche

7 April 2020


Despite the life-changing coronavirus pandemic that has gripped Ireland, and the economic and social challenges we face in order to contain and minimise its deadly impact, there is already much talk about economic recovery. This pandemic is touching every aspect of our daily lives – way beyond that of war – the heartbreak of losing loved ones and not being able to attend their interment, cocooning, isolation, social distancing, business closures, financial loss, physical and mental wellbeing, sporting, cultural, shopping and travel restrictions and much, more. Let’s bear in mind that what we had become accustomed to pre-COVID-19 as “normal life” has brought us to this point in our lives. Any post-COVID-19 activities, must respond to its challenges by ensuring we do not return to what we have known as “normal” life.

Read this fully-featured article on the Development Education website

China leads illegal logging in Solomon report shows

SYDNEY (Reuters) – The South Pacific nation of the Solomon Islands is felling its tropical forests at nearly 20 times a sustainable rate, according to research by an environmental group published on Thursday, driven by insatiable Chinese demand for its lumber.

Export volumes of the archipelago’s single largest export commodity leapt more than 20 percent to just over 3 million cubic meters in 2017, central bank figures show, worth $3 billion Solomon Islands dollars ($378 million).

Environmental and rights group Global Witness said this was more than 19 times higher than sustainable levels, and if continued could denude the country and soon exhaust the single biggest contributor to the Solomons’ economic growth.

Deforestation also removes wild fruits and vegetables that are a local food source and destroys the habitats of animals.

Global Witness’ analysis of import data also found that the overwhelming majority of the lumber was sent to China, the world’s top importer of timber, which it said underscored the urgency for Beijing to regulate imports and probe their origins.

“The scale of the logging is so unsustainable that natural forests will be exhausted very soon if nothing changes,” Beibei Yin, who led the research team that compiled the report, told Reuters by phone from London where Global Witness is based.

“The Chinese companies which import most of the wood are so significant that if all of them together stop buying there is still a chance to revert back,” she said.

Global Witness took 155,000 cubic meters as a sustainable log export volume from the Solomons, which is the lowest but most recently calculated of several government and expert analyses, with the highest being approximately 300,000.

Source: Reuters


WWF report reveals staggering extent of human impact on planet

Gland/Geneva, 30 October 2018Humanity and the way we feed, fuel and finance our societies and economies is pushing nature and the services that power and sustain us to the brink, according to WWF’s Living Planet Report 2018. The report, released today, presents a sobering picture of the impact of human activity on the world’s wildlife, forests, oceans, rivers and climate, underlining the rapidly closing window for action and the urgent need for the global community to collectively rethink and redefine how we value, protect and restore nature.

The Living Planet Report 2018 presents a comprehensive overview of the state of our natural world, twenty years after the flagship report was first published. Through indicators such as the Living Planet Index (LPI), provided by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), the Species Habitat Index (SHI), the IUCN Red List Index (RLI) and the Biodiversity Intactness Index (BII), as well as Planetary Boundaries and the Ecological Footprint, the report paints a singular disturbing picture: human activity is pushing the planet’s natural systems that support life on earth to the edge.

“Science is showing us the harsh reality our forests, oceans and rivers are enduring at our hands. Inch by inch and species by species, shrinking wildlife numbers and wild places are an indicator of the tremendous impact and pressure we are exerting on the planet, undermining the very living fabric that sustains us all: nature and biodiversity,” said Marco Lambertini, Director General, WWF International.

Source: WWF International


New Heritage Plan for Ireland…2030

Josepha Madigan, Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, launches the public consultation on Heritage Ireland 2030 – a new national heritage plan for Ireland

Source: Merrion Street  – Published on 


Heritage Ireland 2030 – which will be based around three themes of national leadership; supporting stronger heritage partnerships; and building community and local involvement in heritage – will guide the Government’s heritage priorities and investment over the next decade and beyond, including the €285m commitment to heritage in the Department’s 10 year investment plan Investing in Our Culture, Language and Heritage 2018 – 2027, which was launched in April 2018.




If you are looking for a way to truly influence the Minister’s Plan then why not support the SAVE KILLARNEY NATIONAL PARK Campaign which I launched in 2016.

Lament for Cill Àirne

Cad a Dhéanfaimid Feasta Gan Páirc Náisiúnta?


You can get involved here…




Protecting forests is key to conserve water resources, says expert

TEHRAN — Forest are essential to water cycle and protecting forest plays a key role in saving water and reducing evaporation, a professor of geology at Shahid Beheshti University has said.

“Unfortunately we have overlooked the significance of protecting forest and afforestation and we have just kept losing forests for the past few year, while forest can be instrumental in saving water supplies,” ISNA quoted Mohammad Yazdi as saying.

In [Iranian calendar year of] 1320 (March 1941 to March 1942) forests in Iran stretched over 20 million hectares of lands, Yazdi said, adding that by [Iranian calendar year of] 1357 (March 1977 to March 1978) the area of forest land declined to an estimated 17 million hectares.

Yazdi went on to say that figures indicate that now the forest area in Iran is measured at 14 million hectare which constitute 8 to 9 percent of the country’s total land area and is relatively speaking pretty low.

In an article published in April 2017 in Sciencing website titled “how does deforestation affect the weather?” it is stated that deforestation, the depletion of forests and other wild flora in woodlands, has significant negative effects on the weather. These range from local distortions to contributions to global climate change. Deforestation removes the ability of the forest to sequester carbon, absorb sunlight, process water and block the wind.

Deforestation both releases carbon dioxide from the plants that are cut down and removes the ability of the forest to sequester carbon. Additionally deforestation causes land to reflect more sunlight, altering the air currents above and increasing the variance of local temperatures, which become more sensitive to changes in sunlight.

Deforestation can also affect evapotranspiration. Plant life draws water from water in the soil. This water travels up the roots and stem to the leaves, where it evaporates through the stoma. This process is called evapotranspiration. Deforestation can end this process by leaving the groundwater locked in the soil and cutting off the source of air moisture. The net result is that the local environment becomes dryer as moisture which aids in cloud formation is not stored in the forests anymore.

Furthermore deforestation removes the ability of forests to act as a barrier for the wind, leading to higher local wind speeds and cutting off the circulation of warmth and moisture.

The management of water and forests are closely connected and require innovative strategies on the part of policy maker.


Source:The Tehran Times

‘Shame, silence and stress’ revealed in CAN Report

Dublin Wednesday 14th November 2018: A new, first report on the experiences of people coping with mortgage distress, launched Tuesday 14th November, reveals a picture of shame, silence, stress, lack of legal representation, rejection in court and a failure by state support systems like MABS and Abhaile to support them adequately. House Hold is a preliminary look at the experiences of people in mortgage distress and at risk of losing their homes.

Source: Community Action Network (CAN)


CAN report launched on Sean O'Rourke Show

About Community Action Network (CAN)

CAN is a social justice NGO working within civil society to tackle issues of inequality and social exclusion, and to support marginalised groups and communities.

CAN is dedicated to working with communities to create a more equal, just society that has the well-being of citizens at its heart.

We work with people to assert their rights to participate fully as subjects of their own lives, to have their voices heard and to have their choices respected. We work within a human rights framework, and we seek to build leadership for positive social change and participative democracy.

We strive to create vibrant communities that have the capacity to participate powerfully in society, and to challenge the inequitable structures, policies and practices that prevent them from doing so. We actively seek opportunities to do this work in local, regional, all-island and international contexts.
CAN is a not-for-profit, independent organisation limited by guarantee with charitable status.

About The Abusive Lending Practices Project (ALPP)

ALPP is a joint project of the Open Society Justice Initiative, Open Society Foundation for Europe, CAN, and the NUI Galway Centre for Housing Rights, Law, and Policy.

ALPP seeks to ensure that fundamental rights under the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights are taken into consideration at both the EU and domestic levels whenever institutions are drafting or enforcing laws related to abusive lending practices. ALPP uses a variety of tools to accomplish goal, including empirical research, legal empowerment, education of lawyers, advocacy, and strategic litigation.


Community Action Network

6th Floor, Seán MacBride House, 48 Fleet Street, Parliament Row, Dublin 2 DO2 T883 Tel: +353 (0)1 4743930 Email: info@canactionlie Web:

To read the FULL Report click here…