May 13 2019 Posted: 14:58 IST

NUI Galway will host the 7th EUGEO (Association of Geographical Societies in Europe) Congress in conjunction with the 51st Conference of Irish Geographers from 15-18 May. The theme for this year’s event, ‘Re-imagining Europe’s Future Society and Landscapes’ will look at agriculture and climate change from the viewpoint of citizens, politics, behaviour change and climatology.

Researchers from the Risk Aqua Soil project led from NUI Galway, will host a session on ‘Agriculture and Climate Change’ on Thursday, May 16 from 3.45pm-5.15pm in the University’s Human Biology Building. Risk Aqua Soil is an EU INTERREG Atlantic Arc project supported by the European Regional Development Funds. The project aims to develop a comprehensive management plan for risks in soil and in water to improve the resilience of the Atlantic rural areas. Through transnational cooperation, the project partners will combat the adverse effects of climate change, especially on agricultural lands.

Session on Agriculture and Climate Change - Panel presentations followed by open discussions will feature:

  • Dr Jean Francois Berthoumiem, Project Manager, Risk Aqua Soil Project, Association Climatologique de la Moyenne-Garonne et du Sud-Ouest, France. Topic: A summary on Risk Aqua Soil pilot actions in agricultural lands that will permit better soil and water management taking into account the risks associated with climate change.
  • Dr Mary Ryan, Agricultural Researcher, Rural Economy & Development Centre, Teagasc. Topic: The challenges for farmers in relation to climate smart agriculture and the mitigation measures that can be employed to develop resilience.
  • Dr Brenda McNally, Research Fellow, TCD. Topic: Farmers, Climate Change and Communication: Insights from a critical review of global studies on public engagement with climate action?
  • Dr Denis O’Hora, Behavioural Scientist, Department of Psychology, NUI Galway. Topic: Challenges in generating behaviour change in line with sustainable farming practices.

Dr Sinead Mellett, Chair of the session on Agriculture and Climate Change, and Risk Aqua Soil Project researcher, Whitaker Institute, NUI Galway, said: “This is a great opportunity to share the research being carried out in agriculture and climate change. This session will help open conversations about how to be prepared to fight against future events. We will discuss how to encourage farming that is both resilient and sustainable. Identifying trends and issues in research into farmers’ views and behavioural change challenges on different levels of climate action and discuss what farmers in Ireland can do in relation to climate mitigation policy.”

The four-day Congress programme will feature multiple sessions with academic experts from throughout Europe that will cover topics on:

  • Homelessness and Rooflessness: examining the trends and trajectories and challenges of service provision - Beyond the Capital: Examining homelessness in the West of Ireland.
  • Marine Spatial Planning in a Time of Uncertainty.
  • Migration, Mobility and Belonging – Realities and ideals in rural-out migration and return; Finding home through motion – transnational, translocal and transitional spaces of belonging.
  • Geographies of Sustainable Consumption – Everyday clothing geographies: insights for sustainable fashion consumption
  • Earth Observation Applications in environmental mapping and monitoring – A Earth Observation Applications in environmental mapping and monitoring; Earth Observation for Inland and Coastal Water Quality Monitoring in Ireland; Hyperspectral mapping of Ascophyllum nodosum in Galway Bay; A comprehensive roadmap to 50 years of (satellite) earth observation resources for the island of Ireland (1972 – 2023).
  • (em)Powering Communities: the path to forging a new energy landscape -Learning from Living Labs: Experiences from the Field.
  • Enlightening Generational Renewal in Agriculture Policy: A Roadmap for CAP Post2020 – Female Successors in Irish Family Farming – Four Pathways to Farm Transfer; Risky Business: Farmer Perceptions of Economic Risk in Land Transfer Processes
  • Historical Climatology – Quality control of long-term daily maximum and minimum air temperature series in Ireland; Wetter winters: drier summers: Real or data artefact; Reconstructions of historical river flows for the island of Ireland.
  • Palaeoenvironmental Change – Chironomid response to prehistoric farming in northwest Ireland; Abrupt global climate change recorded in the eastern North Atlantic during past warm climates.
  • Wind energy – bringing the uncertainties into focus - An automated wind-speed forecasting system for a windfarm in southwest Ireland.
  • Approaches to European Rural Development: Looking Towards 2021 - LEADER and vernacular expertise in rural development.
  • Building coastal resilience for current and future climates - Enablers and barriers to build coastal community resilience.
  • The Future for Peatland – The emerging role of cultural ecosystem services in conserving Irish peatlands.

The conference is funded by EUGEO, Geographical Society of Ireland, NUI Galway, Springer, Meet in Ireland, EPA Research, Moore Institute, National Rural Network and RealSim.

For full programme details and venue and session timetables at NUI Galway over the four-days, visit: https://www.eugeo2019.eu/conference-schedule

For more information about the Agriculture and Climate Change session contact, Dr Sinead Mellett, Risk Aqua Soil Project, Whitaker Institute, NUI Galway at sinead.mellett@nuigalway.ie or visit https://www.eugeo2019.eu for conference details.

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