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Friday, 23 July 2021

Director of NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute to Present on Transformative Agrifood Pathways at UN Food Systems Pre-Summit

Professor Charles Spillane, Director of the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway, will give a presentation on ‘Transformative agrifood pathways for achieving global climate targets’ at the UN Food Systems Pre-Summit on Tuesday, 27 July, 2021. The recent State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI) 2021 report has highlighted the worsening global situation regarding chronic food insecurity, which has been aggravated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Even before the pandemic, humanity was already not on track to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) commitments to end world hunger and malnutrition in all its forms by 2030. The recent State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2021 (SOFI 2021) report highlights that there are now 811 million people suffering from chronic hunger, up from 690 million before the pandemic. More than 2.3 billion people lack year-round access to adequate food, while 3 billion people do not have enough money to buy healthy diets. All of these indicators of food security and nutrition are currently going in the wrong direction. In September 2021, UN Secretary-General António Guterres is convening a Food Systems Summit as part of the Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. The Summit aims to launch bold new actions to deliver progress on all 17 Sustainable Development Goals, each of which relies to some degree on healthier, more sustainable and equitable food systems. Over the past year, Professor Spillane has been commissioned by the Climate Division of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to research and develop a vision paper and policy brief on ‘Transformative agrifood pathways for achieving global climate targets’ as a knowledge input to the UN Food Systems Summit policy process in September 2021. A team from the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway consisting of Professor Spillane, Dr David Styles, Dr Una Murray and Dr Peter McKeown have been working on the vision documents in close collaboration with colleagues across a range of FAO Divisions at their headquarters in Rome. On 26–28 July 2021 the Pre-Summit of the UN Food Systems Summit will set the stage for the culminating global event in September by bringing together diverse actors from around the world to leverage the power of food systems to deliver progress on all 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The event aims to deliver the latest evidence-based and scientific approaches to food systems transformation from around the world, launch a set of new commitments through coalitions of action and mobilise new financing and partnerships. The Pre-Summit will take stock of the progress made through that process, laying the groundwork for an ambitious and productive UN Food Systems Summit, which will take place in September alongside the UN General Assembly in New York. Professor Spillane has been invited by FAO and UNDP to deliver a presentation on “Transformative agrifood pathways for achieving global climate targets“ and engage as a Panel Member at the UN Food Systems Pre-Summit FAO/UNDP Session on “Scaling up Climate Ambition on Land Use and Agriculture through Nationally Determined Contributions and National Adaptation Plans (SCALA)”. In addition to Prof. Spillane, the FAO/UNDP Session will have contributions from: Julia Wolf, SCALA Programme Coordinator; Rohini Kohli, Lead Technical Specialist NAPs, UNDP; John Chrysostom Birantana, Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries, Uganda; Vinod Ahuja, FAO Representative in Mongolia; and Greg Downing, Sustainability Director on Climate at Cargill. The FAO/UNDP Session will be held on Tuesday 27 July at 13:30-14:20 CEST with online registration available at https://bit.ly/36UQ8Az, or https://bit.ly/3wZgKuI. For further information on the Pre-Food Systems Summit 2021 visit: https://www.un.org/en/food-systems-summit/pre-summit.  -Ends-


News Archive

Friday, 23 July 2021

NUI Galway research reveals how social factors can spread pandemic crop viruses in Africa

Wednesday, 21 July 2021

Study finds consumers sometimes pay premium price for a brand they follow online – even when they don’t trust it

Wednesday, 21 July 2021

NUI Galway Aquaculture Project to Quantify Ecosystem Services Provided by the Irish Shellfish Sector

Tuesday, 20 July 2021

Seán Breathnach shortlisted for 2021 Bingham Ray New Talent Award NUI Galway academic and filmmaker Seán Breathnach has been nominated for the prestigious Bingham Ray New Talent Award at the 33rd Galway Film Fleadh. Foscadh, written and directed by Breathnach and produced by Paddy Hayes of Magamedia Teo., will premiere at a special outdoor screening at Fr Burke Park, Father Griffin Road, Galway, on Friday 23 July, at 9pm. The film is inspired by characters from acclaimed novelist Donal Ryan's The Thing About December and stars Dónal Ó Héalaí (Arracht), Fionnuala Flaherty (Out of Innocence) and Cillian Ó Gairbhí (Blood).  Set in the wild mountains of Connemara, Foscadh tells the story of friendless and guileless recluse John Cunliffe who is suddenly propelled into manhood at the ripe old age of 28. When his over-cosseting parents pass away, John inherits mountain land that is in the way of a lucrative wind-farm development, and he is forced to navigate the choppy waters of romance, trust and vengeance for the first time. Talking about his first feature film, Breathnach said: “I think this is an especially Irish tale, exploring themes of heritage, memory and identity. It tells the story of a recluse, John Cunliffe, the beating heart of our story, who must forge his own path following the tragic loss of his parents. It was a privilege to bring Foscadh to life and I very much look forward to its release this week." The outdoor screening of Foscadh will be followed by a Q&A with director, cast and crew. Former students of NUI Galway media courses, Eoin O’Kelly Smith and Daithí Ó Cinnéide, worked as trainee assistant directors on the film. Caitríona McCormack acted as production assistant. Filming took place in Corr na Móna and Headford, Co Galway at the end of 2019. NUI Galway Professor Breandán Mac Suibhne said: “Foscadh is a wonderful film, conceived and created here in the west of Ireland, that deserves - and will get - a wide audience. Its writer and director Seán Breathnach, is also a great teacher, who epitomises NUI Galway’s commitment to excellence in all we do. His colleagues are immensely proud of him.” The winner of the 2021 Bingham Ray New Talent Award will be announced at an online awards’ ceremony on the closing night of the Galway Film Fleadh, Sunday July 25th at 6pm. Breathnach teaches scriptwriting and production on the MA (Cleachtas Gairmiúil sna Meáin) and the BA (Cumarsáid agus Gaeilge) programme at NUI Galway’s Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge. His short film Maidhm was premiered to critical acclaim at the Galway Film Fleadh in 2015 and went on to win awards at the ​Limerick Film Festival, the Fingal Film Festival, as well as the best actress award at na Gradaim Cumarsáide. It screened in Europe, North America, Asia and the Middle East. The Bingham Ray New Talent Award is named after the co-founder of indie film distributor, October Films, and former president of United Artists, Bingham Ray, who attended the Galway Film Fleadh and Galway Film Fair for many years before his untimely death in 2012. The award recognises Bingham’s generosity, wealth of knowledge and contribution to the industry each year with the award. Foscadh was the script selected for the 2017 CINE4 commission, a scheme run by TG4, Fís Éireann and the BAI.  Ends

Monday, 19 July 2021

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD and Minister of State at the Department of Justice, Hildegarde Naughton TD have today launched a new online learning hub at NUI Galway to provide an integrated, publicly-available resource on sexual consent awareness and consent learning resources. This initiative builds on the work of the pioneering Active* Consent research team in NUI Galway and comes as part of a Government initiative to improve the understanding on the meaning of, and importance of, consent in sexual activity. At the heart of this partnership will be a dedicated website, populated with resources that have already been developed by the Active* Consent team for the third level sector, as well as newly-designed resources supported by this project. Launching the initiative, Minister Harris said: “No part of our society is untouched by sexual violence and harassment. People need to be safe, empowered, confident, and capable in their relationships and Ireland can take a leading role in confronting sexual violence and harassment. The work being done in our higher education sector on Consent can be a positive educator for other areas, and this online learning hub will provide an important resource not only for our higher education institutions, but also for a wider community. “For higher education students, the programme available through the hub reflects the three levels of the Active* Consent online programme – a consent workshop based on the team’s research; an eLearning resource on consent, sexual violence and harassment; and ongoing social media engagement into topics such as disclosure that links to students’ social media platforms. “For higher education staff, the three tiers of engagement available on the hub will provide awareness raising on definitions, skills, and student support practices; education for decision makers and leaders on how they can support lasting culture change; and in-depth training for those involved in consent education, support for student disclosures, and policy implementation.” The Department of Justice will fund the Active* Consent research team at NUI Galway to create the online learning hub, and is partnering with the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science on this important initiative. Minister Naughton, speaking at the launch in NUI Galway, said: “There can be no place for any forms of sexual violence and harassment in our society, and there can be no room for doubt or ambiguity on the meaning and importance of consent. “We must improve people’s understanding of what consent is, and what healthy consent looks like. This initiative will be an excellent resource for the third level sector and beyond. “It is an important commitment in Supporting a Victim’s Journey, the Department of Justice roadmap to improve the justice system for victims and vulnerable witnesses in sexual violence cases, and will contribute to our national campaign on consent later this year.” NUI Galway President, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: "NUI Galway is delighted to partner with the Department of Justice and the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science on this excellent initiative. At the heart of NUI Galway’s values are respect and openness. By championing respect and openness through initiatives such as the online learning hub, we can have a profound and sustainable transformative impact on society. We look forward to supporting this initiative and all who participate." Dr Padraig MacNeela, Active* Consent Programme Co-Lead, NUI Galway, said: “The online learning hub is based around the idea of ‘consent literacy’ for all members of our society. This means that people feel confident in their knowledge and understanding of consent, their communication skills with partners, how to access supports themselves or help others to do so, and how we can safely challenge unacceptable aspects of our culture. “We will work with our partners such as Galway Rape Crisis Centre and Rape Crisis Network Ireland to create the resources we need to have a culture of consent in our colleges, schools, and communities.” See short video on Active* Consent - Sexual Violence and Harassment: How to Support Yourself and Your Peers, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jG4OcQfYhs4&t=1. -Ends-

Friday, 16 July 2021

- Status of the Irish language in the University to be strengthened reinforcing its bilingual campus status - Inaugural Irish Language Officer to be appointed - New building and space for the Irish Language Community - Irish Language Residency Scheme to be redeveloped - 20% of professional staff will have the ability to conduct business through Irish NUI Galway has launched its inaugural Irish Language Strategy. A Strategy for the Irish Language 2021-25 was officially launched today (16 July 2021) by Dr Máire Geoghegan Quinn, newly appointed Chair of the University’s Governing Authority and former government minister and European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science. The strategy sets out an ambitious vision to bring the University’s bilingual campus to life and to set out a path for truly bilingual culture, through operational policies, governance structures and empowering its communities to be champions of the Irish language. The strategy was developed by the newly established Irish Language Strategic Committee chaired by President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, with wide participation from both internal and external membership to the University. The Strategy identifies five main themes: Academic Affairs, Administration Affairs, Space and Resources, Student Affairs, and the Public at Large. President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “Here at NUI Galway we are fite fuaite with our Irish language and Gaeltacht communities, and the Irish language is a central and deep part of our identity and our lives. It is our value as a university community to respect our diverse communities, both in the University and in our hinterland, to be open to the outside world and to be committed to the sustainability of culture and community. The Irish language is a core aspect of this respect, of this openness and sustainability. This is no burden – it is a privilege and a distinctive advantage for us and our community. “NUI Galway is a leader in Ireland and, consequently, internationally in developing Irish language teaching, research and initiatives and, with that, an exemplar at home and abroad in terms of fostering close ties with language communities, especially Celtic and minority languages. That is the chance and the challenge that lies ahead.” Key measures in A Strategy for the Irish Language 2021-25 include: Space and Resources: This Strategy will commit to addressing space provision for the Irish language community on campus proposing the construction of a new building; further develop the Irish Language Residency Scheme to boost the Irish speaking community as a living community; and language hubs for the Irish language will be created and maintained on the Galway campus while a student-owned social space will also be developed. Administrative and Management Structures: The University will appoint an Irish Language Officer who will have overall responsibility for driving the University’s vision for the Irish Language; ensure that ‘the Irish language in the University’ be a standing item on the Governing Authority agenda and also commit to hosting meetings in the Gaeltacht centres; implementation of new policy where there is now a requirement in respect of all units to provide customer services through the medium of Irish; implement a scheme whereby the Irish language as a skillset is officially recognised in recruitment processes; and 20% of professional staff will have the ability to conduct business through Irish. The Use of Irish in the University: Establish a University Interpretation Service; Ensure that students are able to deal with the University’s administrative system through Irish from the beginning to the end of their study programme; and design and implement a new art scheme focusing on the placement of the Irish language across the campus. Academic Affairs: Expand the offering of teaching through Irish and facilitate the development of ambitious, transformative research projects in the discipline; and investigate the options in relation to the offering of interdisciplinary modules through Irish. The Community: The network of University Gaeltacht Centres has supported the promotion of the Gaeltacht community for over 20 years, and they are prepared to capitalise on opportunities arising from the State’s 20-Year Plan for the Irish Language and the amendment to the Official Languages Act. The University is at the forefront in the provision of Irish language training to student teachers in Ireland, and has excellent researchers in the fields of sociolinguistics, language planning and communications. Dr Máire Geoghegan Quinn, commented: “NUI Galway has a rich Irish language heritage and a worldwide reputation for Irish language scholars, writers, actors, journalists, politicians and broadcasters who have served on this historic, innovative campus for over a century and more.     “The Irish language has always had a particular advantage here at NUI Galway in terms of location and community. It was understood from the outset that it was in the interests of our language, the Gaeltacht and our University to foster and strengthen this relationship between us, which was done. “This is the only university located on the doorstep of the Gaeltacht, the well of the living language. This unique location and our Gaeltacht Centers, in the Gaeltacht itself, give us the opportunity to develop that connection with the Irish language in innovative ways. This new Strategy lays a new, stable and integrated basis for the Irish language in all aspects of the life and work of the University and I welcome it. “The Irish language was not seen as a statutory duty or a burden to be borne reluctantly but as a faithful, central part that goes to the heart of the institution and all parts of it. That was and will always be the case.” The strategic priority areas and key objectives outlined in A Strategy for the Irish Language 2021-25 stemmed from the discussions and debates held at meetings of the Irish Language Strategic Committee; the various sub-committees comprised of internal and external members, including the student voice; and feedback from the overall University community following public consultation. The overall ethos of the working groups was that the vision and strategy be ambitious, so that the Irish language, which is at risk, can be promoted in University life, in the Gaeltacht community and in the Irish language community. Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh, NUI Galway Deputy President and Registrar, said: “This strategy is ambitious and is imbued with a vision of hope for the development and fostering of a sustainable bilingual environment. This strategy reinforces the message that NUI Galway’s Irish Language Strategy is an inclusive strategy and that everyone in the University has ownership of it, regardless of their language ability. “Recognising the unique and influential role our university plays in our region’s society and economy, we plan to work with businesses, organisations and networks across the west of Ireland to ensure that our university is positively serving our region.” Strategy Implementation The Irish Language Strategic Committee will establish an Irish Language Strategy Implementation Committee from its membership to support the implementation of A Strategy for the Irish Language 2021-25. A full implementation plan will be developed, addressing each of the strategic priority areas to include deliverables, timeframe, ownership and dependencies. The Deputy President and Registrar will pay particular attention to monitoring the progress of the plan and the achievement of strategic objectives and goals and will provide a progress report to the Governing Authority on an annual basis. The University is committed to executing its statutory responsibilities under the Irish Language Act and the Irish Language Strategy Implementation Committee shall also have regard to the University’s established language schemes and its responsibilities, under the University College Galway (Amendment) Act (2006), to promote university education through the medium of Irish. Read in full A Strategy for the Irish Language 2021-25 at http://www.nuigalway.ie/gaeilgebheo/ -Ends-


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