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MEP meets with AFBI scientists to discuss EU links on Agriculture, Environment and Climate Change

19 March, 2008

Sinn Féin MEP, Bairbre de Brún this morning met with scientists from the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) at their headquarters in New Forge Lane, Belfast to view their work and its links to her work on the European Parliament Climate Change Committee and also its Environment Committee which deals with environment, public health and food safety.

The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute is one of the world's leading providers of scientific research and services to government, non-governmental and commercial organisations. Recently Ms de Brún's party colleague, Agriculture minister, Michelle Gildernew met with AFBI officials to thank the organisation for their expert guidance during the bluetongue outbreak.

Ms de Brún who is soon to travel as part of a high level European Parliament delegation to the United States regarding climate change said:

"I am very pleased to have had the opportunity to meet the scientists from AFBI today. With their unique breadth of facilities and scientific capability in agriculture, animal health, food, environment, biosciences and economics, AFBI scientists have a major contribution to make in assisting with the development of successful strategies for the future. Like my party colleague, Minister Gildernew, I commend them for their endeavours.

"AFBI and their southern counterpart Teagasc have much to offer the Assembly, the Executive and the EU in developing strategies on renewable energy and the environment through multiple, small-scale renewable projects.

"I was particularly interested to hear of the success of the RENEW project on short rotation coppice willow, which was EU funded under Interreg IIA and was co-ordinated by AFBI scientists, working with growers, suppliers and users of wood chip. Cookstown Council have now installed a biomass boiler in Cookstown Leisure Centre and Swimming Pool utilising willow chip renewable energy instead of the traditional oil heating." ENDS

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