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Gildernew attends Sustainable Development Commission dinner

11 June, 2009

Minister Michelle Gildernew MP, MLA has attended the Sustainable Development Commission dinner in the Stormont Hotel Belfast.

The event was organised by Jonathon Porritt, Chair of the Sustainable Development Commission (SDC) and was also attended by sustainable development commissioners and other key players with subject expertise and experience from across Britain and Ireland. The SDC’s sister organisation in Ireland, Comhar was also represented.

Speaking after the dinner, the Minister said: “Sustainability is at the very heart of my department’s strategic objectives. We have extensive programmes already in place aimed at improving the economic, social and environmental sustainability of rural society many of which are embedded within the £530million Rural Development Programme.

“I recently discussed the issue of climate change with British Minister, Hilary Benn and other devolved Ministers in Scotland and Wales. Responding to climate change will create both challenges and opportunities for the agri-food industry. I am keen to ensure that the industry plays its part in tackling the factors that contribute to climate change while allowing it to get on with the business of producing food.

“As a first step, I have asked my Departmental Scientific Adviser to examine and report to me on the current scientific knowledge relating to climate change and the implications for the agri-food industry. This will inform the development of a strategic approach by the agri-food industry to the issue of climate change.

“This event has afforded me a valuable opportunity to discuss the Sustainable Development Commission’s work and meet a number of key figures involved. The SDC makes a significant contribution to the local sustainability agenda and I look forward to working with them in the future.”

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