Climate change: Rathlin Island at centre of £4.6m Green Transition project

A project led by Ulster University is to become one of the UK’s four new Green Transition Ecosystems (GTEs).

In partnership with Queen’s University Belfast, the Future Island-Island GTE project aims to bolster awareness and improve public engagement around waste management.

The two-year project has been granted £4.625 million by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

It will use Rathlin Island as an innovation test centre.

The project will look at sustainable resource management and protecting the island from any negative impacts of tourism.

GTEs aim to translate design-led research into real-world benefits, concentrating on the challenges posed by climate change.

They are part of the £25m Future Observatory: Design the Green Transition programme, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council with support from the UK Government, and delivered in partnership with the Design Museum.

The Future Island-Island project has six objectives including plastic pollution, protecting natural habitats and waste management.

The Glasgow School of Art and University of the Arts London will provide expertise to the locally-led consortium.

Rathlin Island has a net zero target of 2030, two decades ahead of the Northern Ireland-wide target of 2050.

David Quinney Mee of the Rathlin Development Community Association said the partnership with the project was “of value beyond current measure”.

He added that the island could become a “best practice model” for other places across the UK and internationally.

As well as looking at waste management and sustainable tourism on the island, the Future Island-Island project will work with the RSPB to “significantly” expand the LIFE Raft scheme.

The project will work with two Belfast Regional City Deals, the Ulster University-led Studio Ulster, and Queen’s University Belfast-led Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre (AMIC).

‘Significant opportunity’

The funding announcement was welcomed by Professor Justin Magee, Principal Investigator and Research Director for Art and Design at Ulster University.

“This is a significant opportunity for the design community to demonstrate inventive propositions to stimulate change around key global challenges.”

And he said building the project around a small island off the coast of another small island would “exemplify how these small rural islands, under the correct conditions, can deliver high level innovation to drive prosperity and enable change.

Co-investigator Professor Greg Keefe from Queen’s School of Natural and Built Environment said the “exciting and innovative” project has the potential to improve how people live, both in Northern Ireland and further afield.

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top