Corrib BEO Project
Project Proposal – EU LIFE Governance and Information, July 2020
The Irish authorities are committed to policies of open data and to developing new models of engagement with citizens. EU policies seek to enhance the Union’s natural capital and to promote public participation in water management (2000/60/EC). The Corrib BEO project seeks to address the environmental degradation of the Corrib, (Ireland’s 2nd largest lake catchment), to tackle the loss of identity and awareness amongst Corrib communities of the natural capital of the lake and to build a unifying governance structure with coherent, open data to support policy delivery and community action.
A Corrib Beo community event, a trip to Inchgoill island, Lough Corrib in August 2019
The biodiversity loss in the Corrib includes its Breeding Curlew, brown trout, salmon and freshwater pearl mussel, a designated Annex 2 species. The lake is also impacted by invasive species. The loss of environmental quality has impacted on socio economic factors. Like other Irish catchments, Corrib suffers from a dearth of coherent data and the lack of a unified governance structure. There are multiple agencies with overlapping roles. A variety of state agencies, local authorities and NGO’s gather data on environmental issues.
Keystone native species of the Corrib under threat, the Curlew, Brown trout and freshwater pearl mussel and one of the factors leading to water quality decline, waste water practices
The BEO project will create an easily accessible and user-friendly data portal/information system, with strong use of story maps, visualisation, citizen science and real-time sensor data. The portal will be harnessed to raise public awareness and to foster a Corrib cultural identity. The Corrib Trust will be established, to work with agencies and communities to produce a Corrib vision and 20 year “Action Plan on Nature, People and Economy”. The project will demonstrate the effectiveness of an innovative data portal in activating communities and agencies towards effective catchment management. Over a five year period (2021-2026), this model can become an exemplar for data portals and water governance structures in Ireland and Europe.
Proposed partners include: Insight Data Analytics Centre at NUI Galway, UK Rivers Trust, LAWPRO (Local Authorities Waters Programme), Corrib Beo (a coalition of community groups), SWAN (Sustainable Water Network) and the University of Warmia and Mazury in Poland.