Cork Environmental Forum (CEF) has long been a local champion for the environment since their establishment in 1995. In a retrospective look in the past 25 years, CEF marks the milestone by celebrating the many dedicated people across the Cork city and county and beyond.

CEF was inspired by the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 and its primary purpose remains to foster, promote, and implement sustainable development at a local level in the Cork region.

One of CEF’s highly anticipated annual events is the Environmental Awards Ceremony which honours several individuals, organisations and businesses for their “passionate activism, care for the environment and deep commitment to the issue of sustainability”. It is a great source of pride and generates a boost for the enduring hard work within the community.

The 20th Environmental Awards Ceremony announced the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award to long standing member David Lee for his lifelong commitment to protecting water quality and supporting a catchment management approach. Frank Dorr and Eileen Lynch are awarded the Community and Voluntary Award for leading the development of the Social and Health Education Project and Elders for Earth and spread the understanding of climate change at community level. Similarly, Carbery Housing Association is commended for the many years fighting homelessness by providing social housing that is energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

The environmental group collaborates in partnership with various networks and groups, locally, nationally and internationally including Cork City and County Council, Tidy Towns projects, Cork Sports Partnership, HSE and Cork Healthy City, the Lifetime Lab, Irish Natural Forestry Foundation, Lifelong Learning Festival. It works in a very collaborative manner, aligning with the partnership goal of Agenda 2030 SDG17 and is a key initiator of some and member of other networlks such as EcCoWell, the Transport and Mobility Forum, Green Spaces for Health, Cork sky Friendly campaign and others. Nationally it is a member of the Sustainable Water Network and Coastwatch, CEF is represented on the National Water Forum and is part of the international network of Global Action groups. It has membership from and supports many other local community groups and individuals.

Speaking of the CEF’s 25th Year Anniversary, CEF Development Co-ordinator Bernadette Connolly shares, “in essence it is about the people, the community, the connections and the collaborations that we have made [in the last 25 years] in order to build a pathway to greater sustainability guided by the principles of the Local Agenda 21.”

Watch the CEF 25th Year retrospective video here:

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