Integrated Aquatic Resources Management Between Ir.. (Integrated Aquatic R..)
Integrated Aquatic Resources Management Between Ireland, NI and Scotland (IBIS Project)
Start date: Jul 31, 2011,
End date: Jun 29, 2015
The overall aim of the proposal is to meet a range of environmental priorities for delivering high quality policy and sustainable management of freshwater and marine natural resources and the biodiversity they support across the programme area.Specific aims of this project are to:•Conduct a research programme to address applied aquatic resource management questions common to the cross-border programme area•deliver high quality training in field of freshwater and marine resource management •promote public and stakeholder understanding and awareness and aquatic resource management issues through knowledge transfer •enable skills transfer and development for practitioners of freshwater and marine resource management and biodiversity of biodiversity •develop cross border partnerships and collaborations between agencies, institutions and NGOs with aquatic resources management interests that will persist beyond completion of the project •provide world class facilities supporting training, research and skills sharing in aquatic ecosystems and their management into the future Achievements: IBIS aims to meet the pressing need for an integrated approach to managing the unique freshwater and marine natural assets, and the economies they support, in Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland. The project is directly informing management and policy development among stakeholders through a research-based understanding of aquatic resource management issues; deeper knowledge among current and future aquatic resource management practitioners; new and up-to-date information upon which to make evidence based management decisions. IBIS will be one of the foremost vehicles for knowledge sharing and common best practice within this field.IBIS is building world class research and training facilities on Loch Lomond in Scotland to build future capacity and complement the project facilities in Ireland and N. Ireland. These will support the delivery of the project and of aquatic resource management in the future. The new infrastructure will support research and training, leading to future training and employment opportunities and quality of life for residents in the eligible area. The projects impact will endure well beyond its lifetime.IBIS is currently meeting these aims by delivering its objectives of research, training and knowledge transfer. High level, quality training for future aquatic resource management practitioners is being provided through PhD, MPhil, MRes and Masters by Research studentships supervised by leading experts from the three jurisdictions. Novel courses are being created inside a programme of Continuing Professional Development for current practitioners. Knowledge Transfer workshops are raising awareness and skills, and are channeling information to stakeholders. Research findings by IBIS are being published in peer-reviewed science journals.This project is deliverin a comprehensive virtual toolkit supporting the needs of the sector in implementing its key legislative drivers, the Water Framework Directive and the Habitats Directive. IBIS is accomplishing this through a portfolio of linked university-embedded research projects that meet the consensus of research needs identified by government, NGOs, charities and academic institutions via the IBIS Project Advisory Group.IBISs communication infrastructure, using websites and social media, is bringing these activities and their resulting information together inside attractive, informative channels that are accessible to the range of different users and interests becoming linked into IBIS.Training the next generation of managers and policy makers who will manage the marine and freshwater resources requires not just lectures and laboratory training, they also need to experience work in the natural environment. INTERREG IVA funding enabled the University of Glasgow to complete the construction of a state-of-the-art Field Teaching and Training Facility at the Scottish Centre for Ecology and the Natural Environment on Loch Lomondside. Fully operational from January 2014, it offers 45 bed-spaces for students and teachers, wet / dry research areas, teaching laboratory, and fully equipped reconfigurable conference / dining facilities across 3 levels. This unit will support some of the highest quality field training possible anywhere in Europe.From the complement of 35 researchers appointed in IBIS, seven have completed their postgraduate degree work: six IBIS alumni have embarked on the next stage of a further career in related university research or with an aquatic resource organisation engaged in management and support, all but one in UK/Ireland; the seventh is on maternity career break.IBIS participants, including the researchers, have made well-received presentations on project progress to consecutive meetings of Irelands North-South Ministerial Council in each of 2012 and 2013, and are scheduled to present at the first NSMC meeting of 2014.IBIS funds have been applied to the construction of the new Teaching and Training facility at the Scottish Centre for Ecology and the Natural Environment (SCENE); this cooperation was warmly acknowledged by Scotlands Deputy First Minister & Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment & Cities, who visited SCENE for a tour in February 2013 and was joined by its Director, the Principal, Vice Principal, 2 ex-vice principals, head of IBAHCM, staff, students, donors and guests from Scotland and Ireland.Links across stakeholders have been created and cemented at the Knowledge Transfer Workshops and Conferences and Continuing Professional Development courses, in which IBIS researchers have also joined. Many of these activities have been expressly newly-created for the IBIS stakeholder participants and students.The model of cooperation across the 3 partners led to an invitation to IBIS from Scotland Europa to showcase the project at its Brussels Scotland House Conference Centre in early 2014, with attendees expected to include science and policy staff from the European Commission and other organisations working in this field.The newly-completed Teaching and Training facility at SCENE is available indefinitely for use by organisations across the Programme Area. A database of IBIS-generated research reports and outputs, which is publicly accessible, is being maintained and continually enhanced by the Lead Partner. This resource will be the foundation for future collaborations between the IBIS partners.Developers of new courses and workshops, contracted by IBIS to deliver Knowledge Transfer Workshops and Continuing Professional Development, have said they will continue to offer these after IBIS reaches the end of its operational period.The three IBIS partner organisations have moved into the detailed planning stage to continue their collaboration, beyond the end of funding by INTERREG IVA in June 2015, in a further formal structure.
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