first_imgNewsEducationHealthUniversity of Limerick leads €10.5 million EU ‘Go Green Routes’ projectBy Cian Reinhardt – July 20, 2020 500 Print Facebook Email Advertisement University you Limerick campus aerialsPhoto: True MediaUNIVERSITY of Limerick (UL) is to lead a €10.5 million ‘Go Green Routes’ project that aims to transform both environmental and human health by positioning European cities as world ambassadors of urban sustainability.Details of the project, which has almost 40 different stakeholders, were announced at a virtual launch hosted by UL today, Monday, July 20.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up The four-year project, which applies visionary and integrated solutions to improve health in cities, will commence in September, coordinated by the Health Research Institute at UL.The project, which is funded under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 framework programme, will take COVID-19 into consideration, evaluating the impact of reduced air pollution during and after lockdown, as well as the impact on mental health of urban citizens and their views on re-greening their cities.Dr Tadhg MacIntyre, a lecturer in psychology at UL and coordinator of the Go Green Routes project said emerging evidence shows people “flocked to green spaces during lockdown for mental health, physical activity and connectivity with their communities”.He said, “The impact on social cohesion, connection to nature and their perceptions of their cities may be long-lasting. One solution to reduced transmission of the disease and the negative psychological consequences of confinement is spending more time outdoors in greenspace, which will be addressed by the project.”Dr McIntyre said there how nature is integrated into urban spaces and used needs to optimised, he said there is a need to “create a rapid means of knowledge creation and knowledge transfer to enable upscaling and future proliferation of nature-based interventions”.“We aim to create a unique knowledge ecosystem to transform citizens, planners, researchers and entrepreneurs into innovators, leaders and visionaries in nature-based solutions. Nature is our future,” Dr MacIntyre added.UL will receive €1.6m to fund a team of doctoral and post-doctoral researchers and a project manager. Other Irish partners will benefit to the tune of €3.68m across SMEs – Nutritics, ICEP, Connect the Dots, and Horizon Nua – and Irish universities TCD and TU Dublin, while Limerick City and County Council is to receive €530,000.The consortium will cultivate technological and nature-based solutions for health across six cities – Burgas, Bulgaria; Lahti, Finland; Umea, Sweden; Versailles, France and Limerick – and lay a foundation for future implementation in Munich, Germany, the Murcia region of Spain and in the Gzira municipality of Malta.The project also has partners in China, Mexico and Georgia, enabling a global knowledge exchange and a focus on mental health and well-being.Speaking at the launch of the project this Monday, UL Chancellor Mary Harney, said, “As a former Minister for Health, I am acutely aware of the links between human and environmental health. Indeed, I know first-hand that the banning of smoky coal in Dublin in 1990 had a huge impact on air pollution and a positive impact on health.”The UL Chancellor said now there is a need to be “ambitious” in how health is promoted in cities, “through active travel, renaturing streets and ensuring nature and people are at the nexus of urban life”.She said, “Limerick City, I am glad to say, has been advancing its capacities through research and innovation. Recently, it was awarded the European Green Leaf Award for innovation in greenspace. The collaboration with UL has led to the +CityxChange, which is a smart city project paying dividends in sustainability.“The University has firm plans to increase its footprint in the city. The future of our institution and the city are very much linked. We are both future focused and have ambitious growth targets and together we will ensure the city and the region become of strategic importance in research, learning and innovation. Limerick 2030, our own strategic plan and research like the Go Green Routes project will help to ensure that this vision becomes a reality.”The project has three themes – Building Back Better; Re-naturing Cities for Health; and Future-proofing for Digital Natives. An interdisciplinary team at UL is involved including Dr Stephen Kinsella, economics; Dr Norma Bargary, statistical modelling; Professor Alan Donnelly, physical activity; Dr Tadhg MacIntyre, mental health; Dr Giles Warrington, sport and exercise; Dr Conor Little, governance; Dr Elaine Gallagher, citizen science and Dr Eibhlís O’Connor, nutrition and sustainability.Dr Una May, Director of Participation and Ethics at Sport Ireland, said, “We have learnt from the Covid-19 lockdown how much people cherish their connection to nature and the role of active recreation in greenspace has never been so apparent. Limerick City, with the support of our planned supports including the Active Cities programme and the Go Green Routes innovations, will be able to clearly demonstrate how urban nature can promote healthy lives and act as a flagship for other cities to follow.”Martin Rogan, CEO Mental Health Ireland, said, “We are well aware of the benefits of nature for mental health but the challenge has been how to best translate knowledge into impact. Uniquely, Go Green Routes will co-create a mental health scorecard for cities which will highlight their contribution to prevention, commitment to rights of persons with psychosocial disabilities and empowerment of users of services-this combination of organic and structured supports will make a long-lasting contribution to the well-being of Irish citizens.”center_img Linkedin WhatsApp Twitter Previous articleShannon airport immigration centreNext articleGardaí order Limerick publican to cease trading under Health Act after wet-house opens up despite COVID rules Cian Reinhardthttp://www.limerickpost.ieJournalist & Digital Media Coordinator. Covering human interest and social issues as well as creating digital content to accompany news stories. [email protected]last_img read more


first_imgIndonesia booked its highest exports in six months, driven by rising shipments of agricultural and manufactured goods in September, Statistics Indonesia (BPS) announced Thursday.In a sign of improving global demand, Indonesia has booked a trade surplus for five consecutive months.Exports jumped 6.97 percent month-to-month (mtm) in September to US$14.01 billion, the highest recorded since March, before the pandemic took a great toll on the country’s economy. The figure, however, remained 0.5 percent lower than in September last year. Imports, meanwhile, rose 7.7 percent mtm to $11.57 billion in September due to rising incoming deliveries of raw materials and capital goods, but they are still almost 19 percent lower annually, as household spending remains well below pre-pandemic levels.As a result, the country booked a $2.44 billion trade surplus in September, bringing the total surplus so far this year to $13.51 billion.“The September trade data is an encouraging sign of economic recovery, as exports of agricultural and manufactured goods rose, while imports of raw materials for [manufacturing] also picked up,” BPS head Suhariyanto said in a press briefing on Thursday.Indonesia’s gross domestic product (GDP) shrank 5.32 percent year-on-year (yoy) in the second quarter as all GDP components but net exports contracted. Household spending as well as investment plunged deeper as the COVID-19 pandemic hit purchasing power and demand. Exports of manufactured goods, which contributed to around 80 percent to total exports, rose 6.61 percent yoy to $11.56 billion in September, driven by higher shipments of steel, palm oil and electrical equipment, among other things.Exports of agricultural products jumped 16.22 percent annually to $410 million due to rising exports of bird nests, shrimp and vegetables, among other commodities.Meanwhile, exports of oil and gas products fell 12.44 percent to $700 million amid lower oil prices, while exports of mining products plummeted 35 percent to $1.33 billion because of falling coal prices and lower demand for the commodity.On the other side, imports of both raw materials and capital goods increased in September to $8.32 billion and $2.13 billion, respectively, but are still down nearly 20 percent annually. Imports of consumer goods fell 20.38 percent yoy to $1.12 billion.“Demand from Indonesia’s major export destinations has shown a notable improvement following the global lockdown easing, while the global commodity prices indicate an upward trend,” Bank Mandiri chief economist Andry Asmoro wrote in a research note on Thursday. “These [factors] could support exports going forward.”However, the potential risk of a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic could hinder the export recovery and global economic activity, he stated, adding to a bleak outlook for imports as the still weak domestic demand would force businesses to postpone investment and production activities.On that basis, “Indonesia’s imports will keep contracting faster than exports in the last quarter of 2020,” he predicted.Bank Central Asia (BCA) economist David Sumual said the trade data reflected “the latest sign of recovery” in the country’s manufacturing sector, but the prospect of economic recovery remained uncertain this year.“The prospect of economic recovery in the fourth quarter will largely depend on the trajectory of the virus, because household spending will remain subdued until a vaccine is available,” he told the Post.Indonesia’s manufacturing activity has improved significantly in the third quarter compared to the second quarter, according to a survey conducted by Bank Indonesia (BI), as it expects activity to improve further in the fourth quarter.The rise in Indonesia’s non-oil and gas imports hinted at improvement in domestic demand, JP Morgan Emerging Markets Asia, Economic and Policy Research analyst Nur Raisah Rasid wrote in a note on Thursday.Business performance in the third quarter had improved significantly compared to the previous quarter, said Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) deputy chairwoman Shinta Kamdani.“We are confident that business performance will further recover following rising consumption before year-end, and we expect that people’s confidence will improve going forward in line with vaccine availability,” she said on text message on Thursday, adding that demand for Indonesian goods had also picked up in countries that had succeeded in controlling the pandemic.“On that basis, we are optimistic that the productivity of the national industry will get a boost from people’s rising confidence and rising market demand,” she stated. “But we still need to work hard to maintain people’s confidence in the economy through policy reforms and stimulus.”Topics :last_img read more