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Ballinderry’s Pearl Mussels and the peace process

Minister of the Environment Mark Durgan cuts the ribbon to officially open the Ballinderry River School with the help of Lisa Kirkwood (Learning & Outreach Officer), Frank Mitchell (Hatchery Manager), Alan Kees (Project officer) and Mark Horton (Manager).INMM2514-331

Minister of the Environment Mark Durgan cuts the ribbon to officially open the Ballinderry River School with the help of Lisa Kirkwood (Learning & Outreach Officer), Frank Mitchell (Hatchery Manager), Alan Kees (Project officer) and Mark Horton (Manager).INMM2514-331

  • by MICHAEL MCGLADE - Editorial comment
 

Protecting the environment is a bit like the peace process.

It’s a all about education and changing attitudes and it is something which could take generations to achieve.

Even then, it is something which will have to be worked upon to prevent the mistakes of the past.

Persisting with this analogy, I would argue that just like the peace process, there have been great strides made in recent years to help protect the environment.

Here in Mid Ulster, one of the greatest exponents of hands-on environmental conservation, has been the Ballinderry Rivers Trust.

Last week, I had the privilege of visiting the facility and learning about the pearl mussel, an endangered species in the Ballinderry river.

The mussel which can live much longer than humans, is a perfect barometer of the health of the river and its ecology.

Therefore protecting the mussel, is protecting the river, the fish that live in the river and protecting the water which we all drink on a daily basis.

If only the peace process could be so easily explained - that’s where the analogy falls down.

 

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