Jul 4, 2023 | Media, News

The Community Wetlands Forum (CWF), a member-based forum dedicated to community-led conservation and the wise use of wetland ecosystems, is proud to announce its establishment as a newly independent Company Limited by Guarantee, marking a significant milestone in its journey toward community-led wetland management.

Formed under the umbrella of Irish Rural Link, the CWF has played a pivotal role in promoting awareness, understanding, and collaborative action to empower communities to safeguard wetland habitats across Ireland. Over the past decade, the CWF has actively engaged local communities, environmental organizations, government agencies, and academic institutions in its mission to support the protection, management, and wise use of wetlands for sustainable communities.

Attendees at the recent CWF conference in Abbeyleix on a lunchtime bog walk.

The decision to transition from an initiative under Irish Rural Link to an independent CLG reflects the tremendous growth and impact of the Community Wetlands Forum comprising forty community groups. This growth would not have been achieved without the dedicated support of Irish Rural Link and our funding partners. The transition will empower the CWF to expand its reach, promote further capacity sharing among its members, and advocate for community engagement as a valued means of protecting and managing wetlands.

Seamus Boland, CEO of Irish Rural Link, expressed his pride in the Community Wetlands Forum’s achievements, stating, “The Community Wetlands Forum, which was formed with the support of IRL, is dedicated to furthering community-led conservation of wetlands in Ireland. We are thrilled to witness the CWF’s progression as an independent CLG, poised to make an even greater impact in the years to come.”

Eddie Smyth, one of the volunteer Directors of the CWF, expressed his enthusiasm for the future, stating, “the CWF provides support for a new community space in Ireland where farmers, professionals, the retired, youth and many more can come together to manage a wetland and share in a wide range of benefits for the wellbeing of people and the planet”.

The Community Wetlands Forum invites everyone with an interest in wetland conservation and rural community development to join in celebrating its establishment as a newly independent CLG. For more information about the Community Wetlands Forum, its initiatives, and upcoming events, please visit communitywetlandsforum.ie.