Bioregion around County Waterford, Ireland

Fragmented initiatives are brought together for the common good 

County Waterford in southern Ireland is characterised by landscapes and seascapes that traditionally supported local farming and fishing communities to thrive in harmony with them. But ecosystems are under threat, particularly from habitat loss due to intensive agriculture and aquaculture practices, and from urban and rural development practices.  

In a collaborative effort to build a resilient food system that regenerates and supports the area’s ecosystems and communities, we formed a Bioregional Weaving Lab in Waterford with local organisation GIY (Grow It Yourself), Ashoka and the Presencing Institute. Bioregional Weaving Labs is a learning network of international system-changing organisations that brings people and organisations together to collaborate on a shared purpose for their landscape.  

Across County Waterford, some fragmented initiatives to protect and regenerate the landscape already exist and others are emerging. This project will bring together stakeholders to make collective impact through supporting a portfolio of aligned actions for change.   

Vision 
The Waterford Food Manifesto states the vision and ambition of the community and food producers in the Waterford Bioregion. The manifesto was co-written by 35 citizens of the Waterford Bioregion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1C22mo5ta4.

Challenges:  

  • Depleted land, soils, water and food quality   
  • Loss of species, habitats and ecosystems   
  • Poor mental and physical health, local economy and housing pressures  

Opportunities:  

  • Explore and map fragmented initiatives aimed at regenerating the landscape, mobilising changemakers and creating resilient food systems   
  • Create a landscape vision and portfolio of actions that together generate natural, social, economic and inspirational capital   
  • Inform, connect and empower farmers, producers, consumers, retailers and other stakeholders to make long-term systemic changes   

Impact Ambition: 

To mobilise of 64K changemakers by 2025 to overcome systemic barriers and restore, protect and regenerate of 64K ha of land and sea in the Waterford bioregion,, with significant impact on 4 Returns (social, natural, economic and inspiration) by 2030  

Impacts so far:  

  • 10 emerging concept in development: systemic innovations with 4R impact potential 
  • ±30 Farmers involved 
  • 1 co-created manifesto published 
  • 2 jobs created (weaver 80% and co-weaver 60%) 
en_USEnglish