Soil to Sea: AFBI Environmental Webinar Series

Date published: 12 October 2020

Area of Expertise:

The Agri-food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) will be presenting a series of webinars in October focused on environmental sustainability, protection and enhancement of freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems.

The series will report key research findings from work being undertaken to mitigate excess nutrient flow from land to water; the impact of land use practices, such as farming, on freshwater and coastal ecosystems; monitoring the health of the aquatic environment and how AFBI is designing ways to enhance the sustainable use of natural resources.

The sustainable management, protection and enhancement of freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems is vital for the prosperity and growth of the NI economy and societal well-being.  As such this series of webinars will highlight the latest intelligence being established from AFBI’s unique integrated programme of research spanning the ‘Soil to the Sea’.

State of the art knowledge from an in-depth understanding of soil biogeochemical processes, to catchment scale responses to land use change, to the impact of climate change, to human and contaminant pressures on seas and natural resources, to ecosystem-based assessment of fisheries resources will be presented.  Presentations will also highlight how this knowledge is impacting on policy decisions and practice related to the local, national and international legislative and policy drivers, as well as stakeholder interests.

To support this work, AFBI utilises their unique instrumented research platforms such as the Research Vessel Corystes, Hillsborough Research Farm, and high frequency monitoring programmes in a number of catchments. Funding from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and external sources such as Interreg and EU Horizon 2020 has enabled AFBI to develop this nationally and internationally recognised programme of research that is having a significant impact on the agri-food industries as well as the water and marine sectors in Northern Ireland.

The first webinar, entitled “Soil to Catchment Management of Agricultural Nutrients” will take place on the 15 of October at 10.30 am and will focus on research to mitigate the export of nutrients from soil to water.

The second webinar, entitled “Impacts of the environment, nutrient loading and other human pressures on life in rivers and lakes” will take place on 21 October at 10.30 am and will focus on the impact of nutrients and other land use pressures on freshwater aquatic ecosystems.

The third webinar, entitled “Where the land meets the sea - a holistic approach towards the sustainable management of the marine environment and natural resources” will take place on 28 October 2020 at 10.30am and will outline findings from research being conducted on the sustainable management of coastal and marine habitats and resources.

The webinars will involve presentations from AFBI staff as well as discussion sessions with a panel of experts drawn from across the Agri-Environmental and Fisheries and Aquatic Ecosystems teams in AFBI.

Notes to editors: 

AFBI is an arms-length body of DAERA delivering research and development, diagnostic and analytical testing, emergency response capability and expert scientific advice for DAERA and other government departments, public bodies and commercial companies in Northern Ireland, and further afield.

AFBI’s Vision is “Advancing the Local and Global Agri-Food Sectors Through Scientific Excellence”.

AFBI’s core areas:

  • Leading improvements in the agri-food industry;
  • Protecting animal, plant and human health;
  • Enhancing the natural and marine environment.

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