What is a ‘Community Charter’?
The idea behind the community charter is to bring as many people as possible together, who live and/or work on the Burren and find out what is their vision for the future of the Burren, and how they see themselves involved in developing that vision. It is about what the people of the Burren can do for themselves as opposed to what can be done for them.
It is hoped that the charter will help all existing organisations and communities to work together in a more integrated manner, as well as setting out future work priorities for all involved.
Who is involved?
The project management committee is made up of the following representatives:
Burren Farming for Conservation Programme
Dr. Brendan Dunford
The Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark
Burrenbeo Trust Ltd.
Galway County Council
Clare County Council
The Burren Community Charter started life with a proposal to the Heritage Council in support of a community led approach in building a charter for the Burren. Recognising the value of the proposal, the Heritage Council came on board and is now working with a number of Burren based organisationsin to help develop the idea further.
The idea of a community charter represents a radical departure in participatory democracy for Ireland and is a very new approach to landscape management for this country. With world cafes, ‘Petcha kucha’ sessions and town hall meetings being employed as part of this new landscape movement , local communities are encouraged and empowered to become architects of their landscape and destiny.
During public consultation in 2011 The Burren Community Charter Group hosted various shows and held family events across the region. The idea behind the community charter is to bring as many people as possible together who live and/or work on the Burren and find out what their vision for the future of the region is and how they see themselves involved in developing that vision.
In recent years there has been a lot of research and discussion about the Burren’s landscape, heritage and communities. Many issues have been raised through this work and some issues are supported through the establishment of the following Burren based organisations:
Burren Farming for Conservation Project (formerly known as the BurrenLife project),
Burren Connect Project
Most of the organisations work separately with their own specific objectives. One of the most striking recommendations over the many years of Burren research and discussion is the need for a co-ordinated approach to the management of this region. What this implies is that the different groups and agencies who all do good work in the Burren should have a ‘channel’ or umbrella structure that allows them all to work together to a specific plan
This is what has led the four organisations mentioned above, along with the Heritage Council, Clare County Council andGalway County Council to explore the possibility of developing a community charter for the Burren.
The Burren is a truly unique place - presenting unique challenges and opportunities. The Burren Community Charter aims to allow the Burren community shape its own future, deciding for itself how best to address these challenges and opportunities.