WWF celebrates its 50th birthday with Livewell lunch at James Street South
29 November 2011
Great British Menu finalist, Niall McKenna created a bespoke Livewell menu for a host of MLAs and press at James Street South, Belfast today to mark WWF’s 50th anniversary by eating healthily for a healthy planet.
Over the last 50 years there have been some real successes in WWF’s work globally and also here in Northern Ireland. These include conservation wins, protecting globally endangered species and habitats to local successes such as the WWF Northern Ireland RIPPLE project on the Ballinderry River, Co. Tyrone – a highly successful practical model for how to reconnect people with their environment and tackle the challenge of keeping Europe’s rivers clean and healthy by taking direct local action.
Environment Minister, Alex Attwood said: “I warmly congratulate WWF on its 50th anniversary. Throughout this period WWF has been a tireless champion for the protection of the natural world and for building a future where both people and nature thrive. The practical work they have done with Governments, business and communities has led to many important conservation and sustainability success stories as well as benefitting local communities whose livelihoods depend on sustaining their natural environment.
WWF-Northern Ireland used the opportunity to launch their new Livewell campaign which promotes a healthy, sustainable, common sense diet that cuts carbon emissions. MLAs and press tucked into a delicious sustainable Christmas lunch designed specifically by chef Niall McKenna within the five Livewell principles which include eating more plants, reducing our food waste and consumption of processed foods and choosing sustainably certified food such as MSC for fish or RSPO for palm oil, to safeguard the environments where our food comes from.
Livewell highlights that the food we eat – growing, producing and importing it – has a massive impact not just on our health but also on the health of our planet, from the Cerrado savannah in Brazil to the forests of Borneo. And food is responsible for 30% of the UK’s CO2 emissions.
The campaign shows us that what’s healthy for people is – for the most part – healthy for the planet too. If people adapt what they eat slightly, they can make a positive difference for their own health and for the natural world.
Great British Menu finalist, Niall McKenna said, “The more you come to understand cooking, the more your eyes are opened to the incredible variety and rich diversity that the natural world provides us. WWF's Livewell diet is a great approach to reduce your impact on the environment and improve your health.”
Geoff Nuttall, Head of WWF WWF Northern Ireland, said, “WWF Northern Ireland are delighted that so many MLAs came to our Livewell xmas lunch to help us celebrate our 50th birthday. Working with the Northern Ireland Assembly has been an integral part of our work over the past few years in order to ensure that key policies are in place to protect the environment, and to help us all live more sustainable lives and strive for a One Planet future.”
The fundamental challenge we face today is the same as 50 years ago: how can large numbers of people have a decent standard of living, without destroying the planet’s biodiversity and in turn, destroying their children’s future?
However, there have also been some big changes, such as the huge rise in the world’s population, how much we consume in developed countries and the role of big global politics and business.
Wildlife conservation is just part of the solution. It’s no longer possible, for example, to protect somewhere like the Amazon just by working with local people. We must challenge the things that drive deforestation, like the market for timber and the way we feed our animals. So today, we are also working here in Northern Ireland: such as encouraging consumers to buy sustainably sourced fish and persuading the Northern Ireland Assembly Government – through Stop Climate Chaos NI – to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
How You Can Help
Despite the looming threats, WWF remains optimistic. They have achieved many great things so far and hope that in their 50th anniversary year, more people will join the active supporters in Northern Ireland.
By becoming WWF members, joining campaigns such as Earth Hour and striving to live more sustainably you will help to ensure that both people and nature thrive in the years ahead.
To learn more about WWF Northern Ireland please go to ni.wwf.org.uk and for more information on the Livewell food campaign visit, wwf.org.uk/livewell
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