Earth Day 202322.04.2023
Today is International Earth Day, a day to celebrate the wonderful, natural world that surrounds us and a day to raise awareness of how we should protect it. This day is especially important in the Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark where we are treated to a natural, picturesque mixture of rolling limestone hills, sandy coastlines, beautiful green fields and abundant wildlife. The land is a pivotal part of so many livelihoods with sectors such as farming, education and tourism thriving in the region. And while we can relish and certainly take advantage of the natural phenomena that we are fortunate to have on our doorstep, it is important that we do so in a manageable way using sustainable practices.
Geopark Code of Practice for Sustainable Tourism
The Burren Ecotourism Network is a network of 70+ businesses that work together to ensure that the region is managed in a holistic way to cause minimal disruption to the natural environment. Each member of the network follows the Geopark Code of Practice for Sustainable Tourism. Committing to the code requires businesses to measure, monitor and manage their consumption of fuel, energy, water and more, with the aim of reducing these metrics over time. By tracking data in this way, businesses can adapt their practices to more sustainable methods and reduce their costs and their impact on the environment. Another requirement of the code is for businesses to have a positive impact on and within their local communities whether that be through volunteering at or sponsoring local events, employing local people or various other means.
Submissions are made to the Geopark code of practice every year and are evaluated by a neutral third party every two years. The evaluators grade each submission with a coloured score, with the top tier of results gaining emerald status. The following businesses of the Burren Ecotourism Network gained an Emerald Status for their sustainable and environmental practices within the Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark in 2022.
Slieve Elva Bed & Breakfast, Aillwee Cave and Birds of Prey Centre, Cliffs of Moher Experience, Burren Fine Wine & Food, Burren Free Range Pork, Gregans Castle Hotel, Cafe Linnalla ice cream, Michael Cusack Centre, Wild Kitchen, St Tola Irish Goats Cheese, Hazelwood Lodge.