JYVASKYLA, Finland/Tullore, Ireland: “The Irish Peat Society is inviting members of the International Peat Society (IPS) and others working with peatlands to a new and different type of ‘convention’ from 7th to 11th June 2015. The venue is Tullamore, scene of the 2008 International Peat Congress. The event is planned as a comprehensive and fun-filled journey through peatlands knowledge, opinions and communities.
The event, or “Conversation” as it is called, will take the form of master classes, themed field trips, inter-active poster sessions and ‘fireside’ chats. The ‘Conversation’ will involve a single, integrated programme in which all participants are expected to take part. The objective is both to convey information and provide opportunities for discussing, openly but respectfully, aspects of peatland use on which opinions may be divided.
The event will open with two keynote speeches from contrasting perspectives. Three field trips will deal with issues including conservation, restoration, peat extraction, carbon issues, forestry, recreation and compensation where private peat extraction is being terminated.
Four master classes (sessions designed to impart relevant knowledge to participants) will deal with
peatland education and peat certification. The interactive poster session will involve five-minute
presentations in plenary followed by questions and discussion.
It is planned that dinner (for all participants) on the first evening will take place in Charleville Castle, and on the second night will involve a barbeque at Lough Boora Parklands. The after dinner ‘fireside chats’ are intended to combine discussion of different perspectives on peatland issues with enjoyable social occasions. The first of these will be with the two keynote speakers, the second will deal with Wise Use. The third will consist of dinner and a party in a whiskey distillery. A Mistress of Ceremonies (MC) will co-ordinate and motivate the whole ‘Conversation’. The event will be a unique opportunity to consider new perspectives, develop new skills and enjoy the rich peatland fabric of the Irish midland peatlands.
Source: Peatlands International Issue 4. 2014.