Seminars this November

18 November 2019
William Fry theatre
UCD Sutherland School of Law


The expansion of protected areas for marine biodiversity and existing policies and treaties that encourage responsible use of ocean resources are still insufficient to combat the adverse effects of overfishing, growing ocean acidification due to climate change and worsening coastal eutrophication. As billions of people depend on oceans for their livelihood and food source and on the transboundary nature of oceans, increased efforts and interventions are needed to conserve and sustainably use ocean resources at all levels.

We’ll be joined by RTE broadcaster and journalist Ella McSweeney, geneticist and fisheries expert Jens Carlsson and artist and educator Anita McKeown to discuss these issues and the role the UN Sustainable Development Goals can play in highlighting and addressing them. The seminar will be chaired by Tasman Crowe, director of the UCD Earth Institute and recently appointed chair of a new expert group to advise Government on the expansion of Ireland’s network of Marine Protected Areas.

This seminar is organised by the UCD Earth Institute and the UCD Biological Society

20 November 2019
UCD Global Lounge
Gerard Manley Hopkins Building


Advances in ending violence, promoting the rule of law, strengthening institutions and increasing access to justice are uneven and continue to deprive millions of their security, rights and opportunities. This lack of equity also undermines the delivery of public services and broader economic development while attacks on civil society are holding back development progress. Our expert panel will be discussing the challenges posed by Goal 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals, Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, in the context of their own work and careers.


  • David Donoghue had a long and varied career in Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs. He was involved for many years in the Northern Ireland peace process, and one of the Irish Government’s negotiating team for the ground-breaking Good Friday Agreement (1998). In addition to many other development, foreign policy and service posts overseas, from 2013-17 he was Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations in New York. He served as co-facilitator for the UN negotiations which led to the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in September 2015.
  • Colin Scott is Professor of EU Regulation and Governance at in the School of Law at University College Dublin, where he also currently serves as Vice President for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and Principal, UCD College of Social Sciences and Law. His research interests consider questions of the limits of regulatory governance, processes of accountability and non-state governance.
  • Dawn Walsh is an Assistant Professor in the School of Politics and International Relations at University College Dublin. She is currently the lead researcher on an Irish Research Council funded project which examines the role of independent commissions, such as electoral and human rights commissions, in peace processes.
  • Sinéad Walsh is the EU Ambassador to South Sudan. She has worked for Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade since 2009. Prior to her current role, Sinéad served as the Ambassador of Ireland to Sierra Leone and Liberia and the Head of Irish Aid in the two countries, based in Freetown from 2011 to 2016. During this period she and her colleagues worked relentlessly to bring the humanitarian disaster of the Ebola crisis to global attention, and she has co-authored the book ‘Getting to Zero’ about this experience.
  • Chair: Patrick Paul Walsh is the Professor of International Development Studies in University College Dublin, Ireland. He also a Senior Advisor to the UN SDSN, New York and Chair of the Academic Steering Committee of the Global Association of Masters of Development Practice, based at the Earth Institute at Columbia University.

This seminar is organised by the UCD Centre for Sustainable Development Studies and the UCD School of Politics and International Relations.

26 November 2019
UCD Science Centre West
Room B1.54A, 1st floor


There are some encouraging global trends in protecting terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity. Forest loss is slowing down, more key biodiversity areas are protected and more financial assistance is flowing towards biodiversity protection. Yet, the 2020 targets of Sustainable Development Goal 15 are unlikely to be met, land degradation continues, biodiversity loss is occurring at an alarming rate, and invasive species and the illicit poaching and trafficking of wildlife continue to thwart efforts to protect and restore vital ecosystems and species.

We’ll be joined by Adam Kane (UCD School of Biology and Environmental Science), Suzanne Kingston (UCD Sutherland School of Law) and Olaf Schmidt (UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science), and our panel will discuss vultures and poaching in southern Africa, the global earthworm map – our largest dataset on soil biodiversity, and how we can design our laws to ensure environmental compliance. The session will be chaired by Jon Yearsley (UCD School of Biology and Environmental Science).

This seminar is organised by the UCD Earth Institute, the UCD EcoEvoKlub and the UCD Biological Society.

28 November 2019
William Jefferson Clinton Auditorium, UCD


Climate change presents the single biggest threat to current and future generations, and its widespread, unprecedented impacts disproportionately burden the poorest and most vulnerable.

Urgent action to combat climate change and minimize its disruptions is integral to the successful implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and forms the basis for Goal 13, Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

We’re joined by Barry Andrews MEP, Jacky Croke (UCD School of Geography), Aideen O’Dochartaigh (UCD School of Business and BEACON SFI Bioeconomy Centre) and Sadhbh O’Neill (UCD School of Politics and International Relations and Climate Case Ireland) to discuss the political, legal, social and scientific challenges that climate change presents.

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