DkIT Final Year Agriculture Students Host Innovative Round Table Discussion17 April 2019
Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) final year BA (Hons) in Sustainable Agriculture/ Agri-Food Production students recently held a round table discussion with an aim to explore the role the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have in our lives - in particular, paying attention to SDG 2 which focuses on ending hunger, achieving food security, improving nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.
The Sustainable Development Goals are a set of goals adopted by 193 countries in a bid to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all by the year 2030.
This innovative event was student-led throughout and designed to allow participants to articulate their views around the challenges and opportunities for the Irish Agricultural sector associated with achieving SDG 2, while at the same time exploring potential sustainable and collaborative solutions at both local and global scales. The ultimate goal was to discuss how we can ensure the provision of safe and nutritious food, support rural communities, ensure sustainable rural development and protect the environment for future generations.
The event which took place on Wednesday 10th April was designed to explore the relationship between zero hunger and sustainable agriculture while delivering a diverse range of perspectives on how SDG 2 is relevant to Irish Agriculture.
4th Year Agriculture student and class rep Sarah Smith who also gave the opening introduction at the event commented that:
The assignment given to us was to create an event highlighting SDG 2-Zero Hunger. We were asked to look at SDG 2 with a focus on finding ways to achieve Zero Hunger in relation to the realities for Irish agriculture in a changing world.
SDG stands for sustainable development goals which were set up in 2015 and there are 17 goals. The main aim of these goals is to end poverty, protect the planet and guarantee that all people have peace and prosperity.”
On what herself and her classmates learned throughout leading to this event Sarah went on to add:
Our class learned to work together for one last time as we finish up our final year in May. We learned to improve our communication with one another and to achieve a smooth running event. We believe the event was a success, the class also learned from this assignment to listen to other people’s point of views and to think about what other people are suggesting rather than only choose our own view, allowing for a more rounded discussion and viewpoint. The overall experience was brilliant and last but not least a good way to finish our 4 years in DkIT.”
Senior lecturer Dr Suzanne Linnane and lecturer Eamon Mullen in Applied Sciences, who co-deliver the module said of the event;
This event was student-led and designed to allow their voices to be heard in relation to the opportunities and challenges for the Agri-sector associated with achieving SDG 2- Zero Hunger. We feel that allowing students to collaborate this way gives them enhanced communication skills and helps grow their confidence.”
Dr. Linnane continued,
A common thread identified throughout the discussions was the need for ‘an integrated and collaborative approach to the achievement of SDG 2 - Zero Hunger with sustainable agricultural production as a key enabler but with education, engagement of all stakeholders including policy makers and retailers and awareness raising clearly identified as key components to success”
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