New RCSI study will measure the well-being impact of a biodiversity community project on individuals, their family and community

  • Research
Let it Bee project

The Irish Research Council (IRC) has funded a new RCSI study assessing the well-being impact of the ‘Let it Bee’ biodiversity project which trained farmers as beekeepers to raise awareness of the harmful effects of pesticides.

Dr Jolanta Burke, Senior Lecturer, Centre for Positive Health Sciences, RCSI will lead the study titled ‘Bee Well: The impact of the Let it Bee biodiversity project on the community’s well-being’. This project will assess the impact of the 2020 ‘Let It Bee’ biodiversity project which trained farmers as beekeepers and created awareness of the damage that pesticides do to local water sources and biodiversity.

Participants from the ‘Let it Bee’ project will be interviewed with the aim of producing important knowledge capturing the impact the training had on their personal, family and community wellbeing. This in turn will help these activities to a national scale and further foster biodiversity and water awareness.

Commenting on the successful project Dr Jolanta Burke said: “This is a significant development for the 'Let it Bee' and similar biodiversity projects. If our findings show the biodiversity project's positive impact well-being, in the future, we will be able to design interventions that simultaneously improve our environment and mental health. This way, we can contribute meaningfully to the government's mental health, wellbeing, and climate strategy. This multidisciplinary approach will make our objectives of building ‘healthy environment and mind’ stronger.”

The funding has been provided as part of the IRC New Foundations awards, under a strand in partnership with the Sunflower Charitable Foundation through the Community Foundation for Ireland. This strand supports research, networking and collaboration on themes related to climate change and biodiversity. The project will be run in partnership with the National Water Forum and the National Federation of Group Water Schemes.

Commenting on the funding announcement, Director of the Irish Research Council, Dr Louise Callinan said: “The collaboration between researchers and policymakers represented in these awards aligns with the ambitions of Impact 2030: Ireland’s Research and Innovation Strategy to strengthen evidence-based policymaking and deliver enhanced outcomes for citizens and society. While New Foundations awards are relatively modest in value, they play a vital role in supporting and nurturing our research talent, providing an important step on the funding ladder to further awards nationally and internationally.”

RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences is committed to supporting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We contribute significantly to the achievement of these goals and make a difference to human health through projects like this as well as a continued focus on initiatives which advance sustainability and improvements in global health and well-being.

Further information on the New Foundations funding announcement can be found here.