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Northern Ireland Environment Permanent Secretary impressed with Biodiversity exhibition

6 December 2007

The Northern Ireland Department of the Environment's Permanent Secretary, Stephen Peover, took the opportunity to visit an interactive and informative exhibition about biodiversity this evening (6 December) at W5, Northern Ireland's Science and Technology Museum.

The exhibition, 'Biodiversity: What on Earth is it', explains exactly what biodiversity is and demonstrates how it can assist in combating some of the mammoth challenges we face, such as climate change and feeding a growing world population. It shows how human activities can affect biodiversity on land, in freshwaters and in the sea.

Mr Peover said: "I am grateful for the opportunity to learn from the scientific research work which informs this exhibition. It clearly demonstrates the links between our actions and the impacts they have on biodiversity; at both a Northern Ireland and global scale."

He added: "I would readily recommend everyone who has an interest in nature conservation to visit this exhibition while it remains in W5"

'Biodiversity: What on Earth is it' was produced by two of the UK's Research Councils – the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). The exhibition was introduced to W5 in the summer and has attracted high levels of interest. The exhibit's clear and thought-provoking messages have stimulated and engaged around 150,000 over the past few months.

Dr Doug Yarrow, Director of BBSRC Corporate Science Group, said, "Biodiversity continues to be an important area of research and one with high public interest. I'm very pleased our exhibition has been so popular here in Northern Ireland."
There is now a last chance to see the exhibition before it leaves Belfast in mid December.


Notes to editors

Biodiversity is the variety of life, including habitats and species

About W5

W5 is Ireland's award winning interactive discovery centre and is situated at Odyssey, Northern Ireland's Landmark Millennium Project, in Belfast.  W5 has attracted 150,000 visitors since this exhibition opened in April 2007.


The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is the UK funding agency for research in the life sciences. Sponsored by Government, BBSRC annually invests around £380 million in a wide range of research that makes a significant contribution to the quality of life for UK citizens and supports a number of important industrial stakeholders including the agriculture, food, chemical, healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors.

About NERC

The Natural Environment Research Council funds world-class science, in universities and its own research centres, that increases knowledge and understanding of the natural world. It is tackling major environmental issues such as climate change, biodiversity and natural hazards. NERC receives around £400m a year from the government's science budget which is used to provide independent research and training in the environmental sciences.


Matt Goode, Head of External Relations

tel: 01793 413299

Tracey Jewitt, Media Officer

tel: 01793 414694
fax: 01793 413382