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The Nature Emergency: People & Communities

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Event Image for NRS event

In partnership with Nature Recovery Sheffield

Nature Recovery Sheffield is a movement of people working together to help nature recover locally. NRS and special guests will debate the issues around access to nature, and how to help address the nature emergency, from the perspectives of different communities.

Liz Ballard will set the scene around why we collectively need to take action for nature. She will introduce the importance of people’s connection with nature and having agency to take action in different ways.

Olivier Tsemo will discuss some of the challenges and opportunities around equity of access to nature and empowering people, from an African Heritage perspective.

Ahmad Yazan Miri will talk about his work to deliver the voices of young people from the most marginalised and vulnerable communities in the world drawing on his work in Syria and Sheffield.

Rachael Smith will discuss why easy access to nature is so important for young families, women and girls. What are the barriers and what can we all do to overcome them?

Lindy Stone will give an example of how people have come together in her local area of Sheffield and taken practical actions to improve their green spaces for nature and compile a walk route.

NRS will launch a ‘Community Action for Nature Map’ and you can find out how to get involved in the movement at information stalls, plus an option to see a short film about NRS Nature Heroes.

Ticket price includes a drink. Additional donations are welcome. Doors open 18:30, talks start 19:00.

IMPORTANT INFO: We have learnt that there is a Sheffield United Victory Parade on 11th May which will include a rolling road closure affecting Bramall Lane, St Mary’s roundabout, Eyre St, Arundel Gate, Norfolk St and Surrey Street.

We have been provided with the following information from SCC to help you plan your journeys. Arrival by foot or bike will be least affected.

  • Team bus leaving Bramall Lane at 5.30. Eyre Street / Arundel Gate closing 5.30 - 6.45 approx.
  • This means there will be no access to Charles Street Car Park during this time. The road closures are rolling so it is possible roads may be reopened before this time, but we cannot guarantee it.
  • You will not be able to travel southbound on St Marys Gate to Eyre Street / Arundel Gate then Furnival Square to get to Arundel Gate
  • You will still be able to get to it from Sheaf Street / Granville Square direction so Matilda Street / Arundel Street gets you into the area around there.
  • If you’re coming from the west side / north side the best way would be go east bound on the parkway then park square, Sheaf Street then Granville Square and in that way.

The event doors will still open 6.30pm as planned and we still hope that the talks will begin at 7pm if everyone has managed to arrive by then, but it is possible that if there are delays the networking session may finish a little later than planned.

Liz has been in her current role at SRWT since 2012, following roles with National Park Authorities. Liz recognises that in order for nature to be in recovery and help solve the climate crisis, people need to experience nature, and be empowered to take action. SRWT established Nature Recovery Sheffield with partner organisations and community groups, to build a movement of people who are working together for nature recovery.

Liz is also currently the Chair of both the South Yorkshire Local Nature Partnership and the South Yorkshire Woodland Partnership and is studying for an MSc in Wildlife and Ecosystem Health.

Olivier is a leading figure in the voluntary sectors both locally and nationally. He has used his experience and implementation of leading and growing large team of people, delivering business and cultural transformational change, and large educational programmes to transform SADACCA into a centre of excellence in community learning.

He is currently the Co-chair of both the Sheffield Voluntary Community Sector Forum and the Sheffield Culture Consortium. He also served on the Sheffield Racial Equality Commission and as the President of the African community of South Yorkshire. He regularly advises politicians, and is a contributor to high-profile media and conferences.

Yazan is a 21 year old ambitious activist from Aleppo, Syria. After spending 11 years of his life in a war zone, he discovered the climate and nature crises are now risking his and his peers futures. Amidst the extreme challenges and barriers he faced, Yazan started the first-ever community composting program in Syria, inspired by nature-based solutions and traditional approaches to deal with nature and manage resources.

He is currently a volunteer with Voluntary Action Sheffield as a New Beginnings walk leader, taking groups of refugees and asylum seekers on trips to local landscapes.

Rachael Smith is a director of Kids Plant Trees, a yoga teacher and a mother to two young daughters. An eco-feminist who has an interest in the feminine relationship with nature and how and why this has changed overtime. With over 20 years’ experience in health and well-being Rachael knows that a meaningful relationship with nature is key to our physical and emotional well-being, no matter what our age is. Rachael is on the Coordinating Group of Nature Recovery Sheffield.

Lindy is involved with campaigning on climate and nature issues through her co-ordinating role in Sheffield Friends of the Earth, but here she is speaking about the development of a network in her local area, which is taking action to help tackle the climate and nature emergencies. The importance of people feeling connected to each other and to nature is an organising feature of the network who in 18 months have been part of improving and promoting several green spaces locally, including creating a walking route connecting them. Lindy is on the Coordinating Group of Nature Recovery Sheffield.

Part of our 2023 festival strand


How can we respond to the climate crisis and biosphere collapse?