New Board Member welcomed
Just Forests board welcomes Catriona Brophy as Volunteer Coordinator
15th September 2011
Just Forests are delighted to welcome Ms. Catriona Brophy from Tullamore, as the newest member to join the voluntary board of Just Forests. Catrion’s youth, education, experience and vision will greatly enganse the mission of Just Forests.
Her role within Just Forests will include research and she will have responsibility as Volunteer Coordinator in generating new members to join Just Forests.
From 2005 to 2008, she completed a Bachelor in Civil Law at the National University of Ireland, Galway. Instead of continuing directly to sit FE1s and enter Blackhall Place, Catriona decided to take some time out. From January to June 2009, she spent time volunteering in a primary school in Grassy Park, a poorer, predominantly coloured area of Cape Town, South Africa. During this time, not only did she fall in love with Cape Town but Catriona became aware of the vast inequalities and social injustices which exist in many societies today. It was this experience that pushed her to apply for a Masters in Human Rights Law.
Catriona began the Masters course at the University of Cape Town in July 2010. During her first semester in Human Rights Law, she chose a course called ‘Social Justice in Practice’. This was to prove pivotal in shaping her career path. So much so, that she transferred from Human Rights Law to a Masters in Social Justice. Catriona’s coordinator advised her to take an environmental course as she felt it would be complementary to the social courses. By the end of July 2011 she had completed 4 courses, i.e., International Protection of Human Rights; Social Justice in Practice; Social Justice, Law and Poverty and Principles of Environmental Law. She gained experience in practical areas such as writing funding proposals and completing Impact Evaluations, and covered topics should as Sustainable Development, Environmental Institutions, Legal Empowerment of the Poor, Social Capital, Sustainable Livelihoods, to mention but a few.
This mix of subjects has led her to the realisation that problems in any society today cannot be approached as either economic or social or environmental, rather they are all interlinking, and successful solutions for sustainable development will incorporate tenets from all three areas. Catriona further came to believe that the environment is the only one of these with finite resources which are being depleted. Thus in order for development to be sustainable, a new model should be followed where the environment in considered the paramount consideration. She strongly feels that a new model of sustainable development is urgently needed where Economic aspects are considered within the context of Social aspects, and both in turn, are considered within the context of Environmental aspects.
Currently, Catriona is working on the research section of the Masters which is due in February 2012. She was advised to get in touch with an organisation called Natural Justice and as a result of meeting with them, she decided to write her dissertation on Biocultural Community Protocols and how their use, to further the social and economic agendas, can be strengthened through appropriate legal systems.