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Mary Robinson Photo by: Google Images

Former President Mary Robinson returns to Ireland to set up climate charity

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Mary Robinson Photo by: Google Images

Former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, will return to Ireland and set up a charity for climate change.

Her new organization, the "Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice" (MRFCJ) aims to put a human face on the problem of climate change and will begin next year.

Since 2002 Mary Robinson has been based out of New York in a non-governmental organization called "Realizing Rights". Their children are now grown up on and her husband Nick travels frequently between their homes in Mayo and New York.

Robinson will move back to Ireland at the end of 2010. She will work for the charity on a pro-bono basis.

"There is a need to create awareness, through leadership and education, that the dynamics of development and of relations between peoples in different parts of the world must change profoundly. Ireland is well placed to play a leadership role in this area," said Robinson.

The charity's chief executive, Bride Rosney, said there had been a trend where the subject was identified with science, geographic and animal "icons", but the new charity will very much be focused on putting a face to the problem.

"When climate change started, the whole focus was around the polar bear and the ice-cap. Very much what she is doing is putting a human face on that, that it is about people and the impacts on people," Ms Rosney said.

"For example, in African countries, they no longer have a clue when to plant their seeds, because their seasons no longer fall in the traditional ways. It is about putting the human consequences of climate change central."

The charities first project will be the development of women's leadership and climate justice. The body will be "encouraging other people, harnessing the best practice and sharing the best practice…This is not an empire," said Rosney.

Philanthropic organizations such as Rockefeller, Nduna and Skoll Foundations in the US, the One Foundation in Ireland and Virgin Unite have already pledged support. As well as having received private financial donations.

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