5th November 2020 | Press Releases

Green motion in the Seanad calls for action on the Programme for Government’s biodiversity commitments

  • Minister Pippa Hackett welcomes Government support on Biodiversity
  • Endorses Dail’s 2019 declaration of a Climate and Biodiversity emergency
  • Supports call for action on Programme for Government commitments

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with responsibility for Land Use and Biodiversity, Senator Pippa Hackett, supported her Green Party colleagues in Seanad Eireann today (Thursday) as they endorsed the Dail’s 2019 declaration of a Climate and Biodiversity emergency and called for the Programme for Government commitments regarding Biodiversity to be acted upon as soon as possible.

Welcoming the Private Members’ Motion, which was moved by Senators Pauline O’Reilly, Roisin Garvey, and Vincent P. Martin, Minister Hackett said, ‘‘I very much welcome this focus on the Biodiversity Emergency and I am grateful to my Seanad colleagues for using their Private Members’ time to call attention to it.  We simply must protect nature.  It doesn’t just underpin every facet of our lives, it is essential to our survival. And the fact that biodiversity in a global and national context is declining at rates never seen before is a frightening fact which must be addressed as a matter of urgency.’’

While endorsing the steps already taken to date at local, national, and European level to address the ongoing emergency, the motion called for Government to act upon the Programme for Government’s commitments regarding biodiversity as soon as possible.

In speaking to the motion, Minister Hackett recognised the significant role agriculture can play in bringing nature back into our lives, stating, ‘‘I see my role as supporting farmers who care about land. I know that is the vast majority of them. But farmers who know about nature and care about nature need a range of supports so that they can move to the more sustainable, less intensive practices which will support biodiversity. I intend to deliver those supports.’’

Minister Hackett reiterated the government’s stance that biodiversity is a priority and highlighted the significant role it plays in the composition of the Programme for Government.

She also pointed to the broad scope of the Programme for Government’s biodiversity measures which include the implementation of  EU Green Deal environmental measures, publication of a national pollinator plan, an increase in biodiversity awareness initiatives across all levels of education,  the development of policies to increase urban biodiversity, and further work to build on the foundations laid at the first National Biodiversity Conference in 2019.