‘We need the public’s voice at the heart of the national response to the biodiversity crisis’ – Minister Malcolm Noonan
Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan TD has welcomed today’s (2nd February) announcement by Taoiseach Micheál Martin that a proposal to convene a Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity will be brought to Cabinet shortly. This delivers on a key Programme for Government commitment.
Welcoming the news, Minister Noonan stated;
“I’m thrilled that we’ll see a Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity this year. It’s been a key focus of mine since taking office and I’m delighted to hear the Taoiseach confirm that progress is now being made.
“It couldn’t come at a more crucial time: 2022 will see the Biodiversity COP in China – the sister event to COP26 in Glasgow – and the development of a new National Biodiversity Action Plan, which will set the trajectory for biodiversity action across Ireland for the next five years. We need the public’s voice at the heart of the national response to the biodiversity crisis, and this Assembly will help us to do that.
“We also need to ensure that the voices of children and young people are part of this conversation. To that end, my Department is currently exploring the development of a Young People’s Biodiversity Assembly and I hope that the outcomes of this initiative can support and inform the main Citizens’ Assembly.
“We’ve got a long way to go to alleviate the threats and pressures on biodiversity in Ireland and bring about the scale of restoration and recovery of nature that we need in order to protect these invaluable species and habitats, as well as the ecosystem services that all of humanity depends on for its survival. I’m hopeful that this Citizens’ Assembly will help us to bring that challenge into focus and, through its deliberations, support a national dialogue on the solutions. 2022 will be a big year for nature.”
A Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity will enable a national conversation on nature and biodiversity, its role in our lives, our landscapes and our economy, and support the development of the new National Biodiversity Action Plan, which is due to be published later this year by Minister Noonan.