The Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT) welcomes the announcement this morning (December 19th) that the signatories to the Convention on Biological Diversity have concluded a new deal to reverse biodiversity loss and stabilise global ecosystems.
The deal includes the protection of 30% of land and sea by 2030, ensuring that farming, fishing & forestry is sustainable, reducing the subsidies that are directed to harming nature and substantially reducing pollution from nutrients and pesticides. The deal provides targets which are equivalent to those for climate agreed in Paris in 2015 and so provides a framework for the transformation to a nature-friendly economy and society.
The deal leaves Ireland with a lot of catching up to do and in particular the government has not signed up to meeting the 30% land target (though it has signed up to protecting 30% of seas). Ireland is now markedly out of step with international efforts in this regard.
IWT campaign officer, Pádraic Fogarty, who attended most of the COP15 conference in Montreal, says “Finally we have a global deal for ending the war on nature. But we urgently need to move from making promises to actually implementing these measures. Despite some signs that we are beginning to get to grips with the biodiversity emergency at home, we have an enormous amount of work to do, particularly in transforming our farming, fishing and forestry sectors. We also need to sign up to protect 30% of our land for nature, not only out of solidarity with the countries where most of the biodiversity is located, but also because it would help to address the climate, water pollution and biodiversity crisis here at home.”
Ireland will be required to incorporate the aims of the new ‘Global Biodiversity Framework’ agreed in Montreal into our own National Biodiversity Action Plan (NBAP), due for publication in 2023. This will also take into account the findings of the Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity Loss, which will be finalised in January. This work is already showing that society is far ahead of politicians and certain sectoral lobby groups in seeing the need for drastic action. With the global policy framework in place and public support for action ever more apparent, the government and the lobby groups are looking ever more isolated in their defense of business as usual.
We are on our fourth NBAP and still nature is losing the fight for survival in Ireland. We particularly need to see the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine get on board with reversing this trend. The time for prioritising financial interests over the health of our country has passed.
CONTACT: Padraic Fogarty IWT Campaigns Officer firstname.lastname@example.org