The Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT) is today calling on the Government to ensure the recommendations of the Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity Loss are fast-tracked for action. A cross-party Oireachtas committee would be best placed to set about the process of prioritisation of the 159 actions contained in the final report which was published last month.
The IWT have issued this call in advance of statements to the Dáil on the Citizens’ Assembly to be delivered by TDs tomorrow afternoon (Thursday, May 25th).
IWT campaigns officer Pádraic Fogarty says “we have analysed the issue of biodiversity collapse now from every conceivable angle, it’s imperative that we move from making recommendations to implementation. This means politicians taking charge of the Citizens’ Assembly report and setting an agenda for making the changes that have to happen, and fast.”
Principle among these will be the headline finding that the State has “comprehensively failed” to implement its own laws and policies in relation to biodiversity. The Assembly has recommended that there be an “independent review of implementation and enforcement of biodiversity related legislation, directives and policies” and that “all governmental departments must explicitly acknowledge the State’s declaration of a Biodiversity Emergency and take immediate and targeted action”. This must be backed by adequate and sustained financial and technical support that will empower communities, farmers, fishers and local authorities to undertake the necessary actions on the ground.
A key measure for the government will be to legislate so that the National Biodiversity Action Plan is put on a statutory footing. This is the principal vehicle for delivery of actions and it must be put on a par with the Climate Action Plan, with defined reporting and accountability mechanisms.
The Citizens’ Assembly also highlights how the State must “play a leading and supportive role in the adoption and implementation of a new EU Nature Restoration Regulation”.
We have known for many years what we need to do and how to do it, but the will to actually do it has been missing, that needs to change immediately.
CONTACT: Pádraic Fogarty IWT Campaigns Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Featured image: Peacock butterfly photo credit Mike Brown