Sunday 06 November 2022 – The Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity Loss has concluded its fifth and penultimate meeting at the Grand Hotel in Malahide, Co. Dublin. This weekend’s meeting included wide-ranging discussions on biodiversity loss and management in Ireland’s freshwater, marine, industrial, and urban environments, with contributions from community groups, NGOs, and representatives of local organisations.
Among the topics discussed was the urgent need to address the threat to Ireland’s freshwaters from a range of pollutants and agricultural practices, the close relationship between climate change and biodiversity loss, and nature-based solutions in urban areas.
Members of the Assembly also heard about international best practice in terms of planning and biodiversity management through by local authorities through a presentation from Jeroen Schenkels, Green Advisor to the City of Utrecht in the Netherlands.
At the Assembly’s next meeting representatives from the business and education sectors will present their perspectives on biodiversity loss and management, before members begin the process of discussing and voting on a set of recommendations that will form the basis of the Assembly’s final report that will be given to the Houses of the Oireachtas at the end of this year.
Members were provided an initial briefing on the voting process and how the ballot papers are compiled, with the likelihood that dozens of recommendations could emerge from the Assembly’s deliberations.
Speaking about the weekend’s meeting, the Assembly Chairperson, Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain, said:
“Since we held our first formal meeting in May, the Citizens’ Assembly has heard from a wide range of voices. 75 speakers have given their perspectives to date, drawn from state and government agencies, academic institutions, the agricultural sector, environmental NGOs, local authorities, and individuals.
“As we prepare for our final weekend meeting at the end of this month, we do so with a wealth of information and in the best possible position to make a series of comprehensive recommendations that will make a meaningful and lasting difference to the national response to the critical challenge of biodiversity loss. I want to thank all those who addressed us and gave their insights and look forward to our final discussions ahead of our crucial votes that will conclude our final meeting.”
The sixth and final meeting of the Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity Loss will take place Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th November in the Grand Hotel, Malahide, Co. Dublin.
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