The Green Party welcomes the report issued today (April 5th) by the Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity Loss. The Party worked to ensure the Citizens’ Assembly was included in the Programme for Government as a crucial means for the public to have their voice heard on this vital issue. The report made 159 recommendations to protect biodiversity in Ireland.
Some of the recommendations approved by the Citizens’ Assembly include increasing the use of renewable energy, reducing our use of pesticides by 50% by 2030 and a referendum to enshrine biodiversity protection into the constitution. Three-quarters of participants said they were willing to pay higher taxes to make these proposals a reality.
Pippa Hackett, Minister of State for Land Use and Biodiversity, commented;
“The Citizens’ Assembly has spoken loudly and clearly about the need to take prompt, decisive and urgent action to ensure future generations will have a safe, clean and healthy environment. One quarter of our bird species are in danger of extinction, one third of our protected species are in decline and almost 50% of freshwater systems across the country are in poor and deteriorating condition. People are looking to the Green Party in Government for leadership to protect and enhance our biodiversity, and we must respond by engaging with the Assembly’s recommendations and continuing to design and implement policy targeted at turning the tide on biodiversity loss.”
Malcolm Noonan, Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, welcomed the report;
“I strongly welcome the publication of this report and look forward to considering its recommendations. The Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity Loss was a key Programme for Government commitment and I would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone involved in making it happen, not least the members of the Assembly, who invested considerable time and energy in this vitally important process. Their dedication and commitment is to be commended.”