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  • Writer's picturePippa Hackett

Engaged Communities are the Best Defence against Biodiversity Loss

Updated: Dec 20, 2022

Visiting a Hen Harrier Project farm in June 2021

I believe the best protection for dwindling wildlife comes from the people who share its landscape. This was the theme of my speech in the Seanad this week.

“Positivity among people who share a landscape is probably the best protection that any species could have – maybe better than any number of designations, laws, regulations, or new rangers,”

so said Fergal Monaghan, Project Manager of my Department’s Hen Harrier Project in communication with me recently.

I agree with Fergal and we need to harness that.

During the summer I had the opportunity to visit one of the Hen Harrier sites in the Slieve Blooms, on the border between Laois and Offaly. There was a great sense of pride – that sense of place that comes with collective community engagement and that brings life to an area.

One of the most important areas for the Hen Harrier is Athea, in County Limerick. The village has changed the signs on its outskirts to one that includes a Hen Harrier, they have a statue of a Hen Harrier in the town, and a landscaped Hen Harrier walk along the river.

There are some who wish to continue to plunder our natural resources. I want to champion those engaged communities who want to protect it.


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