Fair Seas says immediate action and significant funding is needed to address Ireland’s biodiversity crisis. The coalition of Ireland’s leading environmental non-governmental organisations and networks was responding to the publication of the final report of the Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity Loss.
The 99 members of the Assembly heard from 80 experts since it first met in April of last year, including representatives from Fair Seas.
The final report says the State must take prompt, decisive and urgent action to address biodiversity loss and restoration and must provide leadership in protecting Ireland’s biodiversity for future generations. It also calls for a referendum of the people to amend the Constitution with a view to protecting biodiversity.
The Assembly also believes that without adequate funding and resourcing, it will not be possible to curb the crisis or engage in the restoration of biodiversity required to continue Ireland’s food production, access to clean freshwater or clean air, or access to safe, healthy environments.
Aoife O’Mahony, Fair Seas Campaign Manager said, “It’s clear from the final report of the Citizens’ Assembly that the state has failed to address the biodiversity emergency we are now facing. Again, the people of Ireland have highlighted their support to conserve and protect our unique marine environment. 96% of the assembly agreed with the statement to designate and effectively manage an ambitious network of Marine Protected Areas. Finalising the new MPA legislation bill 2023 will be a critical step to achieve this and must continue to progress through the Dáil.
“We want to see a minimum of 30% of Irish waters designated and managed as Marine Protected Areas by 2030, up from the current figure of 8%. It is only when designated areas are effectively managed for nature and achieving their conservation objectives, that they can positively contribute to biodiversity loss. To achieve this effectively managed network, more investment is needed and this is highlighted in the report calling on the government to adequately fund biodiversity conservation and restoration programmes.”
We also welcome you to join us in Cork on 8th June, where we are hosting our inaugural World Ocean Day conference. We are bringing ocean advocates, government, industry and key stakeholders together to map out the next steps for Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Irish waters.
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