Morning, Thursday, 25th January 2024
This conference will focus on next steps for addressing the biodiversity crisis declared by the Dáil Éireann in 2019.
It is bringing together stakeholders with policymakers to examine the path forward for policy, including priorities for the next National Biodiversity Action Plan and Climate Action Plan, due by the end of the year.
Delegates will discuss immediate priorities for tackling biodiversity loss and its coordination with wider climate action, including strategies for maximising the impact of a richer and more fortified natural environment to meet wider climate and net zero targets.
The agenda also examines the way forward following recommendations by the Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity Loss in its 2023 final report, including improving leadership and increasing the ambition of the State in response to the biodiversity crisis, as well as its call for a referendum on amending the constitution with a view to protecting biodiversity.
We are pleased to be able to include keynote sessions with: Malcolm Noonan TD, Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage; Dr Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin, Chair, Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity Loss; and Hans Stielstra, Deputy Head of Unit for Biodiversity, DG Environment, European Commission.
Overall, areas for discussion include:
- policy: assessing proposals for the fourth National Biodiversity Action Plan - preparing for the 2024 Climate Action Plan - insights from the Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity Loss
- current priorities: assessing immediate measures for halting biodiversity loss and facilitating conservation efforts - championing the social and cultural value of biodiversity on society
- developing an all-island approach:
- sharing knowledge across the border - developing research partnerships
- incentivising and supporting the agriculture sector - engaging local communities in local biodiversity action - the role of local authorities
- long-term goals: resourcing a whole-of-government, long-term approach to biodiversity conservation and net gain - coordinating approaches with wider climate action - protecting food security
- technology: utilising innovation to support conservation initiatives - the potential for AI-assisted conservation
- wider EU policy:
- assessing the impact of Europe-wide policy on biodiversity conservation in Ireland - Ireland’s role in global approaches to biodiversity
- learning from best practice, especially in rural green development - balancing the protection of biodiversity with food security
The conference will be an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues alongside key policy officials who are due to attend from DAERA; DAFM, NI; Defra; DESNZ; DHLGH; Northern Ireland Assembly; Northern Ireland Environment Agency; OEP; The Scottish Government; and the Welsh Government.