In early 2022 the The Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity Loss convened 99 randomly selected members of the public to discuss how the State can improve its response to the issue of biodiversity loss. Today they launched their report, with over 150 recommendations.

The Citizens’ Assembly findings are a clear indictment of the persistent failures of successive Governments to seriously address biodiversity loss, and the failure to adequately fund, implement and enforce existing national legislation and policies as well as EU biodiversity-related laws and directives. 

While the report highlights serious problems to date, it also presents a huge opportunity for the Government to now listen to the people of Ireland, and to move us all towards a future where nature is adequately valued and protected. The recommendations are a clarion call from the Irish people for the State to urgently change course,  and to be far more ambitious in addressing biodiversity loss. 

These recommendations come at a critical time, a time when the European Commission is taking steps to stem the tide of biodiversity loss via their EU Biodiversity Strategy and a proposed Nature Restoration Law. To date, however, the Irish Government has been actively working to weaken the ambition of the European targets for the protection of nature, calling them too onerous. The people of Ireland have now clearly given the Irish government a mandate to lead the charge towards far more ambitious targets for biodiversity protection, both nationally and at a European and international level. 

Dr. Elaine McGoff, Natural Environment Officer with An Taisce said:

“This is just the first step in a long journey back to healthy nature, but having 99 people recognise the fundamental importance and intrinsic value of biodiversity and calling so clearly for the protection of nature is incredibly inspiring.  

The Citizens Assembly worked very hard to achieve an impressive level of understanding in a short time, and produced very strong and well considered recommendations. Without urgent action, nature will no longer be able to function as it should, our natural systems will stop working. The Assembly clearly understood the gravity of what we’re facing. Their call to action could not have been clearer. 

It’s now up to the Government to listen to the voice of the Irish people, and to champion biodiversity protection on the national and European stage. It’s time to leave our reputation for being a laggard behind. The Irish public will be watching.“


For further information, contact:

Dr. Elaine McGoff, Natural Environment Officer, An Taisce: 085 7153796

email: [email protected]