Irish Government preparing to hold citizens’ assembly on biodiversity

ireland
Irish Government Preparing To Hold Citizens’ Assembly On Biodiversity Irish Government Preparing To Hold Citizens’ Assembly On Biodiversity
The Taoiseach said on Wednesday that he plans to bring a proposal for a citizens’ assembly on biodiversity to Cabinet ‘shortly’. © PA Archive/PA Images
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By Dominic McGrath, PA

A citizens’ assembly on biodiversity may soon be held in Ireland, according to the Irish premier.

The Taoiseach said on Wednesday that he plans to bring a proposal for a citizens’ assembly on biodiversity to Cabinet “shortly”.

Citizens’ assemblies have played a key role in Irish politics in recent years, especially in the build-up to the landmark referendum in 2018 that removed the country’s constitutional ban on abortion.

Micheal Martin told the Dail: “I do intend to bring to Cabinet shortly proposals for a citizens’ assembly on biodiversity.

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“I think it’s absolutely critical that we move on this and move with speed and conviction and I intend to do that.”

The Fianna Fail leader was responding to a question from a Cork TD in his own party, Christopher O’Sullivan.

In the Dail, Mr O’Sullivan pointed to the loss of Irish wetland species over the last 50 years, as well the fact 54 species of bird are “red-listed”, meaning they are endangered.

While the move will be welcomed by environmental campaigners, it has also renewed calls for a citizens’ assembly on drug use.

The three coalition parties, upon entering Government in 2020, committed to holding a citizens’ assembly on the issue.

Independent Senator Lynn Ruane, reacting to the announcement, tweeted: “Surely this proposal will also include the convening of Citizen Assembly on Drugs.

“There is merit in running CA in parallel to one another or at the very least naming the dates for several?”

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