IWT protests ‘lack of action in the face of ecological collapse’

The Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT) held four protests on Saturday, November 18, to highlight its anger at what it believes is “a lack of action in the face of planetary ecological collapse”.

The activists held protests in Dublin, Cork, Galway and Belfast in what was described as “a family-friendly but vocal expression of outrage and dismay at the lack of political action to prevent a mass extinction of life on Earth”.

However, Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan, has defended the Government’s commitment to climate change.

Responding to a parliamentary question, Minister Madigan said the Government takes the matter very seriously.

“Ireland’s third national biodiversity action plan sets out actions to which a range of Government, civil and private sectors will undertake to achieve our vision for biodiversity.

“An allocation of €250,000 has been provided in 2018 to support, for example, local authority biodiversity projects and an additional €150,000 has been allocated to support tackling invasive alien species in their areas.

We already have six national parks in Ireland covering a total of 8,000ha.

“There are many targeted actions that contribute towards our obligations under EU international directives and other relevant national policies, including the national peatlands strategy and the climate change adaptation framework.”

The concerns come following a report issued last month from the World Wildlife Fund and the Zoological Society of London.

The report showed how 60% of the world’s large animals have disappeared since the 1970s.

Meanwhile, IWT campaigns officer, Padraic Fogarty, said: “The world around us is dying. It’s vital for Irish people to know that the extinction crisis is not something that’s far away – but is right here on our doorstep.”

Fogarty added that Ireland has lost its bogs and forests and said that farmland is now “a nature-free zone”.

“We can’t address this crisis without political action at the highest level and our current Government has failed spectacularly in this task,” he contended.