The National Biodiversity Conference advancing Ireland’s next action plan in response to the global biodiversity crisis starts tomorrow (Wednesday, June 8).

The two-day event, which will be held in person at Dublin Castle and virtually, includes over 400 stakeholders from non-government organisations (NGOs), academia, government departments and members of the public.

International and Irish experts will inform on topics including forestry and agriculture; community action for biodiversity; and the role of media and businesses in addressing the crisis. 

The conference will be opened by Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, and Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan.

“This conference marks three years since the Dáil declared a biodiversity emergency. We know it’s time to act now for nature, both at home and around the globe. The natural world is in crisis and it’s because of our decisions.

“We need to make better [decisions] that are based on science, informed by local knowledge, delivered by the communities that know the landscape best, and funded and supported by government and society as a whole,” Minister Noonan said.

National Biodiversity Conference

The conference will feature a keynote address from Taoiseach Micheál Martin, and Minister of State for Land Use and Biodiversity, Pippa Hackett will be presenting over the two days.

An overview of the ambitious EU Biodiversity Strategy under the EU Green Deal will be provided at the event by the head of biodiversity from the European Commission, Stefan Leiner.

Executive secretary from the United Nation’s Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, will also speak at the conference.

Further experts addressing the conference will be the chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, Ana Maria Hernandez Salgar; presenter Ella McSweeney; and University College Dublin (UCD) professor, Tasman Crowe.

Action plan

Discussions at this conference will feed into the next National Biodiversity Action Plan (NBAP), which is due to be published in early 2023 and led by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).

Minister O’Brien said biodiversity is an all-of-government and all-of-society issue, which, he said, is reflected by the diversity of groups and disciplines at the conference.

The minister commented:

“I want to see an ambitious plan that reflects the scale and urgency of Ireland’s biodiversity emergency, embraces the restoration and protection targets outlined in the EU’s strategy, and embeds the commitment needed to ensure its actions are delivered.”

The action plan will include recommendations of the ongoing Citizens Assembly on Biodiversity, and the post-2020 global biodiversity framework will be adopted at COP 15 in China later this year.