Leading Senator pushes for more action on the biodiversity challenge in Ireland
Green Party Senator Roisin Garvey gave a stark warning concerning the biodiversity crisis the world is facing as a consequence of climate change. In a recent debate with Government members, Senator Garvey urged leaders to take more action and show further commitment towards biodiversity and its association with climate change. Ms Garvey explained that the significant loss of natural habitats, species and the continued degradation of our marine ecosystems has reached a scale that has never been witnessed in our lifetimes.
The Senator believes this is a crucial moment, a time where future generations will judge us on how we react and respond to this challenge and highlight the need for change and measures to protect our world for the next generations to come.
In regards to Sinn Féin, Ms Garvey said there was a further requirement to recognise the economic value on biodiversity as often the political party focuses on workers rights and in this scenario the farmers are the workers. Ms Garvey highlights that the farmers represent the most critical group in terms of engaging and ensuring further protection of our land for the future.
Sinn Féin Senator Lynn Boylan highlighted her concerns of recent discussions of ecosystem services, referring to the historical exploitation of our nature in the north and the need to protect it regardless of what benefits there may be to humans. The former MP stated that the idea of ecosystem services derives from groups who believe something like nature won’t be respected and therefore protected for its true value, but instead for the financial potential us humans can generate. Ms Boylan explained that the concept of commodifying nature was ‘morally wrong’ and by placing a value on something means there will always be someone willing to pay the price.
In a recent Parliamentary debate, the Minister of State for Agriculture Pippa Hackett acknowledge the importance of agriculture in integrating nature back into people’s lives. The minister explained that a large part of her role was focused on supporting farmers who care about the land and believes this includes the large majority of farmers. Ms Hackett explains that the farmers who genuinely understand and care about nature still need comprehensive support to adapt and transform towards more sustainable, less intensive farming methods which will support biodiversity. Her mission is to implement these supportive measures and enable a transition towards a more sustainable farming approach that places biodiversity at the core of modern farming.
Ms Hackett, who is responsible for biodiversity plans explained that it was a top priority and government measures include the introduction of EU Green Deal environmental measures, the launch of a national pollinator plan and accelerated focus on biodiversity awareness programs within education, including development policies to improve urban biodiversity.