If we were miners we'd be knee deep in canaries

22nd Feb 2019

Says President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins at the National Biodiversity Conference yesterday. Michael D. gave a passionate and knowledgeable speech showing he gets the seriousness of the issues surrounding biodiversity loss. 

The National Parks and Wildlife Service are to be congratulated for organising this conference in collaboration with the Irish Forum for Natural Capital (https://www.biodiversityconference.ie/). They brought together not only a diverse group of biodiversity advocates from universities, NGOs and the public, but also from industry, farming community and policy makers. Will it make a difference ? It has to, we are at crisis point. 

The response from the Minister with responsibility for nature conservation, Josepha Madiga,n is not encouraging. While extra funding is welcome (click on image)

  

Minister Josepha Madigan's grasp of the seriousness of the issues is frightening, recommending we all put up more bird and bat boxes (click on image). Its scary, depressing and makes you angry.

The IWDG were represented by CEO Dr Simon Berrow, Science Officer Séan O'Callaghan and Director Frances Bermingham. Simon contributed to a session on citizen science using the IWDG Stranding and Sighting Schemes as examples of excellent engagement which produces robust data to explore trends and identify threats and inform conservation actions.

For those of us who have been involved with conservation in Ireland its so depressing. Ireland is still a great country to live in but it has the POTENTIAL to be a brilliant country to live in. Unique and leading the way in healthy, respectful society with respect for each other and the environment. If we embraced our responsibilities it would be massive for the economy, trade, tourism, ecosystem services and for society and communities. But without the people of Ireland demanding political leadership, we face a really grim future for our children. 

I guess in the words of one delegate "We do the best we can, where we are, with what we have" but is this enough ??

IWDG patron Michael D Higgins with Séan O'Callaghan and CEO Simon Berrow

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